The lost codex of an entire civilization.
In visiting the Mayan ruins, we were told something astounding that I just had to look up myself when we returned. First, the Mayan civilization actually had paper which has to be one of the major foundational inventions which leads to an advanced society. Second, there are only three remaining books (well, three and a fragment) called codexes which were stolen by the Spanish and ended up in the hands of various European powers. Whatever else they had is either gone or has yet to be found (more later).
When hearing how the written works of the Mayan people had been reduced to three books, I was reminded immediately of the losses at the Great Library of Alexandria between 40 B.C. to 260 A.D. However, copies of at least some of those books survived that gradual catastrophe in the libraries of Arab and Jewish scholars. It has been called the first “back-up system” by some. It appears the Mayans had no such luck – as far as we know.
The precipitous decline and fall of Mayan civilization at the hands of the Spanish may have left nothing in the way of back-ups of any other documents, especially those of a narrative nature. The codex books cover fairly narrow slices of Mayan life it seems, as if random books on horoscopes, architecture, and religious practices were all that remained of our culture. However, it is a fascinating and intriguing thought that somewhere, in one of the MANY untouched ruins, the wealth of the Mayan literary heritage awaits.
I used something of that stripe in Enemy Deity. It’s available in paperback or as a Kindle eBook.
Thank you, and see you in the future!