Maya writing and numerical system originated in
concepts inherited from Olmecs.
Hieroglyphic writing has both ideographic and
phonetic elements that have not been completely
deciphered yet, and some glyphs had two forms that
They were used to write texts and calendar
information in murals, stele and codices,
recording history, myths and genealogy of
In mathematics, number symbols were given values
according to their position, and the concept of
zero was used.
The system was vigesimal and Mayas could write the
numbers from 0 to 19 in the first (bottom)
Ideograms or number symbols used were basically
A dot for one, a bar for five and a stylized shell
for zero, and the different numbers were written
by combining them.
There are also 20 ideograms that often replaced
the dots and bars.