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In fact, scholars label glyph block horizontally with letters (A, B, C) and vertically with numbers (1, 2, 3).Hence, the reading order would be A1, B1, A2, B2, etc, until you hit the bottom. There were several classes of glyphs in the Maya writing system. Like us, the Maya wrote their numbers in positional notation.The visual construction of Maya glyphs is very interesting.At first inspection, the glyphs appear to be very intricate squares laid out in a gridlike pattern.These signs are either logograms (to express meaning) or syllabograms (to denote sound values), and are used to write words, phrases, and sentences.In fact, the Maya can write anything that they can say.And if it is two positions before the end, then it is seven hundred.Mathematically, you will see that digit is multiplied by the "base" of 10 raised to the position of the digit: Likewise, among the Maya, the position of a "digit" also determines the actual value of the digit.

For example, the digit "7" means seven if its position is at the end of a number, but if it is one position before the end, then it stands for seventy.However, unlike our system, which is based on powers of 10, the Maya (and Mesoamericans in general) used powers of 20.Also, unlike our system, which has an individual symbol for each digit (0, 1, 2, 3, ...), the Maya only employed three basic symbols: A dot for a value of "one", a bar for a value of "five", and a shell for the value "zero".Since glyph blocks are arranged in a grid, one would think that the reading order is either in rows or columns.In reality, Maya glyphs are read in "paired columns", meaning that the first glyph block is on the top left, the second is immediately to the right of the first, the third is under the first, the fourth under the second, and so forth. When you arrive at the bottom of this "paired column", you will then go back up to the top and start the next paired column.

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