Yes, short and choppy posts for tonight, but this last story for now is utterly great:
The odd symbols had been noted for centuries — thousands of them appear in Aztec property registries that were created around 1540. But no one knew the value of the symbols or how they were used to represent the size of land plots for tax assessment and other purposes.
After three decades of work, geographer Barbara Williams and mathematician Maria del Carmen Jorge y Jorge have found a solution that reveals a complex surveying system with a rudimentary ability to calculate the area of irregular shapes and manipulate fractional amounts.
“It cracks the code,” said Williams, a professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin.
Next up, Etruscan. Please? Anyone?