Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/73
parts of the earth they inhabited, and of the adjoining countries.
The sign that most attracts the attention is , that Bishop Landa says must be read Yax-kin, and was that of the seventh month of the Maya calendar. Literally these words mean the "vigorous sun." If, however, we inter- pret the symbol phonetically, it gives us "the country of the king, which is surrounded by water;" "the kingdom in the midst of water." It will also be noticed that it is placed at the top of the tree, to indicate that that "tree" is the kingdom. Next to it, on the left, is the name Mayach, which indicates that it is the "kingdom of Mayach," which will be- come plain by the analysis of the symbols. To begin with, is a wing or feather, insignia worn by kings and warriors. Placed here it has a double meaning. It denotes the north, as we will see later on, and also shows that the land is that of the king whose emblem it is. The character stands for ahau, the word for king, and we have already
- The adjoining map (Plate IV.) was constructed by Professor J. W. Spencer according to his own original researches and geological studies in the island of Cuba and in Central America, aided by the deep-sea soundings made in 1878 by Commander Bartlett of the United States steamship Blake. It can be therefore accepted as perfectly accurate. During a short stay in Belize, British Honduras, Commander Bartlett honored me with a visit. Speaking of his work of triangulation and deep-sea soundings in the Caribbean Sea, he mentioned the existence of very profound valleys covered by its waters, revealed by the sound. I informed him that I had become cognizant of that fact, having found it mentioned by the author of that ancient Maya book known to-day as Troano MS. If my memory serves me right, I showed him the maps drawn by the writer of that ancient book, and made on a map in my copy of Bowditch's Navigation an approximate tracing of the submerged valleys in the Caribbean Sea, in explanation of the Maya maps, showing why they symbolized said sea by the figure of an animal resembling a deer — which may have been the reason why they called the country U-luumil ceh, the "land of the deer."