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Rediscovery And Decipherment

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Chapter Summary

As the ancient, precolonial world faded out of sight, an antiquarian interest in that world started to arise. This was especially the case among those of Spanish descent born in New Spain, the criollos, who were looking for hallmarks of their identity in an incipient form of nationalism. Analyzing the complex set of genealogies and dates, Alfonso Caso offered explanations of many pictographic scenes and proposed a coherent overall correlation of the Ñuu Dzaui historical chronology with the Christian calendar. According to his calculations, the history treated in the codices started as far back as the end of the 7th century AD. These calculations were based on the fact that some of the last generations of the Mixtec precolonial dynasties depicted in the codices are also mentioned in early colonial Spanish sources.

Keywords: Ñuu Dzaui historical chronology; Alfonso Caso; Christian calendar; colonial Spanish sources; criollos; Mixtec precolonial dynasties; pictographic scenes; religious codices



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