Posted by: Johan Normark | January 11, 2012

The home of his tobacco

I realize that I have focused too much on the 2012 circus during the last month. There has not been much interesting news in Maya studies (not for me anyway). However, here is some interesting news that confirms an earlier hieroglyphic decipherment.

David Stuart once deciphered the “tobacco glyph” (MAY). A flask from around AD 700 contains the text Yo-‘OTOT-ti’u-MAY (which translates as “the home of his tobacco”). This was not enough to convince archaeologists that the flask had contained tobacco. Samples extracted from the flask detected nicotine which is a major component in tobacco. The flask most likely contained tobacco leaves. Some of these tobacco flasks were later used for other purposes and contained other substances, such as iron oxide used in burial rituals.


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