Journal article

Multimedia Analysis and Access of Ancient Maya Epigraphy

This article presents an integrated framework for multimedia access and analysis of ancient Maya epigraphic resources, which is developed as an interdisciplinary effort involving epigraphers (someone who deciphers ancient inscriptions) and computer scientists. Our work includes several contributions: a definition of consistent conventions to generate high-quality representations of Maya hieroglyphs from the three most valuable ancient codices, which currently reside in European museums and institutions; a digital repository system for glyph annotation and management; as well as automatic glyph retrieval and classification methods. We study the combination of statistical Maya language models and shape representation within a hieroglyph retrieval system, the impact of applying language models extracted from different hieroglyphic resources on various data types, and the effect of shape representation choices for glyph classification. A novel Maya hieroglyph data set is given, which can be used for shape analysis benchmarks, and also to study the ancient Maya writing system.

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