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1844 coloured lithograph showing Mayan temple named Tulum in background surrounded by jungle; three workers in lower left quadrant clearing the area; one person in bottom half observing the temple
Tulum / 1844 lithograph by F Catherwood
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A Mayanist (Spanish: mayista) is a scholar specialising in research and study of the Mesoamerican pre-Columbian Maya civilisation.[1][2][3] This discipline should not be confused with Mayanism, a collection of New Age beliefs about the ancient Maya.

Mayanists draw upon many inter-related disciplines including archaeology, linguistics, epigraphy, ethnology, history, photography/art, architecture, astronomy and ceramics.

The term Mayanist was coined by parallel with specialised fields studying other historical civilisations; see for example, Egyptologist (Ancient Egypt) and Assyriologist (Ancient Mesopotamia). It has been in widespread use from the late 19th century onwards, particularly by those who have studied and contributed to the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphics, the complex and elaborate writing system which was developed by the ancient Maya.

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