Who? Maya (although hieroglyphs have been found in sites occupied by pre-Mayan cultures such as the Olmec)
When? 300 BC – 1650 AD
Where? The earliest Maya writing was found in the area now known as southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize.
Why? The Maya people needed a writing system to meet the demands of regional population growth and to record events in the lives of elite, ceremonial functions, and economic transactions.
What? Ancient Maya glyphs are a complex, visually striking writing system with hundreds of unique signs or glyphs in the form of humans, animals, supernaturals, objects, numbers, and abstract designs.
How? Carved in jade, stone, bone, wood, ceramics and shell; written on bark
System? The Maya script is logosyllabic combining about 550 logograms (which represent whole words) and 150 syllabograms (which represent syllables). There were also about one hundred glyphs representing place names and the names of gods. About three hundred glyphs were commonly used. Maya inscriptions were most often written in columns two-gylphs wide, with each column read left to right, top to bottom. The calligraphic styles and pictorial complexity of Maya glyphs are like no other writing system.