Anyone who has studied the Maya civilization before understands how many incredible advancements they made in the fields of astronomy, architecture, mathematics, and more. The amazingly intricate and accurate Mayan calendar, which supposedly foretold the end of the world in the year 2000, is a masterpiece of both art and science.
The Maya had a unique form of writing that used what is called Tikal glyphs. These are frequently carved or painted blocks of images that mean words, sounds, or ideas. With them, they recorded special events, legends and tales, and a lot of information about their deities and religious practices.
Unfortunately, quite a bit this was lost when one bishop Diego de Landa began deciphering the Maya hieroglyphics while summarily trying to destroy any evidence of their heathen ways. By this time around 1500 CE, the Maya were rather comfortable with the Spanish idea of Christianity. As many other cultural assimilations occur throughout time, the Bishop sought to destroy the old ways by specifically destroying language. He burned books, destroyed steles, and tortured believers against the wishes of the church at the time. Oddly enough, his efforts at collecting all this information gives more current historians a lot of insight into the Maya culture.