A technology known as Reflection Transformation Imaging (RTI) is being utilized for the first time to help decipher Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions.
RTI works by manipulating light on a photographic sequence in order to produce very high quality images.
Researchers at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (IANH) have used the technique on 10 monuments at Tonina, which is located in Chiapas, Mexico. According to Carlos Gayol, an archaeologist with the INAH, Tonina contains the most inscriptions presently known of any Maya site.
Although Maya writing is the best understood of the ancient Mesoamerican scripts, there is still much work to be done in the field. The Maya code was first broken in the mid-20th century, and progress has rapidly increased since the 1980s.