Instead, they adapted an ancient language known as Nahuatl to describe some of the symbols, and this language has not been fully translated to this day.
The Nahuatl lapidaries had at hand many varieties of workable and beautiful stone - onyx, marble, limestone, quartz and quartz crystal, granite, syenite, basalt, trachyte, rhyolite, diorite and obsidian, the best of material prepared for them by nature; while the Mayas had only limestone, and hard, tenacious rock with which to work it, and timber for burning lime.
The traditions agree with the monuments, whatever may be objected to assigning any one ruin to the Toltec, the Chichimec or the Nahuatl, that there are distinct varieties in ground-plan, motives, stone-craft, wall decorations and sculptures.
Brasseur died before he could realize his plan to publish the whole MS. in Nahuatl with a translation.
It has preserved in the conjugation and in the formation of the plural older forms than the classical Nahuatl itself.
The separation of the Pipils from the chief tribes of the Nahuatl branch happened centuries before the conquest, and they developed a singular and characteristic civilization, which can be seen in the wonderful stone-reliefs and sculptures of Sta Lucia de Cozumalhuapa on the Pacific coast of Guatemala.
Examples of this are given in § 20; it is worthy of notice that the vigesimal (or, rather, quinary-quaternary) system was used by the Mayas of Yucatan, and also, in a more perfect form, by the Nahuatl (Aztecs) of Mexico.
AZTECS (from the Nahuatl word aztlan, " place of the Heron," or "Heron" people), the native name of one of the tribes that occupied the tableland of Mexico on the arrival of the Spaniards in America.