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Government had a keen interest.

Catalog Record: La civilización maya | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Morley’s particular passion was the study of the Maya calendar and its related inscriptions, and in this respect, he made useful expositions that have withstood later scrutiny.

Key Figures in the History of Anthropology 2nd ed.

His publications are now generally superseded, except for his calendrical compilations. It was Morley’s view, and one that found wide support, that these undeciphered portions would contain only more of the same astronomical, calendric and perhaps religious information, not actual historical data.

The convincing evidence which was to overturn this view became known only after Morley’s death, starting with Yuri Knorozov ‘s work in the s. During the First World War —Morley gathered intelligence about and reported on the movements of German operatives in the region, information in which the U.

University of New Mexico. He protested strongly to the local authorities, proclaiming his credentials as an archaeologist ought to be above suspicion. Oxford and New York: During the s, it also became evident that he had developed cardiac difficultieswhich would plague him for the remainder of his life.

Archaeologist Was a Spy: Here he studied the sites and architecture of the ancient Pueblo peoples Anasazi. Morley also conducted espionage in Mexico on behalf of the United States during World War I, but the scope of those activities only came to light well after his death. Morley graduated with an A.


Catalog Record: La civilización maya | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Sylvanus, a most good-natured soul, never protested. This arrangement had much more in common with the architectural styles of civilizations in central Mexico more than a thousand kilometres away than that of the Classic or Pre-Classic Maya.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In addition to his scholarly work, Morley thought it important to share his enthusiasm for the ancient Maya with the public. The evidence indicated that the site had been inhabited since at least the mid-Classic, but that a particular florescence had occurred in the Post-Classic, when the site was apparently sylvznus major power.

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Their mission was to seek out evidence of pro-German and anti-American agitation in the Mexico-Central America region and to look for secret German submarine bases which proved non-existent. As far as Morley’s own research is concerned, its reputation for soundness and quality has been downgraded somewhat in the light of recent reappraisals; [35] yet he is still regarded as an important contributor to the field.

He wrote in”time, in its various manifestations, the accurate record of its principal phenomena, constitutes the majority of Maya writing. He was an undergraduate at Harvard while I was in the Grad. Archived from the original PDF online facsimile on In full, Morley writes that even though it might be anticipated that more phonetic elements would come to be identified, ” Thompson and Tatiana Proskouriakoff. He was buried in a plot in Santa Fe’s Fairview Cemetery; his second wife Frances Rhoads Morley was interred in the same plot upon her death in Breaking the Maya Code.

This is easily explained by the fact that he is one of the few archaeologists who have studied the hieroglyphs of Chichen Itza. These realizations led to the successful decipherment of many of the texts which had been impenetrable and almost “dismissed” by Morley and the “old school”.

His archaeological field work in Mexico and Central America provided suitable cover for investigating German activities and anti-American activity at the behest of the United States’ Office of Naval Intelligence.


They selected an area within what appeared to be the central plaza of the site, where the capitals of some columns lay exposed. However, the bulk of the texts and inscriptions still defied all attempts at decipherment, despite much concerted effort.

He was particularly proficient at recovering calendar dates from well-worn and weathered inscriptions, owing to his great familiarity with the various glyphic styles of the tzolk’inhaab’ and Long Count elements.

He escorted a party to the ruins of Uxmal in February, [31] on what was possibly his last visit to a Maya ruin. Together with Morley, he was most responsible for promulgating the view of the ancient Maya as peaceable astronomers, obsessed with time and calendric observations.

Recent genetic studies have shown Morley to be largely correct in this, although the beginnings of its domestication 12, to 7, years ago pre-dates the establishment of anything resembling Maya society. He supposed that the Maya writing system was one based chiefly upon ideographic or pictographic principles, and that if present any elements of phoneticism would always be “overshadow[ed]” by the ideographic meaning assigned to each glyph.

Anthropologist and Mayanist scholar archaeologyepigraphy. Some sources erroneously note his birthplace as Massachusetts, in apparent confusion with that of his cousin, also named Sylvanus Griswold Morley. Contributions to American Archaeology, No. However, the Maya did also exert a widespread influence over neighboring contemporary cultures, one which was significant and not to be overlooked.

The Ancient Maya 5th, sypvanus revised and enlarged ed.

Look in a Who’s Who in America and you will learn the facts.