Published On: Thu, Apr 17th, 2014

New Maya Epigraphy Center opening in Yucatán

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Thanks to the contribution of the State University of Human Science of Russia and the support of the government of Yucatan, the opening of the Russian Maya Epigraphy Center “Yuri Knórosov” was finally concreted.

Yuriy Valentinovich Knorozov was a Soviet linguist, epigrapher and ethnographer, who is particularly renowned for the pivotal role his research played in the decipherment of the Maya script, the writing system used by the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica.

This study center will help investigators, academics and students from all over the world to develop and spread the knowledge enclosed in these ancient glyphs.


The center began its operations on March 20th, 2014 which is the same date (but in 1994) that the prominent linguist Yuri Knórosov received the decoration of the Order of the Aztec Eagle -the highest decoration awarded to foreigners in the country of Mexico– due to his research work carried out in 1950 deciphering Maya hieroglyphics.

Up to that date, no other investigator had been able to decipher such intricate Maya symbols; with Knórosov’s publication “Ancient writing of Central America” archeologists were able to have a better understanding of the ancient culture.


Doctor Galina Ershova, director of the Yuri Knórosov Center, stated they will give continuity to the Russian linguist research by elaborating an epigraphic atlas of the state of Yucatan, with the work of the members of the center.

This will be carried out by taking high resolution pictures of the glyphs found on steles, murals and buildings to compile them in one publication that will be at reach for the researchers, aiding the study process.

Along with the functions in the study center will also be operating the “Casa Rusa” – cultural Russian center– offering courses, exhibitions, classes and seminars focused on promoting the Russian culture, encouraging the exchange between Mexico and Russia.


The chancellor of the University, Dr. Efim Pivovar, stated that the academics in the scientific committee of the State University of Human Studies of Russia granted the governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata Bello, the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University given his efforts in regards of the construction of the institution.


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