Sylvanus Morley was an American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist
scholar who made significant contributions towards the study of the
pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the early 20th century. He is
particularly noted for his extensive excavations of the Maya site of
Chichen Itza. He also published several large compilations and
treatises on Maya hieroglyphic writing, and wrote popular accounts on
the Maya for a general audience. To his contemporaries he was one of
the leading Mesoamerican archaeologists of his day; although more
recent developments in the field have resulted in a re-evaluation of
his theories and works, his publications (particularly on calendric
inscriptions) are still cited. Overall, his commitment and enthusiasm
for Maya studies would generate the interest and win the necessary
sponsorship and backing to finance projects which would ultimately
reveal much about the Maya of former times. His involvement in
clandestine espionage activities at the behest of the U.S. Office of
Naval Intelligence was another, surprising, aspect of his career,
which came to light only well after his death.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Aboard the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin left Plymouth, England on what
became an historic expedition to South America.
A public speech by famed Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski
in Poznań sparked the Greater Poland Uprising against Germany.
International ratification of the Bretton Woods Agreement, leading to
the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed the papers that relinquished
sovereignty of most of Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.
Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet forces seized control of Kabul and
killed Afghan President Hafizullah Amin.
Wikiquote of the day:
I am on the edge of mysteries and the veil is getting thinner and
thinner. -- Louis Pasteur