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Morley maintained that ancient Maya society was essentially a united theocracyand one which was almost exclusively devoted to astronomical observations and mystically noting even “worshipping” the passage of time. In retrospect, these breakthroughs may have been realized earlier had it not been for Morley’s, and later Eric Thompson’s, almost “on principle” position against the phonetic approach.

Several times Morley needed to convince suspicious soldiers of his bona fidesand was almost unmasked on occasion. University of Oklahoma Press.

Catalog Record: La civilización maya | Hathi Trust Digital Library

In general, Morley held that the ancient Maya had been the pre-eminent mays of Mesoamerica, from which morlet cultures had drawn their influences. Morley made some significant contributions to the definition of a particular “Santa Fe” style of pre-Columbian architecture. Thompson himself would later remark in reference to his time working for Carnegie: In common with most other Maya scholars, Morley was particularly interested in the maa nature of the Maya script.

Yet in his focus on calendric details, he would often overlook or even neglect the documentation of other non-calendric aspects of the Maya script; the comprehensiveness of some of his publications suffered much as a result. However, the Carnegie excavations did add significantly to the corpus of available information, and are notable for their scope alone, if not for fine details and quality of research.


Sylvanus Morley

The later years of the project would increasingly concentrate on completing the restorative work on the principal structures, for Morley always had an eye on the dual purpose of the project: The Jean Charlot Modley. Quotation as cited in Coep. He escorted a party to the ruins of Uxmal in February, [31] on what was possibly his last visit to a Maya ruin. Morley was to devote the most of the next two decades working in the Maya region, overseeing the seasonal archaeological digs and restoration projects, returning to the United States in the off-season to give a series of lectures on his finds.

Rider Haggardbased on tales of the “lost cities” of Central America, was a particular favorite of the young Morley. 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.

Catalog Record: La civilización maya | Hathi Trust Digital Library

The Sacred and the Profane: Look sylvaus a Who’s Who in America and you will learn the facts. He wrote in”time, in its various manifestations, the accurate record of its principal phenomena, constitutes the majority of Maya writing.

This Morley is perhaps best known to students of American culture for his early interest in old covered bridges as historical structures. As a director of archaeological excavation projects, Sylvanus Morley was well regarded and liked by his colleagues and his Carnegie board employers, his later movement to “lighter duties” notwithstanding.

University of New Mexico Press. This post offered Thompson far greater freedom and diversity for his research. Confusingly, and remarkably, there were actually two Sylvanus Griswold Morleys whose careers were contemporaneous. Breaking the Maya Code.

Later evidence suggested that the actual year of this invasion wasand sylvnus its leader with a legendary Toltec ruler called Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl after the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl K’ulk’ulkan in Yucatec. Several later archaeologists would recall that their sylanus exposure to these articles, “vividly illustrated with a color rendition of a purported virgin in filmy huipil [a type of clothing] being hurled into the Sacred Cenote”, had drawn them into the field in the first place.


In addition to his scholarly work, Morley thought it important to share his enthusiasm for the ancient Maya with the public.

La civilización maya – Sylvanus Griswold Morley – Google Books

Inat the urging of executive committee member William Barclay Parsonsthe Carnegie Institution announced it would fund a department of anthropology. Because of cost and schedule overruns as well as criticisms of the quality of some of the research produced, the Carnegie board began to believe that managing multiple projects civilizacioj not Morley’s forte.

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”. After the cifilizacion Morley went to work permanently for the SAA, and over the next several years alternated his fieldwork assignments between the Southwest, and Mexico and Central America.

In support of his view, Morley devised a 4-tier classification system of relative importance, which he ascribed to all of the then-known main Maya sites morey ; many more sites are now known, and his classification system is now seen as an arbitrary one, contradicted in places by the sites’ texts which can now be substantially read.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.