Following the footsteps of the Maya World at Knórosov Center
Interview with Rogelio Valencia Rivera, Academic Director at Knorosov Center
After a brief tour at the Knorosov Center we stoped at the Library. A collection of books and research on Mayan deciphering will be opened to the public soon.
The Xcaret compendium of Maya hieroglyphic deciphered by Yuri Knorosov
“Understanding the Mayas is not only a matter of reading what they wrote” a second voice responds. We are ready for the second interview with Rogelio Valencia, Academic Director of Knórosov Center.
How did your get interested in the Mayan culture?
It was love at first sight. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a child, but my parents discouraged me. I went to the British Museum and assisted a Congress on Mayan studies and epigraphy (…) I left my PhD and changed it for one in Anthropology.
Which is the most beautiful experience you remember?
The work I do in Calakmul, an archaeological site in Campeche. I have the opportunity to see amazing things over there. I work as one of the epigraphers of the team. I make a photographic record of the monuments and then make drawings and interpretation, along with iconography.
In addition to his career, Rogelio carries out research at Knórosov Center. His work includes information analysis and interpretation as part of the Center’s mission to integrate interdisciplinary group of researchers specializing in Mayan epigraphy through the Knórosov method.
What do you think is the greatest legacy of the Mayas?
The writing system, very innovative in its style and a very particular way of understanding the world. The record we have of the Prehispanic period is limited, we only hear the voice of the Mighty. But, for that reason we need archeology, to seek a coherent explanation for everything we see as a cultural material record.
How do you think the Mayans really perceived the theme of 2012?
As a renewal effort. It doesn’t mean we will do it the same way. The date of the creation is important, but that has already happened. Remember that myths are the history of their time. The only evidence that speaks of 2012 is in the archaeological site of “Tortuguero“. If it was really important we would see it everywhere. Never in the mind of the Mayas was the possibility that the world would come to an end.
Rogelio recommended us to never fall into misconceptions. As Mexican it is important to lead these issues with a sense of responsibility and expertise including reading and studying texts via web. Also, there are several of research Centers and Universities specialized in the Mayas.
We recommend the following link to begin your study: Breaking The Maya Code: A fascinating world of writing
We also invite you to follow the activities of Knorosov Center through its Facebook page and read Part I of this interview: Knorosov Center at Xcaret, a great project for the Study of Language and Mayan Epigraphy
Interview by: Arianna Bañuelos Zetina, Social Media Analyst at Experience Xcaret
Photo: Leonel Partido, Public Relations Executive Online at Experience Xcaret