Part I

Knorosov Center at Xcaret, a great project for the Study of Language and Mayan Epigraphy

Interview with Paola Martin Lopez. General Manager at Knorosov Center (Centro Knórosov)

A lot has been written about Mayan history. Today, everyone seems to be an expert. However, there are different opinions about this topic: Is it possible that a scientific project aims to study history and Mayan culture in Mexico?

The answer is yes. I could not believe there was a center in Xcaret Park with open doors to the public. Mayan language will be studied with an interdisciplinary team that includes the participation of Mexican scientists. This is an achievement for our country and the analysis of our history.

With optimism, Paola Martín Lopez, General Manager of Knorosov Center gave us an interview:

Who came up with the idea of Knorosov Center?

“It came from Marcos Constandse and the knowledge he had from Yuri Knorosov, the epigrapher who deciphered the mayan code. This idea came while he was still alive. After ten years, the idea materialized with one of his disciples, Dr. Galina Ershova (Director of Knorosov Center). Architect Miguel Quintana (General Director of Xcaret) made this dream come true with the support of “Universidad Veracruzana” and the “University of Sciences of Russia”.

Prior to Yuri Knorosov, how is it possible to explain that no other Mexican has been interested in the Maya deciphering code?

Yuri Knorosov, a serious-faced figure stands at the Knorosov Center at Xcaret. Having fought in the armed forces during World War II, he graduated from Moscow State University and became interested in Mayan glyphs.

Paola Martín answers: “Our job is to awaken a worldwide interest. I had no idea about many things until I came here. Now I am very sad because we have an acceptable level of preparation, but indeed, people have no idea. From primary, secondary school, we should have learned  Pre-Hispanic history”.

What is Center Knorosov’s  long term vision?

“In three years we have to be economically self-sufficient, but projects are underway. Actually, we are supporting a major project in the archaeological site of  Tortuguero Macuspana, the “Universidad Veracruzana” provides us with two researchers, the University of Sciences of Russia provides four researchers. There are plans to bring more”.

One of the biggest challenges, Paola told us, is to make Mexicans aware of these topics. “To reach that, you have to do a lot of work at homeKnorosov Center has scheduled several research projects with the participation of Mexican scientists, the study of Mesoamerican epigraphy and hieroglyphic texts desciphered by the Knorosov method since it opened its doors in December of 2010.

To be continued …

Language Studies and Mayan Epigraphy at Knorosov Center, Xcaret.

Interview by: Arianna Bañuelos Zetina, Social Media Analyst at Experiencias Xcaret

Photo: Leonel Jesus Partido Priego, Public Relations Online Executive at Experiencias Xcaret