Morley, Sylvanus Griswold

Morley, Sylvanus Griswold,

1883–1948, American archaeologist, b. Chester, Pa., grad. Harvard, 1908. A specialist in Middle American archaeology and Mayan heiroglyphs, Morley did fieldwork (1909–14) in Central America and Mexico for the School of American Archaeology. In 1915 he became research associate and in 1918 associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., a post he retained until 1940. He was director of the Carnegie Archaeological Program in the Maya area from 1914 to 1929, where he oversaw the reconstruction of Chichén Itzá. His writings include An Introduction to the Study of Maya Hieroglyphs (1915), The Inscriptions of Copán (1920), The Inscriptions of Petén (5 vol., 1938), and The Ancient Maya (1946; 3d ed. 1956, rev. by G. W. Brainerd).


See Morleyana (ed. by A. J. O. Anderson, 1950); study by R. L. Brunhouse (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Morley, Sylvanus Griswold

(1883–1948) archaeologist; born in Chester, Pa. He trained as a civil engineer before studying archaeology at Harvard. He obtained major funding for Maya research from the Carnegie Institution, and after 1914 he conducted annual excavations for nearly 40 years, notably at Copán, Honduras; Petén, Guatemala; and (1924–34) Chichén Itzá, Mexico. He wrote important works on Mayan hieroglyphics.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.