Five hundred years after the 16th century discovery of Mayan writings, there was little hope that the mysterious script would ever be deciphered. But in 1952, at the height of the Cold War, a little-known Russian linguist discovered the key to the Mayan writing system, a feat many considered to be the most significant archaeological accomplishment since the translation of the Rosetta Stone. Yet it would take another 20 years before the extraordinary work of Yuri Valentinovich Knorosov was properly recognized by Western scholars. After examining many unsuccessful efforts by scholars to understand the Mayan codes in the years preceding Knorosov's discovery, the program goes on to chronicle Knorosov's own archaeological journey to success. Also included are interviews with Knorosov and other Mayan scholars.
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