News

November 27, 2019

First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Yurii Poliukhovich Visits University


The First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Yurii Poliukhovich, and members of the Presidium of Council of Vice-Presidents for Research paid a visit to Karazin University. The guests met with the University President, Vil Bakirov, vice-presidents and the University researchers.

Yurii Poliukhovich delivered an open lecture titled “Following the Path of Yuri Knorozov: Recent Research on the Maya Civilization” for students, faculty and staff of the Universtiy.

Vil Bakirov addressed those present, "Yuri Knorozov studied at Kharkiv University, but the war forced him to move. He made a discovery of global, even cosmic significance. When a spacecraft was launched into space, the Knorozov’s achievement — a transcript of the Mayan hieroglyphs was also placed in it. He emphasized that Yuri Knorozov was more of an “armchair” scientist, unlike Yurii Poliukhovich who is a “field” scientist and has been studying the Maya civilization for nearly 20 years.

The First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine told about his expedition to Latin America. Those present learned about the geographical and historical aspect of the research, co-existence of the Mayans and the Aztecs, unexplored territories, peculiarities of architecture, including pyramidal platforms, the uniqueness of clothing and its ornaments. The researcher stressed that the Maya peoples still exist. Today, there are more than 6 million of them speaking 28 Mayan languages. Studying the language and script of these ancient people was the main purpose of Yurii Poliukhovich’s expedition. 

The lecturer showed bright pictures and described the peculiarities of the Mayan hieroglyphs. He said that Yuri Knorozov was the first and only person who managed to read the Maya texts in the original phonetically. The first words he deciphered were “turkey” and “dog.” Currently, 1,206 signs of the Mayan languages are known, but only 50% are deciphered.

Yurii Poliukhovich told an interesting fact that there are also Mayan words in the Ukrainian language, including “hurricane”, “cocoa”, “chocolate” and “cigarettes”. He also added that many of our usual products come from Mexico and are traditional to the Mayan people: corn, tomatoes, peppers, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and more.

At the end of the lecture, the students asked the lecturer questions.

Within the framework of the visit, the guests visited the University History Museum, Museum of Archaeology, LandauCenter, got acquainted with the University’s scientific potential, scientific activity of its structural subdivisions, in particular, they visited a number of laboratories of the Schools of Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. They also got acquainted with the exhibition “Science of Karazin University: for the 215th Foundation Anniversary of the University”.

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