Yuri Knorozov (1922-1999) was a historian and ethnographer, a linguist and epigraphist, a translator, the founder of the Soviet school of the Maya language studies.
Yuri Knorozov was born on November 19, 1922, in the Kharkov Province. In 1948, he graduated from the Faculty of History of the Moscow State University. He became interested in the problem of Maya writing while still a student. His preliminary report on deciphering was published in the Soviet Ethnography journal in 1952. This contributed to the transfer of Knorozov to the N.N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, where he was on the staff from August of 1953 until his death. In 1955, he defended his dissertation "Report on Affairs in the Yucatan" by Diego de Landa as a historical and ethnographic source, which granted him the degree of Doctor of Historical Sciences.
Besides, among the works by the scientists, we can highlight the following: his article The System of Writing of the Ancient Maya and the translation of The Yucatan Affair (1955), monograph The Writing of the Maya Indians with a dictionary and catalog of symbols (540 items) (1963), Maya Hieroglyphic Codices (translation and study of all survived manuscripts) (1975).
As a scientist, Knorozov is known for his enthusiastic promotion of mathematical methods of the study of undeciphered scripts, the application of which has yielded important results. A group of researchers headed by Yuri Knorozov over the period from the 1950s till the 1980s carried out the deciphering of the writing of Easter Island and the Indus Valley writing. In the 1980s, he visited the Kuril Islands several times, trying to solve the Ainu problem and its relationship with the peopling of America by ancestors of the Indians.
Yuri Knorozov was granted the Medal for Labor Valor (1967), the USSR State Prize (1977), the Big Gold Medal of the President of Guatemala (1990), and the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Fourth Class (1994). He was an honorary member of the Madrid Society for Mayan Studies and the National Geographic Society of the USA.
The postage stamp provides a portrait of Yuri Knorozov against the background of Mayan hieroglyphic codices.
In addition to the issue of the postage stamps, JSC Marka produced First Day Covers and special cancels for Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Design Artist: V. Khablovsky.
Face value: 40 rubles.
Stamp size: 42×30 mm, sheet size: 146×174 mm.
Emission form: a sheet with formatted margins with 15 (3×5) stamps.
Quantity: 120 thousand stamps (8 thousand sheets).