Napoleon Cordy

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Hannibal Napoleon David Alfred Thomas (“Nap”) Cordy (July 29, 1902 — January 30, 1977) was an amateur scholar in the field of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, who made some notable contributions in the 1930s and 1940s to the early study and decipherment of the Maya script, used by the pre-Columbian Maya of southern Mexico and northern Central America.

Life and accomplishments[edit]

Cordy was born in 1902 in Cheltenham, England. His family emigrated to the United States in 1913, settling in Globe, Arizona.[1] The son of a coal and copper miner, Cordy briefly studied mining engineering at the University of Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1922.[2]

While working as an electrician at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1922–62, Cordy became fascinated with the Maya civilization, especially Maya hieroglyphs. He wrote a number of articles on the subject for various publications, and was a respected contributor to the journal The Masterkey, published by the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles. He was also a founding member of the Southwestern Anthropological Association.[3] Cordy died in Los Angeles in 1977, aged 74.[2]

His daughter, Alana Cordy-Collins, became an anthropologist/archaeologist, specializing in the Peruvian prehistory, especially the Chavin and Moche civilizations. She is a professor of anthropology at the University of San Diego. A cousin, Ross Cordy, is an anthropologist specializing in Polynesian civilizations. He is chief archaeologist for the state of Hawaii’s Historic Preservation Division and teaches at the University of Hawaii.

Publications[edit]

Cordy's publications include:[4]

  • "Meaning of Maya day-names". The Masterkey 5 (5): pp.135–144. 1931. 
  • "Origin of the Tonalamatl". The Masterkey 7: p.80. 1933. 
  • "Cardinal point south in Maya language and glyph and its implications". Maya Research 3: pp.326–329. 1936. 
  • "The Maya Year at the Inauguration of the Calendar". unknown: 14 leaves. 1940. 
  • "Examples of phonetic construction in Maya hieroglyphs". American Antiquity (American Antiquity, Vol. 12, No. 2) 12 (2): pp.108–117. 1946. doi:10.2307/275343. ISSN 0002-7316. JSTOR 275343. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hughes (1989).
  2. ^ a b "Napoleon Cordy (1902 - 1977)", AskART; Hughes (1989)
  3. ^ SWAA, "Early History of SWAA," http://www.csus.edu/org/swaa/about_swaa/early_swaa.html
  4. ^ Drawn from listing at Bibliografía Mesoamericana

References[edit]

External links[edit]