User:KurstORourke/Philipp J. J. Valentini

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Philipp J. J. Valentini
Occupation explorer and archaeologist
Nationality  Germany  USA
Subject Maya civilization, Mexican calendar stone

Philipp Johann Joseph Valentini (1828 – March 16, 1899) [1] was an explorer and archaeologist of the Central American Pre-Columbian cultures. He worked extensively on diciphering the Mexican calendar stone.


Philipp J. J. Valentini was born to a German mother and Italian father in Berlin, Germany in 1828. His father was probably a tutor at the royal court of Prussia. He attended the Gymnasium of Torgau and later the University of Berlin before he left Germany for Costa Rica where he founded the seaport Puerto Limón under government auspices in 1854. [1][2]

In 1858 he returned to Germany to obtain a Ph.D. at the University of Jena, writing his dissertation about the early history of Costa Rica. From 1861 to 1871 Valentini went back once again to Costa Rica to work as a coffee planter, but travelled extensively in Central America. After 1871 he went to New York where he spent the rest of his life until his death in March 1899. [2]


Articles in Scientific Magazines
The Mexican Calender Stone in "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society" No. 71, p. 91 (April 1878)
Mexican Copper Tools in "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society" No. 73, p. 81 (April 1879)
Katunes of the Maya History in "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society" No. 74, p. 71 (October 1879)
The Landa Alphabet in "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society" No. 75, p. 59 (April 1880)
Mexican Paper in "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society" No. 76, p. 58 (October 1880)
A new, and an old Map of Yucatan in "Magazine of American History" (1879)

These there at least partially released later in book format.

Other Works
Two Mexican Chal chihuites (1881)
The Olmecas and the Tul tecas (1883)
A Study of the Voyage of Pinzon to America (1898)

Note: Most of the texts have been translated to English by Stephen Salisbury Jr.


  1. ^ a b Encyclopedia Americana (1918-1920), Vol. XXVII, p. 645-646 online version at (last viewed May 24th, 2011)
  2. ^ a b Stephen D. Houston, Oswaldo Fernando Chinchilla Mazariegos, David Stuart (editors): The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing, Univ. of Oklahoma Press (Mai 2001), p. 97; ISBN 978-0806132044

Further Reading[edit]

Category:1828 births Category:1899 deaths Category:Mayanists Category:19th-century archaeologists Category:American people of German descent Category:American archaeologists Category:German archaeologists