Yuri Knorozov : A Difficult Student

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Yuri Knorozov was born in 1922 in Kharkiv, Russia. Although Yuri’s parents were Russian intellectuals, he spent a majority of his younger life as a delinquent. Yuri has been described as “a difficult student” and was even on the boarder of being expelled from education for misbehavior when it suddenly became clear that his inquisitive temperament and extreme accuracy with attention to detail became outstandingly noticeable. In 1940, at the age of 17, Yuri left his home in Kharkiv for one in Moscow. His travel to Moscow eventually got him enrolled in Moscow State University where he studied under the newly created Department of Ethnology. The major of his study was Egyptology, and later he came to specialize in that field. However, his undergrad study was cut short as WWII came to Russia and Yuri was drafted into war in 1943. From 1943 until 1945, Yuri fought for the Red Army of Russia as an artillery spotter (a person in war who is responsible for directing artillery or mortar fire into enemy lines). In the autumn of 1945, he returned to his studies at Moscow State University in order to complete his courses. At the time, he displayed particular interest in the study of ancient writing systems. During his duration at Moscow State University, he spent a great deal of time devoted to the studying of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. This interest led him to one of his more preferred professors. This professor then helped turn Yuri’s attention from Egyptian Hieroglyphics to Mayan

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