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versión impresa ISSN 1870-5766


TARACENA ARRIOLA, Arturo  y  SELLEN, Adam T.. Emanuel von Friedrichsthal: su viaje a América y el debate sobre el origen de la civilización maya. Península [online]. 2006, vol.1, n.2, pp.49-79. ISSN 1870-5766.

Between the years 1838 and 1841 the Austrian Baron Emanuel von Friedrichstahl was commissioned to undertake a scientific voyage to the Americas. Through a reconstruction of his voyage, the author reveals a prototype of the European intellectual, influenced by the movements of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Friedrichstahl travelled through a number of Central American countries, studying aspects of their commerce, geography and archaeology. He finally ended up in the Peninsula of Yucatan, where his research focused on the archaeological ruins and the question of their possible origin. Upon return to Europe, he presented his findings to colleagues in both London and Paris, and from these lectures the Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres published in 1841 Les Monuments del'Yucatán, translated here for the first time in Spanish. From this document it is evident that Friedrichstahl's principal merit was to be the first European to systematically describe and photograph the ruins of Chichén Itzá. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate that the polemic he entered into with his counterpart John L. Stephens regarding the origin of Maya civilization, had lasting repercussions for Yucatec society in the nineteenth century, and that these opinions formed the nucleus of that debate for many years after.

Palabras llave : Friedrichsthal; Mesoamerica; Mayas; archaeology.

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