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Gates, William Edmund

(1863-1940). Gates joined the Theosophical Society (TS) in 1887 in Cleveland, Ohio, and became president of the lodge there. Under Katherine Tingley he came to the School of Antiquity at the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, California as an expert on printing and became Press supervisor. With support from Katherine Tingley he explored the Mayan culture, was the first to reproduce Mayan glyphs in type and contributed scientific articles with technical illustrations for theosophical publications.

In 1910 by special arrangement with the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University the Commentary upon the Maya-Tzental Perez Codex, printed by the Point Loma Press, was included in the museum’s publication. In 1920 Gates served as President of the Maya Society and in 1922 he moved to Guatemala where he became Director General of the National Museum of Guatemala Archaelogy and Honorary Professor of the Museo Nacional de Mexico — the only U.S. citizen to be so honored. In 1924 Gates moved with his extensive library to New Orleans and became head of the Department of Middle American Research at Tulane University. In the 1930s he joined the staff at Johns Hopkins University and produced An Outline Dictionary of Maya Glyphs (1931) and A Grammar of Maya (1938). Altogether he wrote 20 volumes for the Maya Society, covering a wide range of research.


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