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Media Room - Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed Press Photos

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

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Pyramid at Tikal

Pyramid at Tikal
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Maya cities like Tikal in Guatemala were centers of religious, commercial and bureaucratic power and were imbued with symbolism as well as functionality. Architects, artists, and laborers—who had no wheels or metal tools—incorporated the Maya worldview and social hierarchy into the city plan and buildings. Visitors to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will explore Maya architecture and even try their hands at building corbeled arches, using a tumpline, just as Maya builders and laborers would have, and more.

Maya makes its world premiere at the Science Museum of Minnesota on June 21, 2013.

Image © Kenneth Garrett 2013.

 

Jade Mask

Jade Mosaic Mask
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This mask is one of more than 250 authentic artifacts featured the Science Museum of Minnesota's Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibition. Mosaic masks like this one are spectacular—but relatively uncommon—artifacts found in the tombs of kings.

The mask was found in the tomb of Great Scrolled Skull, a ruler of Santa Rita Corozal in Belize during the Early Classic period (AD 250-900). A symbol of power, Great Scrolled Skull probably wore it as an ornament on his belt or on a necklace. The mask's jade, shell, and obsidian were attached to an organic backing that had decomposed, so when it was found, it was a pile of chips that had to be put back together.

Maya makes its world premiere at the Science Museum of Minnesota on June 21, 2013.

Image courtesy of the National Institute of Culture and History.

 

Inkwell

Inkwell
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A Maya scribe used this halved conch shell for mixing and storing paints. While shell ink pots often appear in Maya art, few actually survive.

This inkpot is one of more than 250 authentic artifacts featured in Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, which makes its world premiere at the Science Museum of Minnesota on Friday, June 21. The artifacts, along with hands-on activities and immersive environments, will give visitors a glimpse at a cross-section of Maya life during the Classic period, when their culture rivaled any civilization in Europe.

Image courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota.

 

Conch Blower

Conch Blower
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This conch blower figurine, which appears in Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at the Science Museum of Minnesota, dates to the Postclassic period (10th to early 16th century) at Santa Rita Corozal in Belize. Since it was uncovered in a cache that was buried as part of a new year/renewal ceremony to mark the turning over of one period and the beginning of another, researchers believe the conch blower is calling in the new year.

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed makes its world premiere at the Science Museum on June 21, 2013.

Image courtesy of the National Institute of Culture and History.

 

Bloodletting Bowl

Bloodletting Bowl
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This figure, one of more than 250 artifacts featured in the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota, captures the moments prior to a Maya bloodletting ritual. The man's position in front of the deep bowl, the bloodletting knots on his head and the cloth strips in his earlobes all indicate the ritual to come.

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed makes its world premiere at the Science Museum on June 21, 2013.

Image courtesy of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

 

Incensario

Incensario
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On this incensario, or urn, a god emerges from the jaws of a fanged creature. Fish barbels at the corners of his mouth indicate that he's surfaced from the watery underworld. His filed teeth form a T-shape—the Maya sign for "wind" and "breath."

Visitors to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, which makes its world premiere at the Science Museum of Minnesota on June 21, 2013, will learn about the themes of death and rebirth, a critical part of the mysterious ancient Maya worldview.

Image courtesy of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.