Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

Since the discovery of ruined cities in the jungles of Central America in 1839, the Classic Maya civilization (250-900 AD) has been the subject of intense popular and scientific interest. Today, many lines of evidence and inquiry allow us to reconstruct and understand the ancient Maya world. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed examines the lost civilization of the Maya through the lenses of archaeology, epigraphy, ethnology, and art history. This interdisciplinary approach, coupled with the display of more than 230 objects and replicas and theatrical and interactive experiences, will appeal to Maya enthusiasts of all ages.

Features

  • 7,500-10,000 square feet
  • In excess of 230 authentic Maya archaeological artifacts
  • Half-dozen life-sized sculptural casts and environmental reproductions
  • Fully-integrated hands-on interactive stations
  • 100% bilingual—English and Spanish
  • An exhibitor friendly, turnkey operation

Costs

  • Contact Bill Maloney at bmaloney@smm.org or (651) 221-4737 for more information.

Lease Terms

  • 3 or 6-month lease
  • Inbound shipping
  • Vendor provided installation/de-installation staff to direct your assembly crew
  • Vendor provided courier/registrars to lead your object handlers
  • 3-week installation / 2 week de-installation

Traveling Exhibition Venue Schedule

LocationOpen DateClose DateStatus
Saint Paul, MNJune 2013Jan. 2014Booked
Denver, COFeb. 2014Aug. 2014Booked
Boston, MAOct. 2014May 2015Booked
San Diego, CAJune 2015Jan. 2016Booked
San Antonio, TXFeb. 2016Sept. 2016Booked
AvailableOct. 2016Jan. 2017Available
Dallas, TXFeb. 2017Sept. 2017Booked
AvailableOct. 2017Jan. 2018Available
Milwaukee, WIFeb. 2018May 2018Booked
AvailableJuly 2018Sept. 2018Available
TBDNov. 2018May 2019Pending

Note: Tentative bookings are not listed online. Please contact us to confirm the availability of the venue of your choice.

Explore Maya

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

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Stelae
Stelae
To assert their direct link to the gods, rulers commissioned carved stelae. Glyphs and images described a ruler's royal pedigree or his or her role in historical or mythological events.

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Epigraphy timeline
Epigraphy timeline
Spin the blocks to learn how scholars cracked the Maya code. An ingenious series of breakthroughs has allowed epigraphers to decipher Maya hieroglyphs and gain new understanding of ancient Maya history.

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West facade, El Castillo pyramid (replica)
West facade, El Castillo pyramid (replica)
Maya builders reflected their worldview in their colorful and imposing cities.

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Build an arch
Build an arch
Maya builders used corbeled arches to create doorways and interior spaces, which limited the size of their rooms.

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Try a tumpline
Try a tumpline
Put the block in the figure's arms and find the balance point. Then put the block on the tumpline and find the balance point. How would you prefer to carry a heavy load?

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Lift the ballgame ball
Lift the ballgame ball
How heavy is the ball? Ballplayers used a heavy, bouncy ball—a quality unknown in Europe at the time—made from natural latex mixed with juice from morning glory vines.

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Section: Making a living
Section: Making a living
In a typical Maya household, an extended family worked together to grow food, raise children, honor their ancestors, and make household items. Many households also produced woven cloth, tools, jewelry, pottery, or other goods for trade.

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Section: Death and rebirth
Section: Death and rebirth
Hidden beneath the land of the living lay the watery underworld: Xibalba. Decay and human suffering lurked in Xibalba’s shadows, but it was also a place of creation and fertility. New life sprouted in the dark and damp.

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Try using a bow drill
Try using a bow drill
Be a Maya dentist. Use the pictures to assemble your tool and get drilling. Maya dental modification, though done with tools that seem crude by our standards, yielded results that have lasted thousands of years.

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Exploring the Bonampak Mural Room Model
Exploring the Bonampak Mural Room Model
The murals of a temple at Bonampak, a Maya site in Chiapas, Mexico, provide an unparalleled view of elite life and warfare in ancient Maya society.

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Assembling Pottery
Assembling Pottery
Visitors to will piece together a Maya pot, just as an archaeologist would in a lab with sherds found in the field. They’ll see how painstaking this kind of work can be and discover what we can learn about the people who made and used them.

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Maya Calendar
Maya Calendar
Visitors to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will learn about how the Maya kept track of time and used it to predict and prepare for celestial events. Computer interactives will allow them to learn how all of the different Maya calendar systems fit together.

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Weave
Make A Pattern
The patterns express the weaver’s vision of the world and her place in it. Visitors to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will explore the history of this ancient art form and create their own patterns out of colored blocks.
Rent this exhibit

Contact Bill Maloney at bmaloney@smm.org or (651) 221-4737 for more information.