The Maya created one of the great civilizations of the ancient world. They independently developed advanced writing, mathematics, timekeeping, and a cosmology. The Maya are well known for their monumental architecture and art, an elaborate body of astronomical knowledge, a complex political organization headed by royal dynasties, and the most sophisticated writing system in the ancient Americas. The great Maya cities gradually declined in a shifting pattern of rise and fall, and were eventually abandoned—yet the Maya people endure and maintain many cultural practices and beliefs that link them to their past. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed explores ancient Maya society through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the farmers, artisans, administrators, and craftsmen who supported the elite and made up the foundations of these ancient states. Premiering at the Science Museum of Minnesota in 2013, the exhibit features evocative environments, authentic artifacts and interactive activities to tell the stories of both the ancient Maya and their modern descendants.
The exhibition uses inspiring artifacts from throughout the Maya world, compelling interactive exhibits, and evocative environments to make the lives of the Maya relevant, accessible, and approachable to visitors. While much is known about the Maya elite, popular information about the Maya working classes is less accessible. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed gives visitors views of the ancient Maya that crosscut their society and geography.
Development of Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed was led by the Science Museum of Minnesota in conjunction with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Museum of Science, Boston, and the San Diego Natural History Museum.