Secrets of the Maya
The lives and advanced culture of the ancient Indians of Central America are revealed to exciting effect in the South Carolina State Museum’s new blockbuster exhibit Secrets of the Maya.
Secrets of the Maya combines more than 125 artifacts dating to 2000 B.C., a gallery of photos, reproductions of stone carvings, and artifacts made by the Maya people who survive today to paint a clearer portrait than has previously been seen of this historically mysterious culture.
“This exciting new major exhibit presents the story of the greatest civilization of the ancient New World, a civilization that continues to fascinate people today by way of its advanced innovations, such as pyramid construction, hieroglyphic writing, advanced mathematics including the concept of zero, and an accurate, 365-day calendar,” said Curator of History JoAnn Zeise. “This is an incredible opportunity for the State Museum and for all South Carolinians and their guests.”
Secrets of the Maya will showcase the lives of these masters of Central America. How they lived, played, worshipped and more will be illustrated through centuries-old artifacts and newly- made items by the Maya who survive today.
Visitors to Secrets of the Maya will see such intriguing items as beautiful painted ceramic bowls, carved bones used for auto-sacrificial rites, ceramic figurines and incense burners, musical instruments, club heads and much more.
These symbols of the everyday lives of the Maya, as well as articles from special ceremonies, allow visitors to see into the past and marvel at the high degree of civilization of these ancient people, said Zeise.
Secrets of the Maya will unfold through several distinct sections, said the curator. “Art of Sky, Art of Earth will show, through more than 100 artifacts, the structure of the Maya cosmos – the harmonious and orderly universe – through images on art and artifacts.
“In Temple of the Warriors: Rebuilding a Maya Monument, visitors will learn of the four-year effort, beginning in 1924, to restore the majestic Temple of the Warriors in the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico.
Secrets of the Maya contains fascinating artifacts, photos and information about the ancient Maya society in Central America. "
“Images of the Maya will bring the ancient to the 21st century, through the award-winning photographs of Jeffrey J. Foxx. The images provide a rich visual portrayal of the Maya living in Chiapas, Mexico.”
In addition, realistic reproductions will show museum guests a life-size recreation of an ancient Maya hut; rubbings from Maya temples; a walk-through corbelled arch; large murals of temples, the ancient Maya landscape, contemporary Maya culture; and more.
The exhibit also contains hands-on features such as a children’s clay area with samples of Maya pottery, as well as Maya jungle puppets.
“And this is just a sample of the many captivating items and facts that will intrigue and enlighten all visitors to Secrets of the Maya,” said Zeise.
Admission to Secrets of the Maya is $15 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and $11 for ages 3-12, and includes general museum admission. South Carolina students in groups are admitted to the exhibit for $5.
Tickets can be purchased, and information can be found, on the museum’s Web site, southcarolinastatemuseum.org.
Secrets of the Maya can be seen at the State Museum through June 9, 2013.