Ahead of the opening of Maya: The Exhibition on Friday, workers at the Cincinnati Museum Center are carefully unwrapping and arranging centuries-old artifacts.
More than 300 objects representing daily life, religion, innovations, politics and more are on loan from Guatemala, including jewelry, clay figurines, stone carvings and slabs and even two tons of stella (standing stones). It has been called “the most incredible collection of real artifacts to ever leave Central America”.
After an item is removed from its packaging, it is inspected by a curator from the museum center and a person from the loan institute to ensure that the item arrives and leaves in the same condition.
“This is the first time these artifacts have been seen in the United States,” said Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center. “They’re breathtaking; they’re incredibly important to world culture and history, and I think the art and the details are going to blow people away.”
The Maya civilization was at its peak in AD 600, but dates back to 2000 BC. BC and extends over what is now Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.
“The interesting thing about the Maya is that we’ve learned so much about them in the last 10 or 15 years,” Dave Duszynski, vice president of special experiences at the Cincinnati Museum Center, told WVXU in January. “If you were to attend an exhibition on the Maya 20 years ago there would be a lot of unanswered questions, but we have learned so much in the last 10 or 15 years, especially because of our ability to do so now, the (Maya ) Language to read. “
Millions of descendants in Central America speak a Mayan language, and entire regions of countries in Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize assert and maintain their Mayan ethnic identity. The exhibition also tries to tell their stories.
The experience also includes the University of Cincinnati’s work at Maya sites in Central America. An accompanying gallery provides interactive stations and “invites guests to reflect on how the strategies of Mayan innovation and adaptation can be applied to the parallel changes we face today.”
The Maya are credited with creating the most accurate calendar in the world based on the study of the stars. Introduction of chocolate to the world; The use of rubber balls long before vulcanized rubber was “discovered” and groundbreaking in advanced mathematics.
Maya: The exhibition runs from March 14th to September 7th, 2020.