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Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

On View February 13 – May 9, 2021

Exhibit Highlights

  • More than 200 authentic artifacts, including spectacular examples of Maya artistry made by masters of their craft, along with objects from everyday life, are featured. Examples include an inkpot made out of a seashell with remnants of the dried pigment colors hundreds of years after active use, as well as numerous vessels, figurines, and more.
  • Hands-on activities dig into Maya life during the Classic period. Visitors will have a chance to build corbeled arches, explore tombs, investigate the Maya understanding of math and astronomy, and more.
  • Visitors can explore Maya architecture—from awe-inspiring temples to the simple homes of common people—including a recreated portion of a famous frieze (a richly ornamented exterior wall portion) from the El Castillo pyramid in Xunantunich, a Maya civic ceremonial center. Guests will marvel at its size and detail, and then watch as modern technology is used to make the ancient frieze’s vivid colors emerge once again to their original vibrancy.
  • Guests can also view a replica of a large-scale carved monument, or stelae, that was erected in the great plaza of a Maya city. Their inscriptions have given scholars valuable insight into ancient Maya history – from royal succession to political conflicts and great battles.
  • The exhibit also features a re-creation of the elaborate royal tomb of the Great Scrolled Skull in Santa Rita Corozal, a Maya site in Belize. Visitors will see the full tomb assemblage, which features jade, jewels, pottery and more, and explore the fascinating story that the artifacts reveal about the politics and economics of this Maya city
  • Maya also examines the concepts of ritual and human sacrifice that allowed the Maya to transcend the earthly world and speak with the gods of the underworld. Visitors will see the concepts of death and rebirth – concepts that were essential to the Maya – portrayed throughout the exhibition.

After-hours access to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed available during select events, including Museum Chills & Science Thrills, February 27, and Fernbank After DarkMarch 12, April 9 and May 7

Cost: Included with museum admission. Members FREE.

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed is presented in English and Spanish. 

Marquee photos: (Left) © Denver Museum of Nature & Science/Rick Wicker; (Right) © Treleven Photography