SECRETS, SCIENCE AND COMPLEXITY OF AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION EXPLORED IN MAYA: HIDDEN WORLDS REVEALED EXHIBITION AT PEROT MUSEUM FEB. 11-SEPT. 4
Explore mysterious tombs, an underworld cave, an ancient burial site, a mural room and more than 200 artifacts, plus examine enormous temples, build arches, decipher hieroglyphs, and learn about calendar translations in the largest traveling Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S.
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DALLAS (Jan. 17, 2017) – Elaborate royal tombs, ancient languages, human sacrifice, sports and extraordinary architecture. All define the fascinating Maya civilization that is the bedrock of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s upcoming traveling exhibition – Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed – opening Feb. 11. The largest traveling Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S., the 10,000 square-foot display brings together more than 200 authentic artifacts and immersive environments to explore the astonishing accomplishments of one of the most powerful indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, which still has millions of living descendants today. Visitors will learn how the Maya built towering temples and created an intricate calendar system while discovering what archaeologists have uncovered about the once-hidden ancient Maya and the unresolved questions about why these ancient cities declined so rapidly. Through hands-on activity stations complete with video and simulations, guests can decipher hieroglyphs, learn cultural and architectural techniques, and explore an underworld cave, ancient burial site, mural room and more. The bilingual exhibition, presented in English and Spanish, requires a surcharge for members and non-members. Presented by Highland Capital Management, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will run through Sept. 4, 2017, at the Perot Museum. Member preview days are Feb. 9-10.
“What’s amazing is how advanced the Maya people were during this 2,000-plus-year period. From constructing complex architecture and cities, to their scientific contributions to astronomy, agriculture, engineering and communications, the Maya have greatly influenced today’s society,” said Dan Kohl, the Perot Museum’s interim chief executive officer. “This exhibition will be fun for the entire family. Guests will get a chance to play archaeologist, exploring a wealth of hands-on activities and making amazing discoveries just as the Maya did.”
The ancient Maya have captured imaginations since news of the discovery of ruined cities in the jungles of Central America was published in 1839. Extensive research has uncovered a culture with a sophisticated worldview that, during its Classic period (250-900 CE), rivaled any civilization in Europe. During this period, the Maya built elaborate cities without the use of the wheel, communicated using a sophisticated written language, measured time accurately with detailed calendar systems, and had an advanced understanding of astronomy and agriculture.
“Highland is delighted to bring this significant exhibition to North Texas,” said Thomas Surgent, partner and chief compliance officer for presenting sponsor Highland Capital Management. “It provides an immersive, hands-on experience that leads guests of all ages to fully understand and appreciate the sophistication of the Maya culture, and hopefully come away inspired by the innovation that took place during this period.”
Maya is designed to give visitors a glimpse at a cross-section of Maya life – from divine kings who ruled powerful cities to the artisans and laborers who formed the backbone of Maya society. Visitors will also get a close look at the scientific work being carried out at key Maya sites across Central America to understand exactly what is known of the once-hidden ancient Maya culture.
Highlights of Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed include:
- More than 200 authentic artifacts including spectacular examples of Maya artistry made by masters of their craft, along with objects from everyday life. Examples include an inkpot made out of a seashell which still retains the dried pigment colors hundreds of years after active use, numerous vessels and figurines; and more.
- Dozens of hands-on activities that dig into Maya life during the Classic period. Visitors will have a chance to decipher glyphs, decode the Maya calendar, build corbeled arches, explore tombs, investigate the Maya understanding of math and astronomy, and more.
- An exploration of Maya architecture – from its awe-inspiring temples to the simple homes of the common people. Visitors will see a huge re-created portion of a famous frieze, or 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.
- Several replica large-scale carved monuments, or stelae, that were erected in the great plazas of Maya cities. Their inscriptions have given scholars valuable insight into ancient Maya history – from royal succession to political conflicts and great battles.
- 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.
- An examination of 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 – arise throughout the exhibition.
PROGRAM EXTENSIONS. The Perot Museum will offer a myriad of Maya-related programs and events including First Thursday Late Night: Archaeology on May 4, the adults-only Social Science: Patterns on June 23, and the family-fun Discovery Days: Architecture on July 8.
HOURS. General hours of operation for the Perot Museum are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. On the first Thursday of the month, the Museum will stay open until 9 p.m. for its First Thursday Late Night public events. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Museum stays open until 6 p.m.
Member mornings. From 9-10 a.m. every Saturday and 11 a.m.-noon every Sunday, members can enjoy exclusive access to the Perot Museum and Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.
TICKETS. Museum general admission is $19 for adults (18-64), $12 for youth (2-17), $13 for seniors (65+) and free for children under 2. Museum general admission is free for members. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed requires a surcharge for a total admission cost of $29 for adults (18-64), $20 for youth (2-17), $21 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $5 for all age levels.
The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. For parking information and other details, visit perotmuseum.org or call 214-428-5555.
NOTE: To obtain the news release, Perot Museum fact sheet, photos and more, please go to perotmuseum.org/press.
About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The top cultural attraction in Dallas/Fort Worth and a Michelin Green Guide three-star destination, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit perotmuseum.org