Did the Maya believe the world would end in December 2012?
With MAYA 2012: Lords of Timeâ€”a world premiere exhibition opening May 5thâ€”the Penn Museum confronts the current fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Instituto HondureĂ±o de Antropologia e Historia of the Republic of Honduras, and runs through January 13, 2013.
His Excellency Porfirio Lobo Sosa, President of the Republic of Honduras, joins Penn Museum Director Richard Hodges to cut the ribbon and open the exhibition to the public at 10 am Saturday, May 5. An Opening Weekend Celebration, co-sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Center, features Mayan and Central American music, dance, weaving and craft demonstrations, and family craft activities in the Museum Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Timed tickets to the exhibition (includes admission to the Museum) are on sale by phone at (888) 695-0888, or through the Museumâ€™s website www.penn.museum/2012.
MAYA 2012 leads visitors on a journey through the Mayaâ€™s time-ordered universe, expressed through their intricate calendar systems, and the power wielded by their divine kings, the astounding â€ślords of time.â€ť Visitors explore the Maya world through a range of interactive experiences and walk among sculptures and full-sized replicas of major monuments while uncovering the truth behind these apocalyptic predictions.
The exhibition features more than 150 remarkable objects, including artifacts recently excavated by Penn Museum archaeologists at the site of Copan, Honduras, and on loan from the Instituto HondureĂ±o de Antropologia e Historia. Visitors follow the rise and fall of Copan, moving across the centuries to discover how Maya ideas about time and the calendar have changed up to the present day. Contemporary Maya speak to their own heritage and concerns for the future.
â€śMAYA 2012 offers visitors a rare opportunity to view spectacular examples of Classic Maya artâ€”some of which have never before been seen outside Hondurasâ€”and delve into the Maya peopleâ€™s extraordinary, layered, and shifting concepts about time,â€ť noted Exhibition Curator Dr. Loa Traxler. â€śMAYA 2012: Lords of Time uncovers a history and culture far richer and more surprising than commonly supposed.â€ť
Dr. Traxler, Mellon Associate Deputy Director of the Penn Museum and co-author of The Ancient Maya, (Sixth Edition, 2006), is an archaeologist who excavated at the site of Copan from 1989 through 2003. Simon Martin, Associate Curator of the Museumâ€™s American Section and a leading Maya epigrapher, is co-curator of the exhibition.
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