WACO, Texas (June 19, 2012) — Traveling through time and place, Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex will take visitors on an exotic journey and reveal secrets from the ancient Maya this summer.
Two new exhibits — Encounters with the Maya: Featuring Arkansas Discovery Network’s Mystery of the Mayan Medallion and University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Painted Metaphors— will be on display June 23 through Sept. 23 in the Thomas E. and Emilyne Weed Anding Traveling Exhibition Gallery at the museum, 1300 S. University Parks Drive in Waco.
“This summer, we have combined two exhibits similar in topic that employ different learning approaches,” said Dr. Ellie Caston, Director of Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex. “We love to provide visitors of all ages the opportunity to see unique artifacts along with the chance to engage with interactive components.”
In Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, secrets of an ancient world await visitors as they enter the world of Palenque, Mexico, where the Maya prospered for thousands of years. In this immersive exhibit created by the Arkansas Discovery Network and funded by the Donald P. Reynolds Foundation, visitors will be transported to Palenque, where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared from a dig site while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion buried in the ruins.
Parents and children can follow the clues the team left behind to locate the medallion. This exhibit uses the mystery and intrigue of the Maya empire to explore math, science and history in a way to capture the attention of all who visit.
Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya is a world-renowned collection of ancient Maya painted pottery that was excavated by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology nearly a century ago. The exhibit, which was organized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum, has been reinterpreted in light of recent research in the field so that it yields new clues to understanding everyday life—and changing politics—of the ancient Maya of Guatemala 1,300 years ago.
The exhibition focuses on the ordinary Maya, with material that reflects the ancient way of life in the form of more than 150 artifacts, including figurines, jade carvings, musical instruments, weaving implements, burial urns, cave offerings, and more. The exhibition also features photos and video of Maya life in the village of Chama today.
At the center of Painted Metaphors are almost two dozen recently conserved Maya painted vessels from Chama, a Maya village in the highlands far from the more sophisticated lowland centers of Maya culture. It was here that the museum’s archaeologist Robert Burkitt discovered this brilliantly painted pottery, unlike anything else the region had ever produced.
“What’s special about the exhibits is that they’re both telling the story of the Maya culture,” Smith said. “One is artifact rich and the other exhibit calls for audience participation. Our goal is to bring in exhibits that are rich and interactive for the public and that are family friendly, and I think that this exhibit does that exactly.
“We have some special activities that we like to include with our exhibits. Those will be offered for this exhibit from 1-3 p.m. on July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1.”
“I hope that they will continue to get a feeling that we bring in fun family exhibits for Central Texas—that they leave with a good experience as always,” Smith said. “That’s what we always strive to do – make sure all of our visitors leave with a great experience.”
Regular admission, which includes all of the Museum and the Encounters with the Maya exhibit, is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for children. The exhibition is free to all Museum members and Baylor students. This courtesy is also extended to other college and university students with a valid ID.
The exhibit opens on Saturday, June 23, with a special opening day price of $5 per person. For more information about the exhibit, contact the Mayborn Museum Complex at (254) 710-1104 or visit www.MaybornMuseum.com
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