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Maya: Secrets of Their Ancient World

Hot Attraction: Mysteries of the Maya

 

A ceramic bowl depicting a bird from the Late Classic Period (600-900 CE).
Photo ©CONACULTA.-INAH.-MEX. Jorge Vertiz 2011

The mysteries behind the enigmatic Maya civilization are uncovered in “Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World,” a captivating exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Through nearly 250 stunning artefacts, visitors can learn about the temples, cities, languages, life cycles and beliefs of the Classic and Post-Classic Mayas — and uncover the truth behind the 2012 end-of-days legend. May 18 to Oct. 28. 

Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. www.civilization.ca.

Hot Art: The ROM Reveals Maya Secrets

Stone relief of Kan Joy Chitam, ruler of the Palenque city-state from 529 to 565 CE (© Conaculta-INAH, Javier Hinojosa)

NOVEMBER 19 TO APRIL 9 From a sophisticated writing system to an outsized pantheon of gods, incredible architecture to ingenious agricultural methods, it would seem that the Maya had it all. Though centuries of conquest and colonization—and perhaps other, more mysterious forces—precipitated decline, the Royal Ontario Museum shows that the civilization remains a fascinating example of early Mesoamerica’s cultural, political and scientific richness. Focusing on the Classic Period of Mayan history, from 250 to 900 CE, the blockbuster exhibition Maya: Secrets of Their Ancient World assembles almost 250 stunning artifacts that reveal the connections between a highly developed people and the world in which they thrived.