Talk about tempting fate: A traveling exhibit on Mayan culture opens at the S.C. State Museum on Saturday.
The closing date depends on how you view the hypothesis that the Mayans predicted the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012. The museum quietly offers its opinion: The last line of the news release on the exhibit says: “Secrets of the Maya” can be seen at the State Museum through June 9, 2013.
Many students of ancient civilizations pooh-pooh the “end of world” date as a modern miscalculation, or as total bunk. What’s indisputable is that the natives of Central America built an amazing culture 4,000 years ago. That’s what the museum exhibit is all about.
The exhibit features more than 125 artifacts – ceramic bowls, carved bones, musical instruments, etc. – to help explain how the people toiled, played and worshipped.
It “presents the story of the greatest civilization of the ancient New World, a civilization that continues to fascinate people today by way of its advanced innovations, such as pyramid construction, hieroglyphic writing, advanced mathematics including the concept of zero, and an accurate, 365-day calendar,” said JoAnn Zeise, curator of history at the museum.
The exhibit also details efforts beginning in 1924 to restore the Mayan Temple of the Warriors in Yucatan, Mexico, and features a photo exhibit of modern Mayans.
Admission to the Mayan exhibit is $15 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and $11 for ages 3-12. That includes general museum admission. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or online at southcarolinastatemuseum.org.