Fun Magazine, August 2002
Maya: Mysteries in the Jungle"
Compiled by Li Shya
Translated by Cheryl Robbins
tropical rain forests of Mesoamerica hold many mysteries,
but none are more amazing than the Mayan civilization that
thrived deep within its jungles from the third to the tenth
centuries. Mayan achievements - awe-inspiring temples, a
highly evolved calendar and sophisticated writing system,
to name just a few - are remarkable even by today's standards.
You can catch a glimpse of Mayan culture at the National
Museum of History, where one hundred fifteen artifacts are
on special loan from the NAME OF INSTITUTION, Guatemala.
The display is thematically arranged in five galleries.
"Rain Forest" provides an introductory overview
of the region and of ancient city ruins. "Amazing
Discoveries" presents earthenware vessels, and
jade and shell ornaments that reveal aspects of daily
life. The Mayan world comes dramatically into view as
visitors enter "The Mysterious City Nation"
through a recreated city gate. Exhibits here reveal
a complex social and religious order, and fantastic
creatures and exotic jungle species used as visual motifs.
and Earth", highlighting Mayan belief, and "The
Eternal Wisdom of the Maya", perspectives on achievements
in math and astronomy, round out this incredible display.
range from Pre-Classic to Post Classic periods and span
more than 2,500 years including the evolution of Mayan culture
through its downfall. A rudimentary stone pestle (ca. 1,000-250BC)
hints at the advanced civilization that would follow.
A well-developed agricultural system, elaborate monuments,
a sophisticated cosmic view and ritual sacrifice mark
the Classic Period. Polychrome clay wares used in ceremony
and dated to this period are on view; their designs
include captivating images of warriors feasting before
battle and delicate hieroglyphics all painted in warm
earth tones. A red terracotta vessel with figures and
pictographs painted in what is known as "Mayan
blue" is a rare example. Jade wristlets, earrings,
gems and precious funerary objects buried in tombs of
the nobility are also on view.
"Maya. Mysteries in the Jungle" shares remarkable treasures
with museum lovers in Taiwan.
Special thanks to Ms. Wang Wan-ru and Ms. Lin Hsiao-yu
of the Taiwan Museum of Art and Ms. Kuo Hui-miao of
the National History Museum for providing information.