With MAYA 2012: Lords of Time — a world premiere exhibition opening May 5 — 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. (Photos courtesy Penn Museum)
It’s 2012 — that must mean the world is ending!
Well, not exactly. It turns out that there’s a lot of nuance to the oft-cited Mayan prophecy that everything is going to squat in 2012.
If you’re interested in learning more about that superstition and the culture behind it, the Penn Museum has got the perfect opportunity.
Beginning May 5, they present Maya.2012: Lords of Time, an elaborate exhibition showcasing the fascinating and mysterious Mayan people.
One of the exhibit’s foci is, naturally, the Mayan calendar. Visitors can learn about their time-focused culture and the roots of the 2012 superstition, plus why their kings were called “Lords of Time.”
There’s also plenty on the various calendars themselves, like the Sacred Round of 260 days and the 365-day Vague Year. These were sometimes combined into a system where a date would repeat only once every 52 years.
And the calendar is only the beginning of the story. Maya.2012 will also take a deep look into many facets of Mayan culture. The exhibition will include a collection of fossils just recently dug up in Honduras by Penn Museum archeologists. here will also be life-sized replicas of majestic Mayan monuments to check out, along with interactive experiences that allow visitors to hear Mayan perspectives.
Plus on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the Museum’s Pepper Mill Café will be serving a Mayan Festival menu that changes each month. May brings dishes like Chili and Chocolate Crusted Flank Steak with Ancho Chili Sauce, and Dark Chocolate and Banana Empanadas with Cinnamon Sugar Dust. And visitors can feast on a budget; entrees top out at just $7.
All of the exhibition’s parts build to a more comprehensive understanding of Mayan culture as a whole, not to mention a rare opportunity to check out some pretty cool artifacts. So if the world is actually ending this year, best to check this exhibit out before it does.
Time-coded tickets include museum admission and are available online. Check out a cool video trailer of the exhibit here.
Maya.2012: Lords of Time at the Penn Museum
When: May 5-January 13
Where: 3260 South Street
Cost: Tickets start at $16.50
More info: www.penn.museum