Through rare and recently excavated artifacts Heavenly Jade of the Maya is an exhibition that tells the story of the role Maya kings and queens played in perpetuating the exceptional achievements of their civilization. It was through their efforts, and the cosmological outlook they embraced, that Maya culture arose in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Belize about 900 BCE.
Guatemala is the heartland of Maya culture and the home of the Motagua River Valley, the source of all known Mesoamerican jade—the most precious object of the Maya. This highly advanced civilization flourished in the Petén lowlands until about 900 CE and became known for its grand cities replete with temples, palaces, and tombs. Some of the earliest Mesoamerican cities, as well as powerful Maya kingdoms such as Tikal, are located in the Petén lowlands of Guatemala. In recent years, the area has been at the center of new discoveries about the Maya. At sites called Cival, Holmul, and El Peru-Waka’, archaeologists have uncovered fabulous artifacts that bring this civilization into focus and reveal fascinating new information about the role of Maya royalty in maintaining their world order. El Peru-Waka’ has produced a complete jade battle headdress of a Maya queen who was also bedecked in jade jewelry. At the same site, an impressive jade and shell headdress of a Maya king was found.
For Maya nobles, however, jade was more than mere beautiful decoration; it symbolized the earthly center of the universe and embodied fundamental aspects of nature including water, corn and fertility. Among the more than 90 objects in this exhibition are marvelous jade objects as well as other artifacts from temple offerings and royal tombs, including painted ceramics and artifacts of stone, obsidian and shell. These objects tell the story of the Maya, their jade-hued jungle paradise and their incredible accomplishments.
To find out more about the exhibition please contact our partner
Exhibits Development Group
Tel. +1 651 222 1121