Skip to main content

Utah Reveals Hidden Worlds of Ancient Maya Civilization

Opening day event ¡Celebracion! A Tapestry of Culture to feature living traditions of the indigenous people of Central America and Mexico

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Natural History Museum of Utah will debut its newest traveling exhibit, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Rio Tinto Center, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City. This guest exhibit which runs through May 27, 2019, captures the sophistication and brilliance of the incredible Maya civilization that rivaled contemporary civilizations in Europe. The exhibit is 100 percent bilingual with information presented in English and Spanish.


Ancient Maya civilization was advanced, complex and well-known for monumental architecture and distinctive art styles, deep knowledge of astronomy and time-reckoning and some of the most sophisticated writing systems in the ancient world. Guests will discover what archaeologists know about the ancient Maya as the exhibit explores the fascinating social, natural and spiritual realms of the ancient Maya through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the lesser-known people who were the backbone of Maya society.


“This exhibit allows guests to encounter the richness of Maya culture,” said Museum Executive Director Sarah George. “Here, visitors will get an in-depth look into the culture, traditions and beliefs held by the ancient Maya people, and explore the hidden worlds of the Maya past and present. We are thrilled to have such a beautiful and insightful exhibit and encourage the community to tour the exhibit in the months to come.”


The exhibit tells the story of ancient Mayans and their modern descendants through its immersive environments, more than 250 authentic and rare artifacts and several engaging hands-on activities.


In conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, the Museum invites the community to come to ¡Celebracion! A Tapestry of Culture, a cultural event featuring the living traditions of the indigenous people of Central America and Mexico held on opening day Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event will feature traditional weaving, corn husk creations and metal work demonstrations by artists and craftspeople, an archaeology lecture, music, dancing, traditional foods including sampling of chocolate sourced from present-day Mayan countries, Maya ancestry experts and children’s activities.


Additional special events and workshops related to Maya will be featured at the Natural History Museum of Utah during the exhibit’s run. The Museum also features 10 permanent galleries for discovery including Past Worlds, Great Salt Lake, Native Voices, Land and much more. Entrance into ¡Celebracion! and Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed are included in the Museum’s price of general admission.

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed was created by the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Museum of Science, Boston. The exhibit is locally support by major sponsor, Meldrum Foundation and exhibit sponsors Emma Eccles Jones Foundation and The Same and Diane Stewart Family Foundation.

For more information, visit or call 801.581.4303.


About the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah is a premier scientific research and cultural institution. It opened to the public in 1969 and moved into a spectacular, award-winning new home in 2011 at the Rio Tinto Center in Salt Lake City. The museum’s 30 scientists oversee active field research programs throughout Utah and elsewhere and help care for natural history collections of more 1.6 million objects. The museum offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including timely and interactive temporary and permanent exhibits, numerous special events and other programs. The museum reaches 450,000 people annually on-site and in communities and classrooms statewide.