Union Station's MAYA: The Exhibition
Related Organization: Union Station Kansas City
Welcome to a new view of the Maya people
A sophisticated civilization buried in the heart of the rainforest
Immerse yourself in the genius of the Maya – early disrupters living in cities of stone carved into the rainforest. By studying the stars they developed a calendar more accurate than any other in the world. Their discovery of the number zero opened the door for advanced mathematics. Rubber balls were essential to Maya sports centuries before the “discovery” of vulcanized rubber. And they introduced the world to chocolate. Theirs was a civilization of astronomers, mathematicians, inventors and gods.
For the first time in the United States, the mysteries of the Maya come to life. With over 300 artifacts, discover how the Maya live on today – in their inventions that continue to shape our daily lives and in the millions who carry on the Maya tradition in language and lineage.
Unearth a world of gods and innovators
In the tropical rainforests, the Classical Maya civilization reached improbable heights and mysteriously collapsed. The bustling ancient cities in the lowlands of Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras were abandoned. Yet, Maya culture has never disappeared. Their descendants still live across Central America and Maya communities have succeeded in preserving their identity, languages and traditions. Taking a cultural-ecological approach, Maya, gives a holistic image of Maya culture and shows how it has developed over time in relation to its environment—from its classical peak to the present.
Visitors can explore the awe-inspiring Maya architecture and astonishing cultural accomplishments in immersive exhibition spaces, decipher hieroglyphs, learn about the intricate Maya calendar or explore the ancient burial site of Uxul and, above all, get to know how this remarkably sophisticated civilization could built such complex cities in the middle of the jungle, why these cities were eventually abandoned and in what ways Maya culture has changed since then.