Cancun Opens New Mayan Museum


The newest showcase of Mayan artifacts opened in Cancun this week.

The Mayan Museum of Cancun is Mexico’s newest home for priceless artifacts belonging to the mysterious ancient civilization.

[Adrian Velazquez, National Institute of Anthropology and History]:
“It is a museum that has an archaeological collection that would be very difficult for another museum to have. It has the most impressive collection of archaeology in Quintana Roo (state) that you could see in one place. It has a very important display of Mayan archaeology from different regions.”

Featuring ancient skeletal remains, intricate artwork and decorative pottery, the museum covers various eras of the Maya. These date as far back as 350 BCE to 1550 ACE.

The state-of-the-art museum is nestled between Cancun’s famed archaeological zones and features three exhibition rooms dedicated to all things Maya.

[Adrian Velazquez, National Institute of Anthropology & History]:
“Cancun is an area that has three archaeological zones: El Rey, San Miguelito and Meco. It was important to give it some context that would be an invitation to all domestic and international visitors so that, after their museum visit, they would be interested in visiting archaeological zones and also on the other hand, to reach out to the local population so that this museum can be theirs and this pre-Hispanic history of the region theirs.”

The museum’s opening comes just weeks before the Mayan calendar is due to end on December 21, 2012.

According to some experts, the conclusion of the 5,126-year Mayan calendar will mark the end of the world.

The Maya were among the great ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica. They built cities with elaborate ceremonial centers and soaring stone pyramids in what’s now Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Dominating the region for some 2,000 years, the ancient civilization mysteriously abandoned its cities around 900 ACE.