Mayan culture on display in Mexico

27th Nov 2012

The Maya: Space And Time exhibition has opened in Mexico City, showcasing an extensive range of Mayan artefacts.

It has arrived just weeks before the ancient civilisation's lunar calendar is due to end on December 21, 2012, concluding a 5,126-year cycle and resetting for another era.

Hundreds of priceless pieces are on display at Mexico City's acclaimed Museum of Anthropology, including an ancient stone tablet of the Maya calendar.

Mayans built soaring temples and elaborate palaces from modern day Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador but mysteriously abandoned their cities after dominating the region for some 2,000 years.

The impending end of the civilisation's calendar has sparked competing theories and speculation of the apocalypse and end of days.

But rather than marking the end, Alfonso De Maria Y Campos, Maya expert and director of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, said the conclusion of the calendar signals a new era for the mysterious society.

Descendants of the ancient Maya now make up one of the largest indigenous communities in Mexico.

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