Maya Exhibit Brings Ancient World To Salt Lake City

Nov 13, 2018, 8:45 AM | Updated: 9:00 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Natural History Museum of Utah has brought a new exhibit to the state, which delves into the ancient world of the Maya.

KSL TV’s adventure specialists Trace Worthington and Sean Smith went to the museum, located at 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, on Tuesday to check out  Maya Hidden Worlds Revealed and learn something new.

“We used to be the adventure specialists,” Sean said. “Now we’re almost like the intellectual specialists because we’re brainiacs now!”

Trace and Sean spoke with Lisa Thompson, the museum’s exhibit designer.

“It’s an incredible exhibit. The Maya were an amazing civilization, created monumental architecture … they also had an incredibly sophisticated system of writing.”

The exhibit features an interactive element that allows people to create their own Maya name, where Trace and Sean even found new names for the team back in the studio.

The “intellectual specialists” also learned about how the Maya essentially invented the rubber ball.

“This rubber ball is like the one the Maya invented,” Lisa said as she lifted a ball on display. “It’s really heavy. It weighs eight pounds.”

It was used in a game where the ball was hit with the hips and thighs. The players had to wear extreme padding “so if they take a ball to the gut, their spleen won’t rupture,” Lisa said.

And if you lost? You could be ritually sacrificed.

There are more than 250 artifacts, giant immersive environments and interactive elements throughout. The exhibit runs through May 27. For more information, go to nhmu.utah.edu/museum/exhibits/maya.

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Maya Exhibit Brings Ancient World To Salt Lake City