Opening Weekend Celebration May 5th & 6th

With collaborative excavation efforts between University of Pennsylvania and Instituto Hondureño de Antropologia e Historia of the Republic of Honduras, Penn Museum brings us closer to understanding the myths of 2012’s predicted apocalypse and the origins in ancient Maya culture.

Mayan 2012 End Of The World Prophecies
Censer Lid with Founder Portrait

I invite you to explore the extraordinary MAYA.2012: Lords Of Time exhibit to take you back to this fascinating and complex ancient Maya civilization. Explore the Maya culture: meet their royalty, the “Lords Of Time”, discover their pictorial language and numerical systems and examine some of their most fascinating monuments and artistic pieces. Stepping into this exhibit totally transports you into another world and time period.

Censer Lid with King Portrait*

Interactive exhibits enable this experience to be family friendly and extremely engaging. Expect hands-on pieces  to better describe the delicate nature of archaeological exploration and offering participation in self-discovery. Some of the interactive exhibits include interviews and videos. Another allows you to experience and experiment with the Maya Calendar, selecting anniversary dates or birth dates.

One of my favorites was the Maya Glyph Writing tool, where I created my own Maya glyph modeled after ancient Maya rulers. These can be printed to create a Maya Glyph identification card keepsake. All in all, the artifacts, more than 150, are outstanding and the artistic abilities of the Maya showcase brilliantly.

Maya Glyph Interactive Exhibit

Opening Weekend Celebration event being held on Saturday, May 5th through Sunday, May 6th from 10 AM to 4 PM. Join Penn Museum for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and lots of family activities including craft demonstrations, dance and music from Mayan and Central American culture. Obtain tickets through or by calling 888-695-0888. Ticket prices are $22.50 for adult and $16.50 for children (age 6-17) and $18.50 for seniors (65+) and military. For membership information, directions, and more please visit Penn Museum at

During the MAYA.2012 Media Preview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Simon Martin, a Co-Curator who is delighted

Copan Stell A

to bring awareness of the Maya believing that we “learn things and then communicate them with other people. We have a responsibility to tell people. “ He also shared that since he was 11 year old he had grown an enthusiasm about the Maya and studied their languages. With plans to write more books, Mr. Martin will also continue excavation efforts as “big finds” are expected from the forests of Mexico.

Excavations took place at Copan, Honduras. Copan was the capital of the Maya civilization and is located in the western part of Honduras and is traveled by hundreds of thousands tourist each year.

The Spring 2012 addition of Expedition from the University of Pennsylvania, titled Maya 2012 Lords of Time offers many fascinating articles and pictures of the excavations. It offers a great overview of the Maya Calendar system with pictorials. This magazine offers a wonderful timeline of the Maya Civilization and can be a great parental teaching tool, in highlighting particular facts of interest. Personally, I found the pictures of ruins to be amazing and enjoyed the information on current Maya culture and I appreciate the instructional diagrams outlining the meanings of the carvings in the sculptures and monuments.

Excavation of Hunal Tomb, remains of K’inich Yax K’uk Mo’ *

As an additional educational tool, Penn Museum created an interactive role-playing experience for children. Children can pick up the “Calendar Assistant” activity booklet which includes a map of the exhibit, questions to “investigate” and a key code for help along the way at the decoding stations found at certain artifacts. The tour booklet includes a profile from one of four real Scientists who contributed to the Maya 2012 Lord of Time exhibit.

All this exploration would make anyone hungry, so let’s roll out the food! The Pepper Mill Cafe will feature Daily Specials for the duration of the exhibit with Maya inspired cuisine. These tasty (and I mean really tasty) treats includes the following:

Assorted Beers (Horchata) and Monthly featured Cocktail

Yucatan Hot Chocolate for the Fall/Winter only

Corn & Green chile Soup for Spring/Summer

Pumpkin Soup in the Fall/Winter

Fresh Fried Tortilla Chips or Plantains served with Traditional Salsa, Salsa Verde & Guacamole

Pumpkin Bread with Whipped Cinnamon Butter

Marzipan, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (my favorite!)

Weekend Specials will feature menu items to include Maya ingredients. In May, The Pepper Mill Cafe will offer a Chocolate Festival and then each month will feature a different food theme such as Peppers, Herbs & Spice, Tropical Fruits and Corn as examples.

Wednesday nights The Pepper Mill Cafe will host Happy Hour with monthly drink and food specials.


There are some special events coming up (please be sure to visit their website for specific information) but here are a couple that relate to the Maya 2012 exhibit:

May 5 & 6 – Opening Weekend Ceremony

May 10th – Lords of Tequila

May 16th – Members Only event – Maya and Margaritas

June 6th – The Maya and 2012: Fact, Fantasy and Phenomenon

July 19th – Maya’s Dark Chocolate Past

Penn Museum has so much more to offer. They have over 1 million artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits. They cover every continent of our planet and hold something of interest for everyone. Please check out these Penn Museum children’s programs:

Summer Wonder Program (Wednesday mornings 10:30 – 11:30)

Penn Museum Summer Nights (Wednesday evenings 5 – 8 PM)

Anthropologists In The Making Summer Camp (ages 7-13, weekly themed activities)

40 Winks with the Sphinx (ages 6-12, overnight on select evening)

Ticket prices, exhibit information, directions, parking, menu information, events calendar and more is available on their website at

Penn Museum granted me access to their Media Preview Event. They provided written material, *photographs and in-person expert exhibit explanations during the event. I was not compensated for this review and all of the opinions expressed here are strictly mine.