In addition to overseeing the loaning of important artefacts to the museum for the next few years, Dr Awe is working with Dr Fleming’s team to ensure that the exhibition works as an experience that draws visitors into realities of the ancient Maya civilisation, from the viewpoints of the spiritually inclined ruling elite to common villagers.
It will also draw attention to the fact that Belize, a small Caribbean nation with some 12% of its population of under 340,000 people as Maya, was the cradle of the rich ancient Maya civilisation. Dr Fleming agrees with Mr Young and Belize Natural History Centre that Belize’s role in that regard has been downplayed, and he hopes the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will rectify that lack of perception.
“We now know that Belize is really in the heartland, in the centre, of the Maya world,” Dr Fleming said.
And now many more people will too, Mr Young added.
“The exhibition is expected to travel to Denver, San Diego and finally to Boston, so hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people will get a taste of ancient Belizean Maya life in what will be the largest exhibition ever staged by the Science Museum of Minnesota,” Mr Young said.
Mr Young said he hopes that the exhibition will spur more people to come to Belize to have a taste of Maya village life though the homestay programs in Maya villages today, where day-to-day life and many customs remain largely unchanged, from farming techniques down to making tortillas and drinking hot chocolate, another Maya invention, for breakfast.
“And, of course Chaa Creek’s 365 acre private nature reserve is filled with some 70 Maya sites, as well as the Maya Medicinal Plant trail, Maya Organic Farm, the Belize Natural History Centre and the eco resort offers all-inclusive Maya vacation packages,” Mr Young explained.
“While the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibition won’t have the same effect of actually walking around Belize’s ancient Maya archaeological sites such as the massive ancient metropolis of Caracol or the artefact-rich Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, it is, as they say, the next best thing to being there,” he said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is an award winning eco resort set within a 365 acre private nature reserve in Belize.