El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya – Merida
Presented here are a selection of pictures taken inside the (relatively) new, and very modern, structure of the Museum of the Mayan World in the Yucatan city of Merida.
Obviously taking pictures of such objects in the context of a museum – whose lighting and presentation are not designed for the photographer (even good ones, not such as me) – does not always lead to the desired result.
As with the slide show from the Cancun Mayan Museum these images are presented to give an impression of what was produced in the Mayan past before the Spanish came and messed things up.
Whilst not in many ways a ‘perfect’ society – after all the Maya fought against themselves and neighbours; they had slaves; there was a hierarchy of wealth and power; and they killed people out of the ignorance they were doing so to appease non-existent Gods – the Maya developed a civilisation that was very distinct from that which had developed on the other side of the wide ocean. In fact, it was probably that ‘distinctiveness’ which led the Spanish to attempt to wipe out as much of that culture as they could. This was the declared aim of the ‘extirpation of idolatry’.
They destroyed a lot – some of which was irreplaceable such as the codices (manuscripts telling the history (or myths) of the Maya from their beginnings) – but as in all part of the ‘Americas’ much survived this state sponsored vandalism and more is learnt of the pre-Colombian past as time and investigations reveal more ‘secrets’.
But through the artefacts they left behind, as well as the many thousands of examples of their architecture, we know they had accumulated an immense field of knowledge in mathematics, astronomy, physics and architecture as well as being able to cope (more often than not) with the extremities of the climate and produce enough food for them to pursue their daily activities.
The idea of these posts is to present enough clues, or pieces of the puzzle, for viewers to be able to piece together what was the Mayan culture.
Too ambitious a goal? We shall see.
Gran Museo del Mundo Maya,
09.00-17.00 everyday apart from Tuesday.
How to get there;
The Museum is in the northern outskirts of the city but can be reached by public transport via the new, blue, municipal bus service R73 which leaves the centre of Merida from Calle 63, between 58 and 56.