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The Source: New Exhibit Brings Maya Culture To Redesigned Witte

For more than 3,000 years the Maya civilization spread from the Yucatan out covering a third of Mesoamerica at its peak. It overlapped current-day Guatemala and Belize and western parts of El Salvador and Honduras. It developed one of the most sophisticated hieroglyphic-based writing systems in the pre-Columbian Americas. It's cities were vast, and its architecture and pyramids loomed large over the regions to this day, and while the heights of the empire collapsed for unknown reasons at its height, the Maya civilization survived until the last of its great cities was conquered by the Spanish in 1697. 

Credit Simon Burchwell / ITMB Publishing (1998) CC
ITMB Publishing (1998) CC
The Maya Civilization at its peak covered all of Belize and Guatemala, much of Southern Mexico and western portions of El Salvador and Honduras

Much of Maya culture remained, and a new exhibit at the Witte Museum is putting it front and center. "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" - which opened last weekend - marks the opening of the Mays Family Center for Special Events and Exhibitions.

The Witte continues its transformational expansion that will ultimately add 100,000 square feet to the museum's main building in addition to the new Mays Center at a cost of $100 million.


  • Dr. Harry Shafer, curator of archeaology at the Witte Museum
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive