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Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya

September 18, 2010–January 3, 2011

Through artifacts, text panels, rare photographs, maps, graphics, and videos, this unique exhibit reveals the world of the Maya in the Alta Verapaz of modern Guatemala during the Late Classic era (AD 600–800).

The exhibit portrays a time of political change in a troubled outpost of the Maya world and a human story of power and intrigue among people who lived more than 1,300 years ago. Nineteen Chamá polychrome vessels, one of the most celebrated styles of Maya pottery with multihued portraits and narrative scenes, are accompanied by more than one hundred objects that illustrate Maya daily life, religious ritual, and shifts in rulership.


Exhibition organized by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Sponsored by The Hollingsworth Companies, UT Ready for the World Initiative, and the Office of the Chancellor.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.