MAYA 2012: Lords of Time
On May 5, 2012, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) opened their world premiere exhibition MAYA 2012: Lords of Time. This timely exhibition explores the Maya's sophisticated systems of language and time and the complex artifacts they created for their god-like kings. The exhibition also easily disproves the myth that the Maya predicted the end of the world would happen on approximately December 21st of this year.
For this exhibition, Bluecadet created three interactives—two touchscreens and a multi-player touch table experience—and two immersive projections.
Glyph Writing Interactive
Visitors explore the basics of how Maya hieroglyphic writing works, dissect an ancient King’s name, create their own Maya hieroglyphic avatars, and print out their personalized glyphs.
Maya Calendar Interactive
Through the analogy of an interlocking system of gears, visitors see how the Maya Calendar works and how it aligns with the Gregorian (Western) calendar. This interactive—the only fully accurate and interactive Maya calendar—offers visitors the opportunity to see any Common Era date align with the Maya calendar, enter their birthday, and create and print out a birthday stela that features their personal Maya avatar.
Hunal Burial Interactive
Up to four visitors simultaneously explore a tomb from the ancient Maya city of Copan. Beginning with a 3-dimensional model that orients visitors to where the tomb sits within the site, an animated transition leads visitors inside the burial chamber. Through intuitive gestures, visitors wipe away the debris covering the burial slab to reveal the remains buried beneath. Users stand at one of four color-coded stations as they discover artifacts and uncover grave goods. Each station collects the users’ discoveries so that they can be revisited at any time. Visitors also use x-ray viewers to explore underneath the burial slab and uncover additional artifacts. By working collaboratively to find all of the artifacts, visitors ultimately discover the identity of the Maya king they have unearthed.
Maya Calendar Projection
Complimenting the Maya Calendar Interactive, the projection offers visitors a short and simple introduction to the Maya Calendar.
Night Sky Projection
Visitors entering the second gallery are greeted by a nearly 30’ wide projection on a curved wall framing a ceiling high Maya stela. The projection is a simple and beautiful timelapse-style animation of the night sky, with Maya glyphs softly fading in and out like ghostly constellations.
The projection required synching two channels of video and projection mapping onto the curved wall and around another structure in the gallery.