Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Summer Safaris 2018

Summer Safaris
What did we do last summer?

Exploring Milwaukee with the CAS

The CAS exploration of the Maya world was, via the CAS Summer Safari to the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed Exhibition presented at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

The spectacular, albeit temporary exhibition, is the largest Maya exhibition ever displayed in the United States. The CAS Summer Safari to Milwaukee was scheduled earlier than usual for safaris because the exhibition was scheduled to close on May 28, 2018.

The exhibition was a combination of hundreds of authentic artifacts, immersive environments, multimedia, and handson activities. The exhibit was designed to give visitors a glimpse at a cross-section of Maya life. From divine kings who ruled powerful cities to the artisans and laborers who formed the backbone of society, Maya features spectacular examples of ancient artistry and objects.

Additionally visitors had a close look at the scientific work being carried out at key Maya sites to understand exactly how we know what we know of this once-hidden culture.

The content of the exhibition highlighted hundreds of authentic artifacts. There was hands-on activities that dug into Maya life…such as building corbelled arches exploring tombs, and more.

Beyond the hands-on features was candy for the eyes…replicas of carved monuments, or stelae that were erected in the great plazas of Maya cities, and a recreation of the elaborate royal tomb of the Great Scrolled Skull in Santa Rita Corozal, a Maya site in Belize.

But who were the Maya? An examination of the concepts of ritual and human sacrifice that allowed the Maya to transcend the earthly world and speak with the gods of the underworld helped to penetrate the mind of the Maya.

And there was more! CAS member, Mike Ruggeri, our docent ,made an exploratory pre-Safari visit. His insights helped to organize a mindset of the vast collection.
Try this link for a quick video view of the exposition.

Summer Safaris

Dinner at C-viche a Milwaukee Peruvian Restaurant [Sorry, no Mayan restaurants in Milwaukee] completed a CAS virtual adventure tour into the land of the Mayas.

A mostly fusion menu of C-viche featured: Classic Ceviche, marinated fish with red onion, peppers, garlic and ginger, served over sweet potato, Peruvian corn and cancha (Peruvian corn nuts), Tlacoyos, fresh masa cakes topped with garbanzo beans, wilted spinach, roasted red pepper tomato sauce and tomatillo sauce and grilled chicken.

The C-viche Restaurant selection was extensive and surpassed only by the warm and friendly reception extended to the CAS safari.

Expedition into the Field

The positive reaction to the Milwaukee Safari resulted in numerous requests for a second safari!

With special assistance from CAS member Mary Ann Bloom, who is director of the Field Museum docents, plans were made for a day at the Field that would include parking on the Field lot, general admission to the Field and to all special exhibits: including:

Two ongoing exhibitions: Ancient Egypt and Mastabas [how the mastaba evolved into the pyramid]; and the new Mummies exhibition. Both exhibits escorted by the Field’s superb docents.

Mummies opened March 14, 2018 closes April 21,2019

This extraordinary, limitedtime exhibition features mummies from ancient Peru and Egypt.

Made up entirely of objects from the Field collection, the exhibition includes 14 mummies, intricately decorated coffins and mummy masks, ceramic items, and mummified animals. Seeing ancient Peruvian and Egyptian mummies in the same space brings to light the differences and similarities between these cultures.

In past years the Field has featured several mummy expositions. But for the been there, done that audience Mummies features much in the exhibit that is new. With advances in technology it is possible to reexamine past investigations and non-invasive methodology damage is minimized.

Today, CT scanning and other non-invasive technologies allows study of mummies with respect for the individuals and their cultures. Intricate CT scan images can tell us much more about the lives of the people now preserved as mummies.

Exhibition highlights:
• A stunning sculptural recreation of the famed Egyptian “Gilded Lady”
• Peruvian mummy bundles, some with more than one person inside
• Animal mummies, from cats to crocodiles
• Interactive touch tables to explore detailed 3D images of the persons and objects inside mummies Objects used in rituals and offerings, including decorated ancient Peruvian beer pots.

What we did last summer….will be remembered all winter long we Hope!