UTSA and SAMA Collaborate on Exhibition of Ancient Maya Artwork


Lid with a monkey-shaped handle that dates back to 450 A.D. | Photo originally used by UTSA Today

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) have forged a collaboration to present an exhibition featuring 34 artworks and objects found by UTSA researchers at two royal Maya burials discovered in the remote region of Buenavista del Cayo, Belize.


Housed at the SAMA, Nature, Power, and Maya Royals is an exhibition of selected works marking the first time the artifacts are displayed for public viewing.


The artworks displayed date between 450 and 800 A.D. and showcase the reign of Maya kings and queens over ancient cities, with the exhibition spotlighting commissioned artwork by two Maya rulers.


Belize Institute of Archeology is also involved in the collaboration, and the priceless relics offer a glimpse into the rich and storied history of the Maya civilization. The exhibition includes various pieces from ceramic vessels with symbols demonstrative of nobility and rulers, and exquisite jewelry worn by royalty found in 2014 and 2019 by UTSA archeologists led by Lutcher Brown Endowed Professor Kathryn Brown and Jason Yaeger, President’s Endowed Professor of Anthropology at UTSA and senior associate dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.


Photo originally used by UTSA Today

The exhibition was met with excitement by SAMA, as it also serves to highlight the scope and effort behind the recovery project, “We are delighted to share these beautiful and precious artworks,” Bernadette Cap, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Postdoctoral Fellow at SAMA and curator of the exhibition told UTSA Today.


“Visitors will also be able to view images taken during our excavation in Belize. The recovery of the objects such as these from known, well-documented locations provide essential information for interpreting similar Maya art held by museums.”


To learn more, read the original article from UTSA Today.