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Out of the Maya Tombs 1x55

Thousands of exquisitely painted ancient Maya ceramics unearthed by archaeologists have flooded into the world’s public and private collections. Their images and texts have opened windows onto Maya life, literature, mythology, and history. But because most of these vessels came to light by looting, they also raise profound practical and ethical questions. From the producer of Cracking the Maya Code, Out of the Maya Tombs¬†will use the story of a single Maya vase, “the Royal Cup,” as a framing device. Following its journey from its ancient life as a royal gift, its burial in a royal grave, its modern discovery, and its ultimate exhibition, the film will examine both the wide-ranging strategies by which scholarship has illuminated the meaning of these vessels, and the ethical issues involved in their excavation, collection, and study.