Over the past few decades, tourists have converged on the magnificent Egyptian ruins at Giza and Abu Simbel or travelled to the intriguing remains of the Incan city of Macchu Picchu. However, little has been mentioned in the tourist advertising of the fascinating history and artefacts of the astounding Aztec and Mayan people, cultures and achievements.
Thanks to the Melbourne Museum, you can currently visit an incredible exhibition on this sun-worshipping race of people from Central America. Take the family and wander through at leisure, this interesting, accurate and easy to follow display of the history and artefacts of this lost civilization.
Please don't be deterred by the build up of visitors in the initial display room of the exhibition, as it is here that the timeline and history are really well documented and display maps identify the location of the Aztec and Mayan civilisations. As you leave this first room, the display opens out into many separate areas and there is room to wander more at your own pace.
This entire exhibition is exceptional in it's photographs, artefacts and information and I am sure that you'll find some of this ancient history really surprising. Did you know that the Aztec's valued education above most other achievements and had an excellent compulsory education system that resembles our current one?
Did you also know that when the Aztecs went to war, they had no intention of killing anyone, or of usurping another's land? They waged war purely to take captives in order to maintain their supply of human sacrifices to their Gods- a system of belief that underpinned their reason for existing as well as their great good fortune, or lack of it, depending on their offerings.
If you'd like to see the Aztec dancing (a favourite with the kids), then check the times to ensure you have finished (or haven't begun) the exhibition, as once inside you can't re-enter.
If all this wandering leaves you famished, visit the Aztec themed cafe at the entrance to the exhibition or the Museum Cafe up on the first level. Prices are average but the food is good. If you elect to drive into town, parking is available at the Museum for $15, however, the train and trams stop virtually outside the entrance.
This exhibition is extensive and from the photo of the poncho-clad you at the entrance, through to your exit through the gift shop (no surprises there!), it is an experience well worth taking the time to have. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Where: Melbourne Museum
Phone: 13 11 02
When Until 10th August
Times: 10am-5pm daily
Cost: Timed Tickets- on line or phone (see below)
Children = $ 12- Under 6yrs-free
Parking= $15 at Museum
Tram & Train stops are nearby