Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mayan mural

A Mayan mural that covers several walls has been discovered in Chajul, Guatemala - where the culture continued long after it had mysteriously collapsed in other regions of the country c. 900 A.D. It is being documented and examined by Jaroslaw Źrałka (image above) and Katarzyna Radnicka of Poland's Jagiellonian University. The paintings depict figures in procession, wearing a mix of traditional Mayan costumes (long capes, with one in a headdress) and Spanish dress (pants and European-style shoes). Some of the figures are playing musical instruments, while others hold masks and one seems to be carrying a human heart. The mural was created after the 16th c. Spanish conquest of Guatemala, and it is thought that the participants in the ritual are reenacting the invasion and subsequent conversion of the Maya to Christianity. The colors have faded since they were exposed 5 years ago, and the once-white background has yellowed.  "It'd be great if they weren't covering it with smoke, but at the same time, this is probably not the first time there has been smoke in this room. You can't go crazy in terms of, 'This needs to be hermetically sealed, and these people need to be out of here,'" explains Boston University archaeologist William Saturno, who authenticated the paintings for National Geographic. Why this remark? Because the mural was found beneath a layer of paint in the kitchen of the 300-year-old house that Lucas Asicona Ramírez and his family live in (read story and view slideshow here).
Kitchen Cabinet:

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