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December 15, 2005

Earliest known Maya painting revealed

Xeni Jardin:

Snip from National Geographic:

Archaeologists today revealed the final section of the earliest known Maya mural ever found, saying that the find upends everything they thought they knew about the origins of Maya art, writing, and rule.

The painting was the last wall of a room-size mural to be excavated. The site was discovered in 2001 at the ancient Maya city of San Bartolo in the lowlands of northeastern Guatemala.

(...) The painting dates to 100 B.C., proving that stories of creation and kings—and the use of elaborate art and writing to tell them—were well established more than 2,000 years ago, 700 years earlier than previously believed.

d here's a related website from the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. University of New Hampshire and Peabody Museum archaeologist William Saturno came upon the murals when led there by local Guatemalan guides.

Reader comment: Mark says,

The National Geographic picture you published with your story of the newly discovered Mayan Mural seems to show the King making an offering of his own blood. As customary among the Mayan Kings he does it by stabbing his own penis with a white spear. To show the kings potency the blood is seen 'squirting out', as also noted in the NGS article (page 2), but they don't say it is also shown in the picture! Link.

Posted by dymaxion at December 15, 2005 02:42 PM


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