May 11, 2002
Heather Hurst:    "Painting the Murals of Bonampak"

    What would you give to see a photograph of life among the Maya 700 years before the arrival of Columbus?  In 1946, a Lacandon Indian led Giles Healey on a long and muddy trek to show him several small buildings nestled deep in the rainforest.  The exteriors of the buildings were unassuming.  A bucket of water splashed against the inside walls proved magical: the calcite coating the walls was made transparent by the liquid and the vivid murals painted underneath were revealed.  This was the first glance by Wesstern eyes at what is certainly one of the more amazing sights in the Mayan world.
    The Bonampak Documentation Project, under the direction of Mary Miller, has recently completed a half-size reconstruction of the Bonampak murals. The two year long painting project has brought together all previous records to create the most complete vision of these incredible murals. This new copy was presented by the artist, discussing the process of painting, use of infra-red photography and video, and look at newly discovered details.
    Heather Hurst, graduate of Skidmore College, is an archaeological illustrator. She has worked at several sites throughout Mesoamerica, creating architectural reconstructions and illustrations of Maya art.

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