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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