A family in the impoverished town of Chajul, Guatemala discovered an ancient Mayan mural during their most recent home renovation project. According to National Geographic, the mural could have been created 300 years ago and it depicts a “conquest dance”.
A poor family in Chajul, Guatemala made an unprecedented discovery as they were trying to renovate the kitchen of their 18th century home. An ancient Mayan mural had been hiding underneath the layers of paint for centuries, but luckily, it was discovered before it became completely ruined.
Lucas Asicona Ramirez announced officials about his findings and a special commission was appointed to study the Mesoamerican paintings. Boston University archeologist William Saturno estimated that the illustrations on the wall must have been created at least 300 years ago and these most likely represent a “conquest dance”. He interpreted the mural as a “conquest dance” because the images represent a procession of colorful figures which appear to wear both Mayan and Spanish costumes. After carefully studying the illustrations, archaeologist Jaroslaw Zralka told the magazine that some figures appear to be holding human hearts in their hands. Moreover, the elements contained in the mural could depict a Spanish invasion and Maya conversion to Christianity.
Archeologists will dedicate as much time as possible to the interpretation of the murals because the paintings could be forever compromised after the exposure. However, it is surprising that the Mayan illustrations survived in the first place because the house was built somewhere between the 17th and the 18th century.
It is important for scientists to preserve any information they can obtain about the Mayans because the ancient civilization was linked to advancements in art, architecture, astronomy and mathematics. Ramirez’ house most likely belonged to an important person of the Mayan civilization, judging by the murals that have been used to adorn the walls. Archeologists don’t exclude the possibility that the Guatemala building might have had an important function in the Mayan society.