SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – Mexican experts have discovered some small, previously hidden figures in a Mayan mural while carrying out restoration work on it, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
Figures representing the heads of three men were found during the treatment being given to the Murals of Bonampak at the like-named archaeological site, located in the Lacandona jungle in the southern state of Chiapas, that dates back to the year 790 A.D.
Further information about the diminutive figures has not yet come to light, the INAH said.
At the same time, the iconography of two images painted on the upper part of the vault has been reinterpreted.
A preliminary study identifies them as personifications of a K’inich Ahau, or solar deity, and an as yet unidentified god.
The mural is considered a work “of the most advanced school of painting to exist in all Mesoamerica,” Constantino Armendariz, a member of the restoration team, said.
The mural showing a glorious moment in the reign of Chaan Muan II, when he vanquished and took prisoner enemies from the rival city of Sak’ Tz’i’, was painted on a surface of lime-sand, the INAH said.
The restoration treatment has done wonders for the paintings, allowing its scenes to be truly understood and revealing details previously hidden, with forms and backgrounds acquiring a new clarity and figures discovered that were never seen before, the institute said.
Restoration began in 2009 when ducts and cracks caused by earthquakes over the centuries were sealed.
Treating the murals that cover three-fourths of the archaeological site will take four to five years, but the first stage, the restoration of three walls, will be finished in November, Gilberto Buitrago, who is in charge of the team of six restorers, said. EFE