Murals of Bonampak - A Fresh Insight


This mural gives an incredibly active depiction of a great battle between enemies. This was probably between two clans or city-states. Of course, as the mural exists in this particular city, the king there is depicted as quite the hero who has captured one of the enemy warriors. Also represented are military captains, the queen, and various noblemen. They wear jaguar heads and skins, chest plates of jade, and carry mighty spears. The captives are, of course, dejected and unrobed lying on the ground. The lower part of the second mural shows a bloodletting ritual or torture scene. A dead captive lies on the floor next to a decapitation victim.


The third mural shows off the joyous outcome of the successful battle and capture of several enemies. The royals and nobles gather around to watch the king engage in ritualistic bloodletting. Outside the palace on another part of the same mural, dancers cavort and honour the king and warriors while musicians play instruments and people wave flags.


With so many unique and wonderful Mayan cities, temples, ball courts, palaces, and individual artefacts spread out across a large part of the Central American region, the study of mysterious Mesoamerica has a lot of information to go on. Unlike the Olmec, the Mayan people recorded a lot of information about their rulers, religious beliefs, and everyday life in the form of hieroglyphics and artwork on the walls. So much of it still exists down in the intricate stonework and stucco surfaces that make up the walls of their buildings and temples. Despite all this information, they are not the ultimate source of information about the mysterious Mesoamerican civilizations.

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