Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mayan Restoration

In 1946 the Murals of Bonampak were discovered in Chiapas Mexico in a rectangular building of three rooms with Murals covering the ceilings & walls of all three rooms, by the American Photographer Giles Healey. Despite the jungle damp the Murals were in excellent shape. The Limestone of the building the Murals were in had been partially dissolved by rain and then deposited on top of the Murals preserving them. Although this preserved the Murals it also obscured them with a coat of whitish glaze, applications of kerosene would briefly clear up the Murals but would leave a bluish haze.

The first picture is a photo of the original Mural. The second is a photo of the reconstruction of the Murals from the Mexican Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City done in the late 1950's. The third is a reconstruction of the Murals done by the National Geographic Society and the University of Mexico done in the early 1990's using computer technology. The purpose of showing three versions is so they can be compared. Three different sets of images will be illustrated here.

The example here is of a scene I call "The Presentation", it depicts captives, who have apparently been tortured, being presented to Chaan Muan, king of Bonampak, who apparently then decides about how to despose of them.

Pierre Cloutier

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