Nov 20, Monday: Bonampak
“Located within the deep tropical rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico, the ancient Maya site of Bonampak is home to the most complete and important mural program of the ancient Americas… These three murals first came to modern attention in 1946, when Lacandon Maya who lived in the region showed photographer Giles Healey (Yale ’24) what they had not previously shown to any outsider: a small temple whose three rooms house paintings that cover all surfaces. Painted around A.D. 800, these three rooms of paintings reveal, in astonishing detail, the ancient Maya at the end of their splendor, engaging in court rituals and human sacrifice, wearing elegant costumes and stripping the clothing from fallen captives, acknowledging foreign nobles and receiving abundant tribute. No other surviving work features so many Maya engaged in the life of the court, whether second-tier warriors presenting captives to the king or the king’s mother pushed to the side by her imperious daughter-in-law. Costumes, musical instruments, and the weapons of war are all rendered with great detail, making Bonampak an unparalleled resource for understanding ancient society.” [http://peabody.yale.edu/exhibits/maya-murals-bonampak]
Nov 21, 2017, Tuesday: Yaxchilan
Over a four hundred year period, 250 A.D. to around 900 A.D., Yaxchilan developed into a powerful Mayan urban center. Located in an excellent defensive position, encircled as it is almost completely by a sweeping bend in the Usamacinta River, the archaeological site contains more than 120 structures distributed in three great complexes.