Mexico/Chiapas: Bonampak – Mayan Murals

The murals on the walls and ceilings of three rooms in one of the Bonampak archaeological site’s temples are often called “the Mayan Sistine Chapel”. The absolutely surreal and stunning colorful floor-to-ceiling murals cover the interior walls of a small three-room building on the first level of the Bonampak acropolis. Each room’s murals document events that occurred in 790–792 AD during the reign of Chan Muán. In the first room, Chan Muan designates his son as heir to the throne im front of white-robed nobles wearing elaborate hats. In the second room, the murals portray a raid on a neighboring Mayan community,the warriors decked out in lux jaguar pelts. Finally, in the third room, the paintings show in graphic detail the rituals of killing torture, and sacrifice of captured war prisoners. The Mayans were not so peaceful after all! In total, there are some 281 human figures represented within the three rooms, many with hieroglyphic captions. You stand in these small rooms on the middle of the Central American jungle and stair at the ceiling, absolutely amazed at these 1300+ year old murals that easily blow away the actual Sistine Chapel.