Maya Storytelling Before Common Era

by | Dec 14, 2005

National Geographic: Archaeologists revealed the final section of the earliest known Maya mural ever found, saying that the find upends everything they thought they knew about the origins of Maya art, writing, and rule.


The painting was the last wall of a room-size mural to be excavated. The site was discovered in 2001 at the ancient Maya city of San Bartolo in the lowlands of northeastern Guatemala.

The mural was painted by skilled artisans and reads like a Maya book, telling the story of creation, the mythology of kingship, and the divine right of a king, according to William Saturno, the University of New Hampshire archaeologist who leads the San Bartolo excavation project.

The painted wall dates to 100 B.C., proving that these stories of creation and kings–and the use of elaborate art and writing to tell them–were well established more than 2,000 years ago ago, centuries earlier than previously believed.

[via Boing Boing]