Lying 30 km south of Yaxchilan, close to the tributary of the Usumacinta River, Bonampak is quite justly famed for its superb wall paintings, which date back to the latter years of the 8th century AD.
Representing some of the finest examples remaining of classic Maya painting, the murals depict scenes from the life of King Chan Muan, along with courtly life, costumed balls, and ritual sacrifice.
Hidden amongst the dense jungles of Chiapas until 1946, when they were discovered by Charles Frey and John Bourne, the murals have, over the years, provided archaeologists with a wealth of information about the Maya.
Indeed, the site’s very name reflects the importance of the murals in helping to understand Mayan society, coming as it does from the Mayan term for ‘painted walls’.
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