Lucas Asicona Ramirez had no idea that a kitchen remodeling project would lead to ancient Mayan murals being found in his home, but as the plaster fell away, a multi-wall Maya mural was seen for the first time in centuries.
The paintings, which have been studied by archaeologist Jarosław Źrałka, depict figures in a procession who are wearing a mix of traditional Maya and Spanish garb, reports The National Geographic.
Źrałka, who was working on the other side of Guatemala when a colleague told him about the kitchen murals, stated that some of the figures may even be holding human hearts. The mural’s exposure to light has faded the ancient Maya artwork considerably, leaving little time to discover its secrets before it may fade away entirely.
Boston University archaeologist William Saturno, who has examined the pictures and believes the art is authentic, stated that the fact that the paintings are still there at all is “a fairly remarkable thing.” Saturno went on to say that:
“We don’t get a lot of this type of artwork; it’s not commonly preserved in the New World. It’d be neat to see who the folks were who painted on the wall and why.”
Yahoo! News notes that the Mayan mural found inside the family’s kitchen is believes to have been painted after the 16th century Spanish conquest of Guatemala. Jarosław Źrałka added that it has been a long and difficult process trying to get permission to examine homes in the impoverished village of Chajul where the murals were discovered. Źrałka explained that, “I think they were afraid of us.” Saturno added that:
“There’s 500 years of history in this town. See whose [house] it was. It’s unlikely to be just Joe Schmo’s house—it’s probably an important person’s house.”
Mayan murals being found in a Guatemalan kitchen are not the only ancient discovery to be made in someone’s house, as a family in England recently dug out a 16th century well that was hiding under their living room floor.