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Great Escape
Photograph by Ramón Puga

Enthroned on the palace wall, excavation director Takeshi Inomata contemplates a mystery: Most of the rooms lie virtually empty. The one exception is a sealed chamber containing sacred and ceremonial objects. So what happened here? Inomata, a University of Arizona archaeologist, believes that when the final attack seemed imminent, the royal family hid some of their cherished belongings, packed up everything else, and quietly slipped away. Their loyal courtiers, who stayed behind to defend Aguateca, fled at the last moment or were captured, leaving houses full of belongings—a gift to history.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon FE2
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: 28mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125@ f/8

Weather Conditions: Cloudy
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Available light

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