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Maya Royal Grave



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A Numinous Symbol
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

Centuries ago a Maya artisan carved a stela, or stone monument, with a highly stylized rendering of a serpent ascending from the water to the sky—a powerful image in Maya mythology. "The hallucinatory visions central to Maya ritual were symbolized visually by a rearing snake," wrote epigrapher Linda Schele. More than 270 monuments, largely from the Maya and earlier Olmec civilization, dot the landscape at Takalik Abaj, where a team recently discovered the unlooted grave of an early Maya king deep inside a ceremonial building.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/500 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Sunny and warm
Time of Day: Noon
Lighting Techniques: Natural light with reflector


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