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Religious Offering Photograph by Kenneth Garrett
In the earliest Maya mural ever uncovered—from about 100 B.C.—a god personifying kingship sacrifices his own blood to help set up the universe. Each king followed this mythical example by dedicating himself to preserving the order of Maya civilization. Painted glyphs above and to the left of the god call him Ajaw Ek Winik, or Lord Star Man. These would have been sacred words. So why do chisel marks surround them? "It's very, very odd," says project epigrapher David Stuart. "This is thin plaster, so the ancient Maya person who did it had to do it very carefully and purposefully. It probably was an act of 'killing' the glyphs and the power associated with them once the room was about to be destroyed" for a later structure.
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Camera: Nikon D70 Film Type: Digital Lens: 12-25mm Nikkor zoom Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/11
Weather Conditions: Warm and humid Time of Day: Morning Lighting Techniques: Three small electronic flash units