Recently Discovered Mayan Murals Focus of Archaeological Institute Lecture at Lawrence University

University of New Hampshire anthropologist William Saturno will discuss recent discoveries at the San Bartolo excavation site in northeast Guatemala and what those findings reveal about the Mayan culture in an Archaeological Institute of America lecture at Lawrence University.

Saturno presents the slide-illustrated lecture “Murals, Myths and the Origins of Maya Civilization” Monday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. An informal reception with the speaker follows the address.

The presentation will focus on Saturno’s serendipitous discovery in March, 2001 of elaborate painted murals on the walls of a room inside a Mayan pyramid. Seeking some shade at an excavation site, Saturno entered a tunnel dug previously by looters. Using a flashlight to guide him, he came upon the first well-preserved Mayan mural discovered since 1946. The lecture will include discussion of kingship and sacrifice, penitential bloodletting and the origins of Mayan writing.