Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) presented the results of their research on the vaults found in the main pyramid of the archaeological site of Calakmul. According to an article published in the newspaper La Crónica de Hoy, these vaults contain paintings that probably represent a self-mutilation ritual and the personification of wind and music.
Benjamín Esqueda, Daniel Salazar, and Ana García were the experts in charge of presenting their hypothesis at the XII International Congress of Mayanists, organized by the Philological Research Institute of UNAM. During the congress, they analyzed the painted caves of Calakmul, an architectural complex dating from 400 B.C. with two buildings with painted vaults.
Calakmul’s Structure II, which is the largest pyramid at the site, houses Substructure II, which has the best-preserved paintings. Benjamín Esqueda highlighted the importance of this substructure and mentioned that there are archaeological exploration tunnels that allow access to the southern structure, called Substructure II C2.
In 2022, researchers recorded the vaults of two substructures of the Calakmul pyramid, where they found black and red paintings. In his research, Daniel Salazar pointed out the presence of an anthropomorphic character also found in Mayan murals from San Bartolo, Chiapas. In these representations, the character is observed piercing his penis with a spear or awl and spilling blood.
In addition, a drawing of an anthropomorphic character with a duck’s beak and feathers on his cheek, possibly representing the wind, was found.
The XII International Congress of Mayanists will be held from June 25 to July 1 in Mexico City and is organized by the Institute of Philological Research of UNAM.