Slovaks have unravelled the secret of a lost Mayan painting

The ancient mural was destroyed nearly a century ago.

In the picture: Teotihuacan administrator called K´ihnich Mo´(f1) and the king (f2) known as the Carrier of the Sun. In the picture: Teotihuacan administrator called K´ihnich Mo´(f1) and the king (f2) known as the Carrier of the Sun. (Source: Jakub Špoták)

Experts from Slovakia have unravelled the secret of a near forgotten Mayan painting, which was destroyed by the forces of nature shortly after its discovery in the 1930s in the city of Uaxactun in present-day Guatemala.

Only old photographs of the work of art and an incorrectly redrawn copy have been preserved.

Related articleMaya expert: The world we live in is not the only one possibleRead more 

Since no one could decipher the message the painting was meant to deliver, the photos and the drawing were put in the archive where they lay forgotten but as soon as mayologists from Slovakia had managed to digitise the 1,600 year old painting, they also succeeded in reading it.

It portrays the ritual consecration of a young prince and his accession to the throne.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Archaeology

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

News digest: Minister adjusts vaccine expectations, mass testing decision still in the balance

Police investigate reported surveillance of journalist. Wolf will be protected all year long.

Mass testing for the coronavirus in the Nitra Synagogue.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.

More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.