domingo, 15 de junio de 2014

Drunken revels depicted in 1800 year old mural (México)

Since its discovery in 1969 Los bebedores or The Drinkers, is a large pre-Hispanic mural that has remained hidden from public view. However, visitors can now see the mural at the Mexican archaeological zone of Cholula near Puebla for a limited period only.
An initiative was instituted a decade ago by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to look into conservation of the mural.

State of intoxication

The mural measures over 60 metres long with an average height of 2.50 metres. There are 164 characters represented and all of them are participating in a celebration where pulque (alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the agave plant) is overflowing. “So all are in a state of intoxication”, says Enrique Lozoya.


Lozoya is one of the team members of the National Coordination of Conservation of Cultural Heritage (photography) of the INAH, who currently works on-site. As he has made scale drawings of each of them, he has a detailed knowledge of each of the revellers. The colours are still intense even after 1800 years. The various characters drawn with great dexterity are dressed in loincloths, sitting or squatting, with some even defecating, and some wearing zoomorphic masks.
The mural, located on a lower level of the Plaza of Altars, (dating to around 200 AD) was painted onto the façade of one of the buildings, so was originally in full view. About 150 years later these scenes were covered over and geometric designs were favoured such as can be seen in the Stars and Stripes mural.
Controlled visits are conducted during seasons in which restorers work on the site, so at the moment those interested have the opportunity to see them until the first week of July 2014.

Source: Past Horizons:

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