San Bartolo, Guatemala, Excavation

Detail, west wall, San Bartolo

Detail, West Wall, San Bartolo. Watercolor by Heather Hurst.

Oldest Maya Murals Yet Discovered

While visiting San Bartolo in search of a Maya stele, Peabody researcher William Saturno, sat down in the shade of looter's trench and looked up to discover the traces of what turned out to be the oldest known Maya murals. Following that discovery, the Peabody Museum and others provided support for the preservation and ongoing exploration of the site. The project is currently supported by the Peabody Museum, National Geographic, Boston University, the government of Guatemala, and several foundations. Excavations at the site are ongoing.

The San Bartolo project is directed by William Saturno, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Boston University.

An exhibition exploring mural traditions of the Americas, including San Bartolo, is currently on view in the Peabody Museum: Storied Walls: Murals of the Americas.

Enter the San Bartolo website