Bonampak is an ancient Mayan archaeological ruin located in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The site lies approximately 9 miles south of the larger site of Yaxchilan, under which Bonampak was a dependency, and close to the border of Guatemala.
The ruins provide a striking view of the social organization and daily lives of the Mayan culture and its people of the time. Embedded in the Lacandona Jungle, Bonampak, which means “painted walls” in the Mayan language, stands out from other temple complexes, such as nearby Palenque or ruins closer to San Cristobal de las Casas, because of its famous Temple of Murals.
The murals lining the walls depict, with astonishing realism and vivid colors, the actions of a battle, its sequels and a final celebration of victory. Discovered in 1946 by archaeologists, these murals are considered one of the most impressive of pre-Hispanic Mexico’s many treasures. Spanning over four thousand hectares, to date, this ancient city has only been explored in two buildings: the Great Plaza and the Acropolis, which together make up a rectangular space of 360 feet in length and 285 feet in width.