Headless Man's Tomb Found Under Maya Torture Mural

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The tomb of a headless man adorned with jade has been discovered beneath an ancient Mexican chamber famously painted with scenes of torture.

Found under the Temple of Murals at the Maya site of Bonampak, the man was either a captive warrior who was sacrificed—perhaps one of the victims in the mural—or a relative of the city's ruler, scientists speculate (interactive map of the Maya Empire).

Whoever he was, "the place of the burial tells us that the person buried there was special," said anthropologist Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta via e-mail.

At the time of the murals' creation, about A.D. 790, Bonampak was a city of thousands. Today its most prominent vestige is a long-overgrown, partially excavated acropolis in the middle of a vast tropical rain forest in the southern state of Chiapas.

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