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June 2, 2010
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Maya Blue by ladystonehawk Maya Blue by ladystonehawk
This was an image that had been building in my head for almost 2 years. It was inspired by a story in my local newspaper about a mystery surrounding some ancient Mayan artifacts that had been in the vault of the Field Museum in Chicago for 75 years. There was a deep pool of very blue water that had many, many figures at the bottom of it, most of the color had washed away except for this particular blue paint, which scientists called "Maya Blue". For years they tried to figure out the significance of that color, and how that particular color was preserved at the bottom of the pool for so many years when the other colors had washed away.

If you're interested in the rest of the story, let me know!
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:iconresituate:
Resituate Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool..in the pool.
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:iconvoid-hamlet-herself:
Void-Hamlet-Herself Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Similar imagery has been in my head for years... I've been fascinated with the Maya from a very young age indeed, this is very close to my childhood musings.

:sun:
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:iconnikkabrooks-cullum:
NikkaBrooks-Cullum Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
Wow. Awesome piece. The colors and composition, all of it!
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:icongalindorf:
Galindorf Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
More story! More story!
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:iconladystonehawk:
ladystonehawk Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Professional General Artist
What the scientists found out was the Mayans believed the pool was a gateway to the afterlife. When a loved one died, they created a figurine of the person and tossed it into the pool to help them go on to the next world.

The blue color was sacred to them because it reflected the color of the pool, and the afterlife, so their figures were painted with that color.

What baffled the scientists was how did that color stick so well after thousands of years being submerged in water and sludge and whatnot. (The silt at the bottom of the pool was blue and 14 feet deep!)

They were able to recreate the pigments to make the color and found that by burning a particular resin (incense) during their ceremony before the figures were tossed into the pool, caused a chemical reaction that made the blue pigment adhere to the clay or stone of the figures.

So-- that (plus all the hoopla of the Mayan calendar ending in 2012) inspired this piece!
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