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Pictures | Thu Oct 11, 2012 | 6:04pm EDT

In humble home, Guatemala farmer finds ancient Maya murals under plaster

Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to...more

Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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A mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez shows three Spaniards, one dancing while dressed in indigenous ceremonial clothing (R), while the others smoke and play a drum (C) in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez shows three Spaniards, one dancing while dressed in indigenous ceremonial clothing (R), while the others smoke and play a drum (C) in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four...more

A mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez shows three Spaniards, one dancing while dressed in indigenous ceremonial clothing (R), while the others smoke and play a drum (C) in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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Local researcher Felipe Rivera Cava points to a mural at the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Local researcher Felipe Rivera Cava points to a mural at the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala...more

Local researcher Felipe Rivera Cava points to a mural at the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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A mural is seen in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A mural is seen in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals...more

A mural is seen in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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Felipe Rivera Cava, a local researcher of Chajul, shows a mural in the house of Ana Mendoza in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Felipe Rivera Cava, a local researcher of Chajul, shows a mural in the house of Ana Mendoza in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala...more

Felipe Rivera Cava, a local researcher of Chajul, shows a mural in the house of Ana Mendoza in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals...more

Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals...more

Ana Mendoza walks in her home next to murals on the wall, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Mendoza is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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A child sits on a bed in front of murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A child sits on a bed in front of murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City,...more

A child sits on a bed in front of murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to...more

Two women stand beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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A woman stands beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A woman stands beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to...more

A woman stands beside murals in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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A mountain bike stands next to a mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A mountain bike stands next to a mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City,...more

A mountain bike stands next to a mural in the house of Lucas Asicona Ramirez, in Chajul, in the Quiche region, October 9, 2012. Ramirez is among four householders in Chajul, an Ixil Maya community some 220 miles (350km) from Guatemala City, struggling to preserve murals revealed after peeling back plaster on the walls of ancient homes. Experts believe similar murals could lie hidden in a further eight homes in the town. Painted by the current occupants' Mayan ancestors, the friezes cover several walls of the homes, whose colonial history is glimpsed in details including heavy hardwood doors and carved stone pillars propping up modern tin roofs. Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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