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September 1st 2014

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Copán Historical Facts and Pictures

The archaeological site of Maya civilization, Copán in located in the west of Honduras, near the Guatemala border. From Early Preclassic to Postclassic, the site was occupied for more than 2000 years. Situated 700 meters above the sea level on a fertile land, Copán was one of the most powerful cities in the region until its catastrophic defeat in 738 by the hands of Quirigua.

Copan Entrance

Copan Entrance

Copan

Copan

Art and Sculpture

This ancient citadel was rich with unique sculptural monuments. In spite of the fall of their long-ruling king, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awaiil, the following rulers of Copán started building monumental structures again right after sometime. A distinctive sculpture style was developed within the city, which emphasized the ethnicity of Maya rulers. The altars and the array of portrait stelae located at the plaza exemplify sublime sculptural beauty, such as the sculpture of Howling Monkey God, situated in temple 11.

Copan Pictures

Copan Pictures

Copan Sculpture and Plazas

Copan Sculpture and Plazas

Sculpture of Howling Monkey God

Sculpture of Howling Monkey God

The Interior Doorway of Structure

The Interior Doorway of Structure

Structures and Plazas

Consisting 2 plazas, the royal complex, Acropolis was the heart of Copán. Divided between East Court and West Court, this royal complex was comprised of extensive tunnels, temples, terraces and sculpted pyramids.

Copan Stela N Sculpture

Copan Stela N Sculpture

Copan Stela P Sculpture

Copan Stela P Sculpture

Apart from the Acropolis, the main complex is comprised of some excellently crafted plazas, such as the Ceremonial Plaza occupying an impressive stadium with richly sculpted altars and monoliths; and the Plaza on the west of Acropolis, containing a monumental stairway of Hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Altar Q Monument at Copan

Altar Q Monument at Copan

Copan Sculpture

Copan Sculpture

The Ball Court within the citadel, decorated with the images of the bird, Scarlet Macaw, which is a prominent figure in Maya Mythology. It is also the second largest ball court in Central America.

Stela M and the Hieroglyphic Stairway

Stela M and the Hieroglyphic Stairway

Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awaiil

Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awaiil

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient civilization of Maya was discovered by Diego Garcia de Palacio in 1570 and was fast excavated in the 19th century.

Copan Images

Copan Images

Copan Photos

Copan Photos

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Honduras

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Written by

September 1st 2014

Other Places

Quick Info

Cultural

Early pre-classic to post-classic

Maya civilization
Copán Department, Honduras
UNESCO World Heritage Site
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/129