The Ruins at Copán


View from the top of the Acropolis, past the Ball Court, to the Ceremonial Court.

In northwestern Honduras lies Copán, a ceremonial center of the Old Empire of the Maya and one of the most important archaeological sites in the western hemisphere. There were larger Mayan cities to the north, in present-day Mexico and Guatemala, and the structures at Copán are relatively modest compared to those at Tikal, Palenque, and Chichén-Itzá.

Carvings of Water Gods, now in the museum.

But there are more carved monuments at Copán than elsewhere, and the intricate, swirling, decorative art surpasses not only that of other Mayan cities, but of any other civilization in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Europeans.


Honduras & Bay Islands Guide,
Open Road Publishing
and
Encarta Encyclopedia,
Microsoft
These carved Macaw heads, now in the museum, once adorned the Ball Court. Stela A in the Ceremonial Court.

Model of the Copán Ruins at the entrance to the Archaeological Park.

Another view of the Ball Court with Steve seated under the Stela at the far end.

Grand stair from the Ceremonial and Ball Courts up to the Acropolis. That's Steve by the Stela.

Deborah leaning on a huge Ceiba tree.

Steve and a ceremonial jaguar in the Eastern Court.

Steve behind the site model.

Stela H in the Ceremonial Court, probably the Mayan king "18 Rabbit".


Steve seated on the steps to a restored house at Las Sepulturas.

Ball Court and grand stair up to the Acropolis.

The round stone in the foreground was used to hold sacrifices to Stela 4, behind it. Another Stela stands on the stairs in the distance.