The Ruins of Copan
After what can best be described as a hairy ride between two racing tuk-tuks, Eric, Dee and the Bears arrived in one piece at the ruins of Copan. We spent some time looking at the birds (own blog) and found ourselves in the most peaceful of places. Very few tourists, big wide spaces and a quiet, calm atmosphere.
Copan may not be as impressive as Tikal in temple height or as big as Caracol but it is well known that the detailed sculptures here are the best of the bunch
Copan is an archaeological site of the Maya civilisation located in the Copan Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples. In this fertile valley now lies a city of about 3000, a small airport and a winding road.
Copan was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period right through to the Postclassic. The city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya, perhaps to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city's rulers.
The city has a historical record that spans the greater part of the Classic period and has been reconstructed in detail by archaeologists and epigraphers. Copan, probably called Oxwitik by the Maya, was a powerful city ruling a vast kingdom within the southern Maya area. The city suffered a major political disaster in AD 738 when Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil, one of the greatest kings in Copan's dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quirigua. This unexpected defeat resulted in a 17-year hiatus at the city, during which time Copan may have been subject to Quirigua in a reversal of fortunes.
A significant portion of the eastern side of the acropolis has been eroded away by the Copán River, although the river has since been diverted in order to protect the site from further damage.
After exploring the tunnels it was time to wander to the on site museum
A massive and majestic building
ALL IN ALL SO PLEASED WE VISITED