January 2002

ihana.com - big trip - diary - honduras - january 2002


Hieroglyphic Stairway

The 21 Stelae...

...record the passage of time

Thursday 17 January

Copan is reputed to be one of the top Mayan attractions and is relatively isolated in a remote valley on the southeastern perimeter of the central Mayan area, so we had high hopes for an interesting day. Many of the artefacts have been moved inside a new 2 storey museum to save them from the ravages of the weather and its well worth a visit. Copies of the actual stonework have been erected in place of the removed items in an attempt to ensure the site retains much of its original feel.

Mr Big Nose

Altar Q tells of...

...Yax Pasah's ascension to office

For the Mayan purists, Copan holds many highlights, but to us mere Landy based travellers it seemed to be the least impressive of the main sites. There are exploratory tunnels under the huge Acropolis which were dug in 1992 and provide a lot of information about the history of the site, whilst preserving the Late Classic Period buildings above. We managed to sneak into them and check it out too.


Guardian to the underworld

Some of the most spectacular discoveries were made under Temple 16, including the body of Yax K'uk'Mo himself who invaded from Teotihuacan in the north and was the founder of the Copan dynasty in the Early Period. The complex carvings are impressive and record the passage of time with depictions of faces, figures and animals. There are also three ball courts built on top of each other in the open plaza to the northwest, the most recent has been fully restored complete with stone Macaw head boundary markers.

A pleasant chap

click for the full effect

Two heads are better than one


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