Monday, 20 July 2015

Copan - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Copan
Continent:    THE AMERICAS
Alt Name:     -
Country:    Honduras
Period:    Maya
Sub-Region:    -
Date:    300AD - 399AD
City/Town:    Copan
Figure:     -

Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán 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.
Copán was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period 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. Copán 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 Copán's dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quiriguá. This unexpected defeat resulted in a 17-year hiatus at the city, during which time Copán may have been subject to Quiriguá 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

 One of two simian sculptures on Temple 11, possibly representing Howler Monkey Gods.

Location of Copán

 The West Court of Copán

Stela H at Copán, commissioned by Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil

 Ceramic lid shaped to represent K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', recovered from the tomb of the 7th-century king Smoke Imix, under Temple 26

 Stela 63, probably dating to the reign of K'inich Popol Hol

 Stela H detail, depicting king Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil

 Stela N, depicting K'ak' Yipyaj Chan K'awiil

 Map of the center of Copán

 Stela M and the Hieroglyphic Stairway

 Life-size reconstruction of the Rosalila temple at the site museum of Copán

 The interior doorway of Structure 10L-22

 The final version of the ballcourt was dedicated by Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil in AD 738

Altar Q depicts 16 kings in the dynastic succession of the city

Stela P, depicting K'ak' Chan Yopaat
Copan history
Copan (spelt Copán), near the town of Copan Ruinas in Honduras is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a major Maya settlement which was probably the most influential city in the south eastern area occupied by this civilisation.
Copan is thought to have been inhabited as early as 2000 BC, despite the fact that there is sparse evidence to this effect. It was certainly at its peak between 300 AD and 900 AD.
In the eighth century AD, Copan experienced a significant military defeat when its leader was beheaded by the rulers of the city of Quirigua in what is now Guatemala. It was abandoned in the tenth century, probably due to the land becoming unsuitable for crop growing.
The cultural, social and ceremonial significance of Copan has been confirmed by UNESCO, who listed it as a World Heritage site in 1980. Amongst other things, UNESCO cites the fact that Copan was the site of great advances in astronomy and mathematics.
Today, visitors to Copan can see its many incredible structures, which also rank highly amongst the reasons for its UNESCO status. Containing five main plazas, an acropolis, numerous temples, terraces, pyramids and dwellings, one cannot fail to be impressed by Copan. Incredible glyphs adorn its staircases, structures, temples and altars, with depictions of animals and human faces.
There is a nearby sculpture museum which explores the Maya culture and artwork.


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