Freedom8 Mesoamerica



 

   

The ruins of Copán are a four-hour drive from the city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras. You have to walk more than 200 yards of steamy tropical-forest trails before reaching Copán's Great Plaza, where the city's main acropolis rises some 300 feet.
The ancient city produced some of the most skillful stone carvers of the Mayan world. Copán was once a Classic Mayan Royal center, the largest site in the southeastern part of the Mayan World. Covering about 29 acres, it was built on the banks of the Copán River. Copán ruins is one of the most exceptional and best preserved monumental cities of the whole Mayan World and is highly appreciated by experts for the quality of its architecture and Mayan sculpture.
The tallest structure in sight is the Hieroglyphic Stairway with more than 1,500 elaborately carved glyphs. Many of the other ruined buildings and monuments are undisturbed, wrapped tightly by the thick roots of ancient ceiba and cedar trees. The great human faces which are seen on the East and West sides of one temple are the only remains of its outside decorations. They correspond to the enormous bulky sculptures which decorate the corners on the North side.Those on the south side were also decorated with gigantic crocodile sculptures with their faces in a downward position. These are found among the material accumulated at the Court entrance. At a few kilometers distance from Copán, lies "El Puente" (The Bridge). This bridge is of great importance to archaeological investigations now being performed at Copán.