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Mayan site of Copan
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

Copan St H.jpg
Stele H, dedicated 730 from Waxaklajuun Ub'aah K'awiil
National territory: HondurasHonduras Honduras
Type: Culture
Criteria : (iv) (vi)
Surface: 15,095 ha
Reference No .: 129
UNESCO region : Latin America and the Caribbean
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1980  ( session 4 )

Copán was an important Mayan city in what is now the state of Honduras during the Classical Period (around 250 to 900). It flourished in the 8th century, but was soon abandoned and, like most other Maya cities in the lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, fell into disrepair.

The ruins have been explored since the middle of the 19th century and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 . The historical name of the city is not yet fully understood.

Geographical location

The location of Copán

The ruins of Copán are located in the valley of the Río Copán in the far west of Honduras, not far from today's city of San José de Copán in the Copán department at about 600 meters above sea level; the city is thus on the eastern edge of the area inhabited by the Maya . Five small plains extend along the river, the largest of which, at around 13 square kilometers, is the so-called Copán Pocket, in which the city is also located. The valley is flanked by mountains up to 2000 meters high, which largely shield it from damaging weather influences such as large cyclones . This location also prevents sultry air currents from reaching the region, resulting in a moderately hot tropical climate. In the former Maya territory, this occurred in only a few cities, such as Toniná or Chinkultic .

The Río Copán not only ensured the water supply, but also flooded the Copán Pocket every year until the 8th century AD and renewed the soil fertility through the deposits. Less than half a kilometer from the center of the city there is an occurrence of green tufa , which at this point is of relatively stable consistency. The Maya used this material to make countless steles and sculptures; buildings were also built with it. In the wider area there is the largest jade site in all of Mesoamerica, as well as a small obsidian deposit . The inhabitants used these two materials to make jewelry and tools. In addition, a granite site was used for the production of millstones and a clay pit for ceramics. For the Maya, the valley offered a multitude of advantages that favored the rise of Copán.

The town

Copán is dominated by the "main group" located in the center, a centrally located collection of buildings and building complexes with an area of ​​around 12 hectares. It is in turn divided into a northern and a southern half by a large open area. The northern part comprises the “Great Square”, with three rows of steps followed by several platforms, on which there are several steles with inscriptions in Mayan hieroglyphics . The so-called Acropolis , on the other hand, forms the southern part of the main group in addition to a few smaller buildings and consists of a large number of terraces and platforms on which further buildings rise. From the large area that divides the main group, two lime-covered dam roads ( Sacbeob ) lead in north-south and east-west directions to four large residential areas, which were mainly inhabited by aristocrats. Their court and a large number of craftsmen also lived there; however, the ruler of the city lived in his residence in the main group. The common people only had simple pile dwellings as accommodation .

Model representation of the main group: the southern part (left) is separated from the Acropolis and the buildings attached to it by the Great Square.

The arrangement of the buildings and complexes according to the four-part scheme reflects the Mayan worldview. The four residential districts represent the four cardinal points; the dam streets themselves symbolize the axes of the cosmos, with particular emphasis on the east-west axis. The establishment of the ruler's residence in the center indicated the special status of the king as the keeper of the harmony of the divine and human world. The city, with the main group as the center, is thus not only a reproduction of the order of the cosmos , but also of the earthly world. The orientation towards the worldview also determined the construction of buildings or individual rooms. This scheme can be seen with some variations in almost all Maya cities, but it is particularly pronounced in Copán.

Since Copán represented a kind of outpost of the Maya area due to its location, there was a brisk trade in goods. Artisans made jewelry from shells and obsidian blades , which were mainly supplied to cities in the north. It is noteworthy that there is not a single large occurrence of obsidian in the entire Maya area; the material was mainly imported from the central Mexican city of Teotihuacán . The influence of this metropolis can be seen in many classic Mayan cities and is not limited to economic aspects, but can also be seen in art and architecture. The extent to which this influence only came about through trade or through military conquests has not yet been fully clarified. At least for Tikal , such a conquest has been proven for the year 378 AD.

The most important structures, buildings and monuments are described in more detail below. Of course there are many more buildings in Copán than those described below, but only an overview is given here. For detailed information about the other structures, please refer to the literature list and the web links given at the end of the article .

The acropolis

The majority of the southern half of the main group is occupied by the Acropolis, which is oriented almost exactly in a north-south direction. It has an approximately rectangular floor plan and was the religious and political center of the city during the Mayan era. The Acropolis is a conglomerate of many individual buildings, platforms and terraces, all of which were erected at different times. Most of the buildings are grouped around two squares, the eastern and western courtyards, between which the massive temple 16 rises. In the south there is a cluster of much smaller houses that enclose a square that is called by the residents of the current settlement El Cemeterio ("The Cemetery"). It received this name after researchers from the Carnegie Institution of Washington discovered several graves of residents of the residential buildings there.

The construction of the first buildings of today's Acropolis began around 400 AD. In the course of time, old buildings were torn down or newer and larger ones built over, until the building complex with its inner courtyards that is visible today was created with the construction of Temple 16 around 800 AD. Nowadays archaeologists try to research especially the overbuilt and thus now hidden buildings in order to gain knowledge about the early times of Copán, i.e. also the pre-classical period, as it is expected that there will be references to numerous earlier structures hide. However, over time, the Río Copán has undermined the eastern part of the Acropolis in particular and thus destroyed some buildings there.

The Acropolis was not only home to the administrative apparatus and the residence of the ajaw (king), but also represented a reflection of Mayan mythology in the entirety of its buildings. An example of this is Temple 22, located in the eastern courtyard, which was built at the beginning of the 8th century. It was built in the 18th century and represents Mount Mo'Witz , the place where, according to legend, corn was created and which is also the seat of a patron deity of the city of Copán.

The ball playground

The great ball court seen from the Acropolis

The Copán playground for the Mesoamerican ball game is the second largest ever discovered in the Maya area after the facility in Chichén Itzá . It lies in the free area that separates the two halves of the main group. Its playing field is delimited by two embankments made of tufa in such a way that it takes the shape of the Roman letter "I". Each embankment is slightly raised by a building that was possibly intended as a lounge for spectators. Three stone markers are set into the ground along the longitudinal axis of the playing field.

The city's residents laid out the first ball playground as early as the 5th century AD under the first King Copán. It was built over several times; The current place dates from the early 8th century, the time of King " 18 Rabbits ". This complex also points to a central myth of the Maya, namely the origin of the ball game. On the northern marker stone you can see the two brothers Junajpu and Xb'alanke , the mythical first ball players who competed against the gods in the underworld and won with a trick. The stone opposite also shows a scene from this story, while 18 rabbits were depicted on the middle marker as ball players competing against the gods. The entire ball playground thus symbolized an entrance to the underworld.

Temple 26

The hieroglyphic staircase

Temple 26, built between 738 and 756, stands on the northern edge of the Acropolis. This step pyramid is best known for the hieroglyphic staircase that leads to the small sanctuary at the top of the temple. The 2,200 hieroglyphic blocks, spread over 55 levels, tell of the history of Copán, beginning with the founder of the city's ruling line. The staircase in its entirety represents the longest text carved in stone in Mayan script.

In the staircase there are six figures representing the kings of Copán. However, unlike on earlier statues, they wear the costumes of the warriors of the city of Teotihuacán, which at that time was already lost . For the first time, the prevailing mythological aspect takes a back seat in favor of a warlike depiction, presumably due to the raid on the city of Quiriguá a few years before construction began . The sanctuary at the top of the stairs also indicates a renewed cultural influence of Teotihuacán, because it contains two inscriptions from the year 751, whereby, similar to the Rosette stone, the same text was written twice in different languages, on the one hand in writing the Maya, on the other hand in the hieroglyphs of Teotihuacán.

Like so many other temples, the current building covers some older temples. The first building at the site of Temple 26, the so-called "Papagayo", was built around the middle of the 5th century. The fourth king of Copán had this partially torn down and built over with a temple, which was built over again around 600. Another building followed until the temple 26 that is visible today was built.

In the 16th or 17th century, the entire temple was affected by an earthquake. All levels above the 15th level started moving like a landslide. The signs of the higher levels are now used arbitrarily, the text of this part of the inscription can no longer be reconstructed. Some graves from the early classical period were also found under the temple itself, but the burial site of "Rauch-Hörnchen", the ruler under whom the building was completed, has not yet been discovered.

Stela A, erected in 731 by Waxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil

Altar Q

Altar Q

The cuboid altar Q stood in the west courtyard of the Acropolis in front of the largest building in Copán, Temple 16; it is now in the Copán Sculpture Museum. Like the hieroglyphic staircase, it provides information about the dynastic history of the city. On each of its four sides four richly dressed people are depicted, one after the other, sitting cross-legged on hieroglyphs. On the front, Yak Kuk Mo sits opposite the last of the row, Tax Pac, to whom he hands a staff. Between them is a date hieroglyph that indicates the year 763.

Since the first description of the altar in the middle of the 19th century, there have been several attempts to find out the meaning of the 16 people depicted. One suspected at first a gathering of astronomers or a political meeting; It was only from the late 1970s that the hieroglyphic staircase could be used to prove that the 16 kings who reigned up to 763 were depicted on the altar. The first person thus represents the first king of Copán, who symbolically presents his successor, the sixteenth in the line of ancestors, with the legitimation for the rule. The date hieroglyph thus denotes the day of the enthronement of the new king. The influence of Teotihuacán, which was growing stronger at the time of its construction, is also evident on the altar, because the first king of the dynasty does not wear a typical Mayan shield here, but a rectangular shield, as was customary in Teotihuacán. His wide-eyed eyes - a feature of the Teotihuacan god Tlaloc - also suggest it.

The steles

In the valley of the Río Copán, a veritable network of stone steles extends over a length of around 20 kilometers . The pillars, called lakam tuun (“big stone”) by the Maya, bear decorations, engravings or inscriptions on all sides that tell of the life of the represented kings or their actions. Before construction, the residents often had to move the stone piles, which weighed tons, up steep mountain slopes. The steles were usually set up for calendar or political anniversaries. Most of it comes from the time of the king “Rauch-Jaguar Imix-Monster”, including the steles on the “Great Square”. The lively style for which Copán is known today was developed under his grandson "18 Rabbits".

Many of the steles, but also shrines or altars that were set up on the outskirts of the city, simultaneously marked an opening to a cosmic plane, i.e. the respective city district, which was often referred to as such in the inscriptions. Their other purpose has not yet been clarified with certainty: it is assumed that they served as delimitation of the area ruled by the king or possibly also as observation stations. Another, older variant, according to which several steles marked astronomical observation lines, is now considered unlikely, since the necessary lines of sight are interrupted by high mountains.


Settlement in the pre-classical period

Settlement of the Copán Valley can be traced back to around 1300 BC. Most of the first people in the region settled on the alluvial soil in the valley, but traces were also discovered on the mountain slopes. At a depth of a few meters, the remains of a small house were found, the oldest traces of human settlement in the valley. The hut dates from the early pre-classical period (around 1300 to 1000 BC) and is located a few hundred meters east of the main group. The motifs on the ceramic objects found there are similar to motifs found in today's states of Guatemala and El Salvador and even in the Mexican state of Chiapas . Since there are no finds in the soil above it over a thickness of half a meter, it is assumed that the valley was not inhabited for some time after the early pre-classical period.

In 1978 archaeologists found evidence of around 50 structures at the same location, but a little closer to the surface, grouped around a dozen open spaces. The finds from the Middle Preclassic period (around 900 to 300 BC), also made in the 1970s, consist mainly of ceramics and a few graves. The earliest stone structure discovered so far comes from this time, a platform measuring six by 13 meters. A short time after its construction, a second platform was built, under which several graves with ceramics and jade jewelry were found. The jade objects are among the oldest finds of this kind in all of Mesoamerica.

Finds from the late early classical period are rather rare. In contrast to other Maya places, there seems to have been no further development of culture and society during this period; why is not yet clear. Accordingly, there are no inscriptions from an earlier epoch than the early classical period. It was not until around AD 100 that there was evidence of a cultural upswing based on the appearance of polychrome ceramic decorations and the renewed erection of modest stone platforms. In spite of these developments, the Pre-Classical area of ​​Copán was far from being as important as the great centers of the era.

Rise and flowering period

Until the early Classical period (around 250 to 400 AD), Copán had practically no supraregional significance; only later was it mentioned on an inscription that K'inich Yax-K'uk'-Mo ' ("Great Sun Green Quetzal - Macaw ") came to Copán in 426 and founded a dynasty. At that time, Copán was probably a very small settlement with no major stone buildings.

There is no essential information for the following seven rulers; there are not even inscriptions stating their dates of birth, enthronement , or death; they are only named on the altar Q, which was erected much later. Of the two closest members of the Copán dynasty, "Split Moon Leaf Jaguar", who ascended the throne in 553 and died at the age of 40, and Butz Chan ("Smoking Heaven"), who ruled for almost fifty years from 578, there are at least some vital dates. The “Rauch-Jaguar Imix-Ungeheuer” or “Rauch-Imix” for short, who was probably born around 613, is then the first ruler for whom individual construction projects can be verified. He ordered the erection of numerous steles along the Copán Valley. The northern part of the main group was also largely created under him.

Construction activity rose again by leaps and bounds under King Waxaklajuun Ub'aah K'awiil ("18 rabbits", ruler from 710). While on the one hand the numerous steles still visible today were erected on the Great Square, for which some buildings were demolished and their subsoil leveled, many of the Acropolis buildings that stood at that time were rebuilt or renovated, as was the ball playground . 18 Rabbit was also represented in his capacity as ruler of Copán with his wife on a stele, in whose inscription the city is named as one of the four great cities of the Maya, along with Palenque , Tikal and Calakmul , which suggests that Copán is one of them Possessed an immense amount of power. The king was captured after an attack on the city of Quiriguá in 736 and beheaded there, which is celebrated in Quiriguá in numerous inscriptions. No significant reports have been found so far of the next ajaw , K'ak 'Joplaj Chan K'awiil' ("Three Deaths "), who ruled for eleven years, but his successor K'ak 'Yipyaj Chan K'awiil ("Rauch- Hörnchen ”), who ascended the throne in 749, initiated the construction of Temple 26, which is best known for the so-called hieroglyphic staircase.

Decay and decline

Rauch-Hörnchen had married a woman from the Palenque dynasty who gave birth to a son named Yax Pasaj Chan Yoaat ("sunrise"). After the death of his father, Sunrise became king of Copán, but with his accession to the throne, the brothers of a ruler also gained greater importance for the first time. While there is no evidence that the king had lost any of his power, they first openly displayed their wealth and prestige in works of art. This time also brought the largest construction program on the way, which put all previous projects in the city in the shade. However, the buildings and works of art that were installed or renewed were of extremely inferior quality; even a dilapidated temple entrance had to be bricked up again during the reign of sunrise. The artistic care also decreased considerably compared to earlier times. A sculpture, which perhaps shows the handover of power to the successors of Sunrise, bears the last calendar inscription from Copán and is dated February 6, 822.

Over the centuries the city's population had grown immensely, possibly up to 25-30,000 in the end. At first only the valley areas were used for agriculture; From 650 onwards, even after intensification, this seemed no longer sufficient to supply the population, which is why people turned to the mountain slopes and cultivated crops there. This led to the deforestation of the forests, which, now that Copán was becoming more and more powerful, also served as a supplier of wood for the numerous magnificent buildings of the kings. In addition, people also needed the wood of the forests as fuel. The deforestation resulted in soil erosion on the land now used for agriculture , as the protection provided by the forests was no longer guaranteed. The leached topsoil was washed into the valley and covered the fields there. As a result, the arable land in the valley had to feed the large population, but this was hardly possible any more. Probably there was a dispute over the most fertile fields, until the anger of the people finally turned to the king, the many nobles and their courtiers, who with their lavish lifestyle in this situation had become more and more of a burden. This is also indicated by the traces of a fire that raged in the royal residence around 850. Finds indicate that some aristocrats were able to maintain their lifestyle until the late 10th century, but the population continued to decline until the valley was completely deserted in the middle of the 13th century. In contrast to other Maya cities, however, the climatic conditions prevented the dilapidated buildings from being completely overgrown by the jungle.

List of rulers of Copán

  1. K'inich Yax K'uk 'Mo' ("Large-Sun-Green-Quetzal-Macaw"), 426 to approx. 437, according to other information before 435;
  2. K'inich Popol Jol or Hol , also known as "Ruler 2", around 437;
  3. “Ruler 3”, around 455;
  4. Ku Ix or K'al Tuun Hix , around 465;
  5. “Ruler 5”, around 475/476;
  6. Muyal Jol ("cloud head"), also known as "ruler 6", around 485;
  7. B'alam Hehn ("Jaguar Mirror" or "Water Lily Jaguar"), approx. 504 to 524;
  8. “Ruler 8”, around 551;
  9. “Ruler 9”, 551–553;
  10. "Split Moon Leaf Jaguar", 553-578;
  11. Butz 'Chan ("smoke snake" or "fire-eating snake"), 578–628;
  12. "Rauch Imix" ("Rauch Jaguar Imix monster"), 628–695;
  13. Waxaklajuun Ub'aah K'awiil ("18 rabbits"), 695-736 / 738;
  14. K'ak 'Joplaj Chan K'awiil ("smoke monkey"), 738–749;
  15. K'ak 'Yipyaj Chan K'awiil (“smoke shell” or “smoke squirrel”), 749 to approx. 761/763, married to Chak Nik Ye Xook from Palenque ;
  16. Yax Pasaj Chan Yoaat ("sunrise"), also known as "Yax Pac" , 763 to approx. 820 (?);
  17. (Unsure of the number) U Kit Took ' , probably around 822.
Drawing of “Stele N” by Frederick Catherwood , 1839. The stele is probably dedicated to King
K'ac Yipyaj Chan K'awiil (“Smoke Squirrel”, 749–763).


Rediscovered by travelers

The city of Copán was first mentioned in 1576 by the Spaniard Diego Garciá de Palacio in his report on an inspection trip to Guatemala and Honduras :

“In the vicinity […] of the first city in the province of Honduras, called Copán, there are ruins and traces of a numerous population and impressively beautiful buildings, built with such skill that they could never have been built by such crude people as them today's residents. They are located on a beautiful river in an excellent location. "

Among other things, Palacio describes several figures, such as a parrot sculpture that is attached to the frieze of the ball playground, and some steles on the large square. His report had been in a Spanish archive since 1576 and did not appear until 1840 in a carelessly drafted French translation; In 1859 a bilingual edition was published in Spanish and English.

A new description of the ruins appeared around 1700, but it was not until the Spanish-English officer Juan Galindo that the city became a matter of public interest in 1834. Starting in 1839, John Lloyd Stephens , the then ambassador of the United States of America to the Central American Confederation , traveled together with the draftsman Frederick Catherwood to Guatemala and the Yucatán Peninsula, where the two visited and documented numerous ruined Mayan cities. Stephens had read Galindo's report, which had piqued his curiosity. Copán was the first city they visited. When a Spanish landowner wanted to claim ownership of the city soon after arriving, Stephens bought it from him for just $ 50. Stephens' report, and especially the detailed drawings by Catherwood, attracted a great deal of public interest; however , unlike Stephens, many of the ancient Americanists of the time believed that the ruins were built by cultures of the ancient world.

After Stephens' trip, the city was visited several times over the next forty years, but it was only Alfred Percival Maudslay who made significant progress in exploration from 1885 onwards. Maudslay had previously set out on a trip to the Maya area “out of curiosity” and has now returned to conduct more detailed research. In Copán he made a map of the city and photographs of some ruins for the first time. Maudslay was also the first to recognize the Acropolis as a whole building complex and to carry out the first excavations. In 1889 he published the results of his research in the work Biologia Centrali-Americana - Archeology , which was published by the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology .

Early excavations

Charles P. Bowditch, an ethnologist from the Peabody Museum, acquired the ten-year rights in 1891 to conduct excavations in Copán. Before the government of Honduras prematurely revoked these rights four years later due to a political crisis, the archaeologists, including Maudslay, found over half a dozen previously unknown steles and began exploring the hieroglyphic staircase of Temple 26. previously undiscovered inscriptions on the walls of some other temples. George B. Gordon, one of the expedition leaders, made the first topographical map of the Copán Valley.

Sylvanus G. Morley in Copán (photo from 1912)

After the end of the Peabody expedition, the American Herbert J. Spinden dealt primarily with the steles and their engravings and decorations. Based on the countless representations, he was able to reconstruct the artistic development of the representations on the steles and thus found a way to check the accuracy of deciphered calendar dates. His work was continued by the young archaeologist Sylvanus Griswold Morley , who visited Copán a total of seven times on behalf of the Carnegie Institution of Washington between 1910 and 1919 and carefully examined the inscriptions of every building accessible at the time. In the report The Inscriptions at Copán , published in 1920 , he presented his findings and tried to extract some calendar dates from the inscriptions. With his view that every building was built to "mark" a new period of time, he influenced other Maya researchers for decades. It was the same with the conclusion that the Maya were ruled by priest-kings who were primarily concerned with astronomical observations and did not wage wars.

In 1935, the Carnegie Institution started an extensive restoration program. In the following years, among other things, the ball playground and the hieroglyphic staircase were restored. Among other things, the Acropolis was protected against erosion by the water masses by a dam and the diversion of the Río Copán made by the Honduran government at the end of the 1930s. At the time, the research was headed by Gustav Stromsvik , whose initiative it is also thanks to that the city center was completely exposed and the Copán Museum was set up on the site of the ruins. The Russian-American architect Tatiana Avenirovna Proskouriakoff also came to Copán in the early 1940s . She dealt mainly with sculptures and reliefs, but also with the reconstruction of individual ruins; her main merit, however, was her breakthrough in deciphering Mayan writing . From the early 1950s to the 1970s, archaeologists from the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia ("Honduran Institute for Anthropology and History") took over the research.

Research projects of recent times

After the Honduran government had given permission for the restoration, archaeologists from different countries have been tackling several projects in collaboration with the Institute for Anthropology and History in Honduras since 1975 . Phase I of the Proyecto Arqueologico Copán ("PAC I", 1977-80) primarily endeavored to map the many as yet unexplored mounds of earth, including along the Copán Valley. Afterwards ("PAC II", 1980–85) an attempt was made to research the development of population growth and land use over an area of ​​135 square kilometers, which should contribute to the reconstruction of economic and political development. At the same time, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania were digging on the grounds of the palace in the main group, which should serve the same goal.

Since the late 1980s, researchers have focused primarily on the Acropolis. In 1989, the systematic tunneling under the Acropolis began and in the same year a building was found that the Maya had built over with Temple 16, which is still visible on the surface of the earth, long after it was built. The "Rosalila" baptized structure was built in 573 and was a tribute to the first king of the Copán dynasty. It is considered to be the best preserved building in the entire Maya area.

Since the nineties, the tunnel system has developed into a veritable labyrinth. The archaeologists of the Early Copán Acropolis Program under the direction of David Sedat from the University of Pennsylvania found several royal tombs from the early Classical period, which also contained rich grave goods. In the meantime, Copán has also been opened to tourists, with research continuing unchanged.

See also


  • CW Ceram : Gods, Graves and Scholars. An archeology novel . Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Hamburg 1972. ISBN 3-499-16790-5 . (goes into more detail on Stephens' trip to Copán, but otherwise not recommended due to the long outdated research results presented (as of 1949).)
  • Jared Diamond : Collapse. Why societies survive or perish . S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16730-2 . (treats in one chapter the collapse of the classical Maya with Copán as a concrete example)
  • William L. Fash: Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya . Thames and Hudson, London 1991. ISBN 0-500-28282-X . (slightly outdated, but very detailed presentation of the research results in English)
  • Nikolai Grube (Ed.): Maya. God kings in the rainforest . Könemann-Verlag, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-8290-1564-X . (Collection of essays on specific topics about the Maya, contains, among other things, further information about the structure and construction of the city and also about the journey of John Lloyd Stephens)
  • Simon Martin / Nikolai Grube: Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens. Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. Thames & Hudson, 2nd ed., London 2008, ISBN 978-0-500-28726-2 , pp. 190-213.
  • Berthold Riese : The Maya: History - Culture - Religion (from the series "Beck Knowledge"). Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2006. ISBN 3-406-46264-2 . (Summary of the Maya; contains further details on the dynastic history of Copán)
  • Linda Schele , David Freidel : The unknown world of the Maya. The secret of their culture deciphered. Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-89350-737-X .
  • Linda Schele and Peter Mathews: The Code of Kings. The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs . Touchstone Publisher, New York 1999. ISBN 978-0-684-80106-3 . [Chapter 4: Copan: The Great Plaza of Waxaklahun-Ubah-K'awil ]
  • Gerd Sdouz: Altar Q - Copan, Honduras . Berger Verlag, Horn / Vienna 2015. ISBN 978-3-85028-680-0 . (Summarizes the current state of research on Altar Q, including the processing of the previously lost records of Juan Galindo , who was the first researcher to document the Maya site in 1834.)
  • George E. Stuart: The Great Empire of Copán . In: Best of National Geographic . The fascinating world of the Maya and the great cultures of Mesoamerica 1/2003, 2003, EAN 4-195694-607508-0-1. (covers among other things the modern history of exploration)

Web links

Commons : Copán  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Grube 2000, p. 120
  2. cf. Fash 1991, p. 37
  3. cf. Grube 2000, p. 290
  4. cf. Grube 2000, p. 159
  5. cf. Grube 2000, p. 191
  6. cf. Riese 2006, p. 85
  7. cf. Grube 2000, p. 110
  8. cf. Riese 2006, p. 83
  9. cf. Fash 1991, p. 69
  10. cf. Fash 1991, p. 71
  11. cf. Riese 2006, p. 81
  12. cf. Riese 2006, p. 84.
  13. cf. Diamond 2005, p. 213.
  14. cf. Diamond 2005, p. 215.
  15. from: Grube 2000, p. 456
  16. quoted in: Grube 2000, p. 400f., From Carta dirijada al Rey de España por el Licenciado Dr. Don Diego Garciá del Palacio , 1576 (German title: Report of the Licenciado Dr. Don Diego Garciá de Palacio for the King of Spain )
  17. cf. Grube 2000, p. 116
  18. cf. Fash 1991, p. 49
  19. for both of Morley's theses cf. Fash 1991, pp. 53f.
  20. cf. Stuart 2003, p. 52
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 28, 2007 .

Coordinates: 14 ° 50 ′ 15 "  N , 89 ° 8 ′ 33"  W.