Kuil Rosalila, Copan

Kuil Rosalila, Copan


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


Kuil Rosalila, Copan - Sejarah

Selamat datang ke laman web runtuhan mayan.

stela H c.1840 frederick catherwood

kumpulan perkuburan frans-banja mulder

Gelanggang bola adalberto hernandez vega

tangga hieroglif peter andersen

detail candi ballcourt gustavo jeronimo

stela N aldaberto hernandez vega

tangga hieroglif elmaki

kuil 11 terperinci adalberto hernandez vega

candi 11 plaza view hjpd

Stela B detail talk2winik

candi 11 mahkamah barat pandangan hjpd

COPAN-Copan, Honduras

PENERANGAN
Copan, Tapak Warisan Dunia UNESCO, adalah salah satu kerajaan Maya kuno yang utama, dan terletak di perbatasan tenggara kawasan Maya. Ekspresi artistik yang dicapai dalam penyajian stelae patung pada Zaman Klasik (200-600 Masehi) tidak ada tandingannya di mana saja di Amerika.

Copan terletak di hutan hujan tropika di sepanjang sungai dan lembah dengan nama yang sama. Sungai Copan adalah anak sungai dari Sungai Motagua yang kuat yang merupakan jalan perdagangan penting yang menghubungkan Dataran Tinggi dengan Teluk Honduras, dan dari sana ke Belize dan seterusnya ke Semenanjung Yucatan.

Taufan Mitch membuktikan daya tahan kejuruteraan Maya ketika menghancurkan Honduras pada bulan Mac 1998. Tinjauan di lokasi kejadian setelah taufan menunjukkan keberkesanan sistem saliran kuno yang belum diketahui yang telah dilakukan dengan luar biasa dan mencegah kerosakan dari jumlah besar hujan yang jatuh di laman web.

Laman web ini pernah merangkumi 15 batu persegi / 25 km. Hari ini, Taman Arkeologi Copan seluas kira-kira 210 ekar / 84 hektar. Ia terletak di Honduras barat sekitar 100 batu / 160 km barat daya dari bandar San Pedro Sula, dan sekitar 16 batu / 21kms dari sempadan Guatemala. Ikut jalan raya 15 dari San Pedro Sula ke La Entrada, dan kemudian Lebuhraya 20 ke Copan Ruinas. Laman web ini juga dapat dicapai dari Ibu Kota di jalan berturap yang baik dari San Salvador dan dari Guatemala.

JAM: 8 A.M-4 P.M.
YURAN MASUK: Bayaran tambahan US $ 15 untuk muzium dan terowong.
PANDUAN: Terdapat di lokasi
PERKHIDMATAN: Bilik mandi
MUSEUM ON-SITE: Ya, ada juga di bandar Ruin Copan
PENGINAPAN: Makanan dan penginapan boleh didapati berdekatan dengan Copan Ruinas

GPS: 14d 51 '20: N, 89d 09' 33 "W
PELBAGAI:

SEJARAH DAN EKSPLORASI
Copan mempunyai sejarah penyelesaian bermula dari Awal Pra Klasik (1000-800 SM). Terdapat bukti arkeologi yang menyokong pautan ke pusat Olmec di Pantai Teluk. Menjelang Pra Klasik (300 SM-200 M), seni bina monumental dimulakan dengan prasasti kalendar yang dirakam di altar, kuil, dan barang-barang penguburan. Sedikit yang diketahui mengenai penguasa dan sejarah yang berkaitan dalam jangka masa ini.

Dinasti baru ditubuhkan pada tahun 426 M. oleh K’inich Yax Kuk Mo (Great Sun First / Resplendent Quetzal Macaw). Ini memulakan pemerintahan selama hampir 400 tahun dari 17 penguasa berturut-turut. Diperkirakan bahawa K'inich Yax Kuk Mo dilahirkan di Tikal dan dipasang di Copan oleh penguasa kota itu, Siyaj Chan K'awill II, dan menjadi rakan dagang dan sekutu penting.

Copan daripada mula berkembang dalam populasi, dan kepentingan ekonomi dan politik. Ia menguasai kawasan yang luas dengan sejumlah keadaan bawahannya sendiri. Yang paling terkenal adalah kota Quirigua 30 batu / 48kms di sebelah barat dan terletak di pertemuan sungai Copan dan Motagua. Bandar ini dikembangkan dengan besar di bawah pemerintahan Copan legendaris Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awill (18 Arnab). Dia memasang Kak Tiliw Chan Yopaat sebagai pengikutnya pada tahun 724 Masehi. Dengan tindakan khianat, Yopaat kemudiannya menangkap dan mengorbankan 18 Arnab pada tahun 738 Masehi. Acara ini mungkin berlaku di bawah arahan kota / negeri Calakmul yang hebat, saingan sengit Tikal, dua kuasa besar pada masa itu yang menguasai sebahagian besar kawasan Maya.

Bencana ini sangat melemahkan kedudukan politik dan ekonomi Copan, dan seterusnya menjadikan Quirigua menjadi entiti terkemuka dan bebas. Copan terus berlanjutan, walaupun dalam kapasiti yang semakin berkurang, akhirnya memulihkan dan mengembangkan pembinaan bangunan, tetapi hari-hari terhebatnya berada di belakangnya. Penguasa terakhir yang dirakam ialah Ukit Took yang naik takhta pada tahun 822 AD. Laman web ini mengalami sindrom runtuh yang sama seperti di kawasan dataran rendah Maya yang lain, dan setelah sekian lama, penurunan perlahan ditinggalkan pada abad ke-10.

Pada Zaman Klasik Akhir (600-900 Masehi) gaya keramik dikembangkan yang menghubungkan Copan dengan rapat ke tapak San Andres di El Salvador. Potongan ini banyak terdapat di kedua-dua laman web ini. Banyak mengandungi prasasti pelek glifik Sapi Wi'il, "banyak". Nama yang diberikan untuk gaya ini dikenal sebagai "Copador". Apa hubungan sebenarnya yang wujud antara kedua-dua laman web ini belum sepenuhnya diperiksa atau ditentukan.

Pemerhatian yang menarik oleh penyelidik telah dibuat mengenai catatan sejarah laman web ini. Berbanding dengan kebanyakan situs Maya, beberapa prasasti atau ukiran monumen menggambarkan pemandangan perang, pengorbanan, tahanan, atau peringatan kemenangan.

Laporan pertama mengenai Copan dibuat pada tahun 1576 oleh Diego Garcia de Palacio. Laporan seterusnya datang pada awal abad ke-19 dari Jean-Frederic Waldeck, dan Juan Galindo, komandan tentera Flores di Guatemala. Kolonel Galindo (John Gallagher) berperanan merebut kubu terakhir Sepanyol di Amerika Tengah di bandar Omoa, Honduras. Di sana mengikuti para penjelajah yang berani John Lloyd Stephens dan Frederick Catherwood pada tahun 1841. Mereka menghasilkan peta laman web pertama dan gambar runtuhan dan monumen yang tepat. Laman web ini sangat mengagumkan Stephens sehingga membelinya dengan jumlah wang AS $ 50. Buku-buku mereka sangat senang dibaca.

Penyelidikan dan sumbangan penting seterusnya dibuat oleh Alfred Maudslay (1880 -90-an), Peabody Museum of Harvard (1890-an), dan Carnegie Institution (1935-46). Penggalian, pemulihan dan penyatuan berterusan di laman web ini hingga hari ini.

STRUKTUR
Copan terdiri daripada beberapa kumpulan struktur yang disusun di sekitar plaza dan halaman di paksi utara / selatan. Terdapat banyak stelae dan altar berukir di seluruh kawasan inti dan sekitarnya. Stelae yang dihasilkan di sini adalah contoh indah keindahan seni seni Maya. Mereka tidak seperti yang lain yang dihasilkan di Dunia Maya. Ukiran gambar hampir sepanjang bulat, dengan perincian indah di seluruh. Ekspresi wajah stelae ini menghasilkan aurora keagungan dan ketenangan. Mereka diukir pada tiga sisi yang lain dengan teks-teks glifis sejarah yang luas.

The Great Plaza merangkumi sebahagian besar laman utama. Ia dikelilingi oleh tiga sisi dengan platform yang rendah dan melangkah yang memberikan kesan berjalan ke plaza. Ia berlabuh di hujung utara oleh Struktur 2, dan membentuk sub plaza yang berakhir di sebelah selatan oleh Struktur 4. Sub plaza ini telah dikenali dengan nama yang berbeza seperti Main Plaza, The Sun Plaza, Monument Plaza, dan Stelae Plaza.

Sub plaza mengandungi kumpulan stelae dan monumen terbesar di laman web ini. Kumpulan ini terdiri daripada 7 stelae dan altarnya, serta 3 monumen lain. Sebilangan besar stel di lokasi tersebut juga didapati mempunyai peti besi kecil di bawah platform sokongan yang mengandungi persembahan seramik, stalaktit, batu giok dan tempurung.

Stelae A & amp B mengandungi tarikh akhir Katun pada 9.15.0.0.0, 20 Ogos 731 A.D., yang telah membantu sehingga kini pengabdian plaza. Mereka berdua menggambarkan penguasa Copan ke-13, Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awill (18 Arnab). Terdapat juga 4 stelae lain yang didirikan oleh penguasa ini di sub plaza.

Struktur 4 terletak di pusat dan merupakan piramid terpotong empat tingkat dengan tangga di setiap sisi. Telah dinyatakan bahawa ia dirancang untuk tujuan astronomi bersama dengan beberapa stelae dalam kumpulan itu. Di kedua-dua sudut timur laut dan barat laut sub plaza terdapat dua kompleks kecil yang mengandungi platform rendah, halaman, dan struktur kuil.

Bahagian utara Struktur 4 terbuka ke The Grand Plaza tepat. Plaza ini meluas secara signifikan ke timur di mana serangkaian platform dan struktur rendah membentuk perimeter timur. Terdapat 5 stelae, 4 mezbah dan 2 monumen lain yang terletak di plaza ini. Bahagian tenggara plaza diduduki oleh Ball Court Plaza dan Hieroglyphic Stairway Plaza.

Ball Court Plaza terdiri dari lapangan bola dengan kuil-kuilnya yang digabungkan, dan struktur platform yang lebih kecil yang membentang dari sisi timur gelanggang bola, membentuk sudut yang tepat, dan menutup gelanggang bola dalam formasi klasik "I". Gelanggang bola seperti yang dilihat hari ini adalah penjelmaan ketiga, dan merupakan salah satu yang terbesar di Dunia Maya. Dinding gelanggang miring dihiasi dengan kepala terpahat dari 6 macaw, tiga di setiap sisi. Terdapat prasasti pengabdian yang berlaku pada tahun 738 A.D.

Hieroglyphic Plaza dibentuk oleh lapangan bola di utara, Kuil 26 di Timur, dan The Acropolis di selatan. Kuil 26 adalah piramid yang mengagumkan yang sub strukturnya mengandungi dua makam tokoh penting. Salah satu makam ditutupi oleh lempengan batu berukir yang dikenal sebagai Motmot Capstone, dan berisi teks tertua dari Copan. Persembahan penguburan eksotik dari kubur telah ditemui termasuk merkuri, batu giok, obsidian, jaguar, seramik, pembakar kemenyan hiasan, dan sekurang-kurangnya satu kodeks langka sejak hancur. Struktur ini melalui tujuh fasa pembinaan bermula pada abad ke-5. Kuil di puncak kebanyakannya telah hilang dengan hanya tinggal substruktur. Sebahagian dari farie indah yang pernah menghiasi kuil telah ditemui dan kini dipamerkan di muzium di lokasi.

Apa yang telah membawa terkenal dunia ke kuil ini adalah Hieroglyphic Stairway yang mengagumkan yang naik 86 kaki / 26m dari plaza ke puncak. Ia mempunyai lebar 30 kaki / 10 meter. Tangga luar biasa ini terdiri daripada lebih dari 2,000 batu karang individu yang disusun di atas 63 anak tangga, dan menceritakan sejarah dinasti yang berkuasa. Sejauh ini adalah prasasti glifik terpanjang di Dunia Maya. Tangga itu dibina oleh 18 Arnab pada tahun 710 M, dan seluruh strukturnya kemudian diperluas, dengan tangga dipasang semula, oleh Smoke Squirrel pada tahun 755 A.D.

Terdapat lima patung yang diukir dengan indah yang terletak di tengah-tengah tangga dari bawah ke atas. Semua kecuali satu masih ada. Patung yang satu itu dikeluarkan seratus tahun yang lalu dan kini berada di Muzium Peabody, bersama dengan sebahagian tangga glifik. Patung keenam pernah menghiasi bahagian atas tangga di depan Kuil 26. Stela M dari tupai asap dengan mezbah yang berkaitan dijumpai di plaza di hadapan tangga.

Acropolis berlabuh di hujung selatan Hieroglyphic Stairway Plaza dengan Temple 11 di pangkalannya. Ini adalah pusat istiadat dan kemungkinan kawasan kediaman kelas pemerintah. Ini adalah platform besar yang terdiri daripada dua kompleks yang mengandungi kuil, piramid, istana, makam, dan monumen. Kompleks ini dikenali sebagai Kumpulan Timur dan Kumpulan Barat.

Kumpulan Timur kembali ke Sungai Copan. Ini memiliki tembok besar dan besar yang membentang ke dasar sungai lama ketika sungai saat ini telah dialihkan untuk melindungi reruntuhan. Sebahagian dari kompleks ini telah hilang dari kekuatan hakisan sungai yang merangkumi Struktur 19-21, dan bahagian timur struktur 18.

Kuil 22 membentuk sisi utara Mahkamah Timur dan kembali ke Kuil 26. Ia juga dikenali sebagai Kuil Pintu Patung, dan sebagai Kuil Meditasi. Ini adalah struktur bertingkat dan memiliki pintu terpahat yang luar biasa yang mewakili Bumi Monster, sangat mengingatkan seni bina gaya Chenes. Ia dibina oleh penguasa, 18 Arnab, untuk memperingati Katun pertamanya (20 tahun) sebagai raja pada tahun 715 M.

Di sebelah barat Mahkamah Timur terdapat Jaguar Stairway yang menuju ke Venus Altar. Jaguar Stairway diapit oleh jaguar terpahat di kaki belakang dengan pose animasi. Terdapat lekukan pada badan mereka yang pernah memegang cakera obsidian. Venus Altar terpusat di dinding struktur kuil yang panjang. Ia menggambarkan topeng besar Dewa Matahari, K'inich Ahau.

Kuil 18 terletak di sebelah tenggara Mahkamah Timur. Tembok timurnya telah lenyap ke Sungai Copan. Langkah di sebelah selatan meluas ke makam penguasa Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat yang berkubah (memerintah 763-c.810 A.D.). Pilaster berhias membingkai pintu masuk kuil atas dengan gambaran penguasa mati yang terlibat dalam tarian perang.

Kuil 16 terletak di antara Mahkamah Timur dan Mahkamah Barat. Ia adalah struktur terbesar di Acropolis, dan menghadap ke Mahkamah Barat. Struktur ini adalah yang terakhir dari yang terbina di atas yang lain seperti yang biasa dilakukan di kalangan orang Maya, dan merupakan kompleks penguburan pengasas Copan, K'inich Yax K'uk Mo. Ciri yang luar biasa dari piramid ini bukanlah yang melihat, tetapi apa yang terkubur di bawahnya adalah Kuil Rosalila.

Kuil Rosalila adalah struktur yang terpelihara dengan baik dengan tarikh awal abad ke-6, dan didedikasikan untuk pengasas Copan Yax Kuk Mo. Ia mengandungi hiasan stuko yang dibentuk dengan rumit, dan dicat dengan warna merah terang. Ia dikebumikan dengan teliti oleh 18 Arnab ketika dia membesarkan Acropolis. Terdapat replika kuil yang menakjubkan ini di muzium di lokasi.

Kuil 11, Kuil Prasasti, adalah struktur lain yang terkenal di Mahkamah Barat dan membentuk sisi selatan Great Plaza. Struktur ini didedikasikan pada 26 September 776 M oleh raja Copan agung terakhir, Yax Pak. Ia mempunyai tangga yang megah yang mengantarkan 33 kaki / 10 meter ke platform atas. Struktur jenis istana yang panjang mempunyai panjang platform.

Di sisi lain struktur, tangga lain menuju ke Mahkamah Barat, dan diapit oleh sepasang makhluk simian yang memegang obor. Melalui bahagian dalam struktur ini berjalan dua lorong yang diselaraskan di sepanjang titik kardinal. Di persimpangan lorong-lorong ini terletak bangku mezbah. Mengapit bangku adalah tangga dalaman yang menuju ke tahap kedua yang kini hancur. Altar itu mengandungi panel hiasan yang indah sepanjang 16 kaki / 5 meter yang menggambarkan serangkaian raja duduk seperti yang ditunjukkan di Altar Q. Raja-raja duduk ini mewakili nenek moyang kerajaan Yax Pak, dan menggambarkan penyertaannya pada 2 Julai 763 AD di hadapan mereka. Panel ini kini ditempatkan di British Museum.

Tugu yang paling mengagumkan dan terkenal di Mahkamah Barat ialah Altar Q. Altar dibuat dari bongkah batu besar yang berukuran lebih kurang 5 kaki / 1.3 meter persegi, dan tingginya 3 kaki / 1 meter. Perkara itu dikemukakan oleh Galindo dan Stephens pada awal tahun 1800-an. Bahagian atas mezbah itu mempunyai panel yang mengandungi 36 mesin terbang yang berfungsi dengan baik dan terpelihara. Di sepanjang sisi terdapat 16 penguasa duduk yang telah dikenal sebagai raja Copan, masa lalu dan sekarang, dalam upacara aksesi. Terdapat tarikh dedikasi pada 9.17.5.0.0, 27 Disember 775 A.D.

Banyak terowong yang digali di bawah Acropolis telah menunjukkan lima fasa pembinaan utama yang merangkumi jangka masa dua abad dan yang dikaitkan dengan lima penguasa yang berbeza. Selain Kuil Rosalila, bangunan lain termasuk struktur Margarita yang berisi Batu Xukpi yang diukir dengan rumit, dan masih belum dipahami.

Di belakang Acropolis terdapat sebuah kompleks kecil yang dikenali sebagai Cemetery Group. Ini agak keliru kerana kompleks ini telah dikenal pasti sebagai kawasan perumahan kerajaan. Ia terdiri daripada sejumlah struktur yang dipulihkan dengan baik yang disusun di sekitar plaza pusat.

Kumpulan Sepulturas terletak tidak jauh dari timur laut Grand Plaza dan pernah dihubungkan oleh sacbe (jalan batu putih) dari Great Plaza. Kompleks ini mengandungi sejarah penempatan terawal di laman web ini, dan sejumlah platform dan pengebumian bertarikh ke Late Pre Classic. Semasa zaman kegemilangan Copan di era Klasik kompleks ini berkembang menjadi kumpulan kediaman istimewa. Terdapat banyak struktur yang terletak di sekitar beberapa plaza. Sebilangan struktur ini telah dipulihkan, yang paling terkenal adalah The House of the Scribe.

Terdapat kumpulan kediaman lain di sekitar kawasan teras juga. Bandar moden Copan Ruinas dibina berdasarkan kumpulan penting. Altar dan stelae telah ditemui di sana. Di sebelah selatan adalah kumpulan lain, El Bosque, yang mengandungi ballcourt, Ballcourt B.


Kuil Rosalila, Copan - Sejarah

Penerbitan Institut Arkeologi Amerika

Makam kerajaan Maya baru muncul dari terowong di bawah Cop & aacuten's Acropolis

Raja-raja Cop & aacuten membina kuil-kuil mereka di atas yang lain, meninggalkan sebahagian bangunan lama di dalam struktur baru. Selama 20 tahun, ahli arkeologi Ricardo Agurcia telah memasuki kuil-kuil ini, di mana dia baru-baru ini menemui sebuah makam raja. (Ken Garrett)

Raja-raja Maya Cop & aacuten tidak berminat untuk memindahkan gunung. Mereka lebih suka membangunnya sendiri, seperti piramid yang sekarang dikenali sebagai Kuil 16. Terletak 100 kaki di atas Plaza Besar kota, ia adalah titik tertinggi di antara sekumpulan bangunan suci yang ahli arkeologi dijuluki "Acropolis." Di dalam terowong penggalian jauh di bawah permukaan piramid, wajah raja-matahari memarahi saya dari dinding kuilnya. Penguasa kuno di bandar ini membina kuil-kuilnya - yang paling atas - sesuai dengan keperluan masa ini. Saat yang saya lawati berlaku tidak lama selepas 540 A.D. ketika empat kuil pertama dibina di sekitar sebuah plaza kecil di puncak Acropolis.

Wajah raja-matahari menghiasi lantai pertama Rosalila, sebuah kuil yang pernah dilukis dengan warna merah cerah yang berdarah. Imejnya memakai hiasan kepala berwarna merah, kuning, dan bulu hijau - bulu quetzal dan macaw - dan garis melengkung di matanya mengaitkannya dengan gambaran dewa matahari. Kata-kata Maya untuk setiap elemen patung ini mengeja namanya, K'inich Yax K'uk 'Mo', yang diterjemahkan sebagai "Sun-Eyed Resplendent Quetzal Macaw," raja pertama Cop & aacuten. Empat puluh tiga kaki di bawah lantai kuil, makam raja-matahari dijumpai di dalam salah satu bangunan pertama yang akan dibina di Acropolis. Bermula sekitar tahun 426 M., ketika K'inich Yax K'uk 'Mo' berkuasa, Temple 16 mengalami tujuh fasa utama pembinaan, serta puluhan pengubahsuaian dan penambahan yang lebih kecil. Fasa terakhir berlaku pada tahun 775 A.D. tidak lama sebelum kota, yang meliputi 520 ekar dan mempunyai populasi sekitar 28,000 orang di puncaknya, sebagian besar ditinggalkan.

Ricardo Agurcia, pengarah sebuah organisasi penyelidikan dan pelancongan lestari yang disebut Persatuan Cop & aacuten, menemui Rosalila pada tahun 1989. Cop & aacuten terletak di Honduras utara-tengah di bahagian selatan wilayah Maya. Menemui Rosalila merevolusikan apa yang diketahui mengenai sejarah awal bandar dan perbatasan selatan Maya. Sekarang dia telah menemukan sebuah kuil bersebelahan yang disebut Orop & eacutendola, dan menemukan seorang raja yang dibaringkan di bawahnya.

Agurcia mengajak saya ke sini untuk melihat penemuan, dan kami telah berhenti di Rosalila untuk sedikit orientasi dalam ikonografi Maya. Fasad bangunan melambung tiga tingkat ke arah kegelapan di atas. Berdiri di ruang sempit yang memisahkan kuil dari dinding terowong, saya melihat wajah lain yang menatap dari tingkat dua. Agurcia memberitahu saya bahawa itu adalah monster gunung, Witz, melambangkan peranan kuil sebagai gunung upacara. Orang Maya memahami gunung-ganang sebagai tempat yang kuat yang mereka yakini bahawa dewa hujan menyimpan air di dalamnya dan gua-gua yang menembusnya adalah pintu masuk ke dunia bawah. Rosalila dikebumikan sekitar 700 AD. Kuil ini dilapisi dengan plaster putih, yang ditafsirkan oleh Agurcia sebagai pembalseman simbolik bangunan. Isi pembinaan diletakkan dengan teliti terhadap kuil yang memeliharanya hampir sempurna.

Piramid yang disebut Kuil 16 naik 100 kaki di atas tanah. Di bawah lapisan luarnya terdapat sisa-sisa puluhan bangunan suci sejak zaman awal pemerintahan Maya, 426 Masehi. Dua kuil masih utuh di dalam piramid. (Dengan hormat Proyecto Orop & eacutendola)

Agurcia dan pengarah ladangnya, Molly Fierer-Donaldson, membawa saya ke terowong rendah dan sempit yang menuju ke Orop & eacutendola. Kami meninggalkan raja-matahari, sekarang pucat dan hanya diterangi oleh sebatang lampu pijar telanjang.

Dari sudut pandang biologi, Agurcia nampaknya kurang sesuai dengan persekitaran pilihannya. Agurcia berdiri setinggi enam kaki, empat inci, dan harus membengkok seperti tanda tanya ketika kita bergerak melalui terowong. Dalam perjalanan pertamanya ke terowong, dia mengetahui bahawa dia menderita claustrophobia. "Ketika saya bermula, saya memberitahu [rakan dan rakan sekerja William Fash] bahawa saya akan pergi ke sana, tetapi saya berhak untuk keluar dari terowong sambil menjerit," katanya kepada saya kemudian.

Ahli arkeologi telah menggali terowong lebih dari dua batu melalui Acropolis, setiap kaki ruang dibayar dengan berjam-jam tenaga kerja dan dengan kos untuk mengacaukan batu di atasnya. Maklum, terowong Agurcia cenderung lebih besar daripada yang digali oleh yang lain. Dia juga memastikan ada dua atau tiga jalan keluar dari mana sahaja dia bekerja. Seiring berjalannya waktu, terowongnya telah menjadi ruang yang tidak asing lagi yang memicu fobia, dan dia merasakan dia mempunyai alasan yang baik untuk menghadapi ketakutannya dari hari ke hari. "Barang yang saya temui sangat keterlaluan, benar-benar di luar dinding," katanya. "Karya itu sangat menarik. Siapa sangka saya akan menjumpai dua bangunan yang hampir lengkap."

Kepala monyet giok ini adalah sebahagian dari kalung yang dikuburkan bersama raja. Ini melambangkan gelaran mulia Ahau, yang bermaksud "Tuan." Mengeksport jed adalah sumber kekayaan utama bagi penguasa Cop & acuten. (Dengan hormat Proyecto Orop & eacutendola)

Agurcia melipat dirinya ke terowong dan kami bertiga menuju lebih jauh ke dalam piramid, menyalakan lampu suluh kami ketika memasuki bahagian terowong yang baru digali. Kemiringan secara beransur-ansur membawa kepada kisah kedua Orop & eacutendola, di mana saya tanpa sengaja melihat gambar monster gunung yang lain, Witz. Wajahnya hampir terbentang selebar seluruh kuil.

Orop & eacutendola tidak dipelihara dengan teliti seperti Rosalila. Seluruh tingkat tiga dan kira-kira satu pertiga dari struktur yang lain musnah semasa pembinaan kemudian. Kedua-dua bangunan itu juga dirancang dengan cara yang berbeza. Daripada hiasan yang dibuat sepenuhnya dari plaster, yang membolehkan para pemahat membuat garis cecair dan perincian yang rumit, hiasan Orop & eacutendola dibuat dari bongkah batu yang dilapisi lapisan tipis dari plaster dicat. Blok-blok itu membuat karya seni kelihatan seperti dipasang dari Legos, dan plaster hampir habis. Imej Witz selebar 17 kaki tetapi tingginya hanya beberapa kaki, sehingga wajahnya berjongkok dan terbentang. Ini adalah perubahan radikal dari penggambaran monster itu pada Rosalila.

Saya tertanya-tanya mengapa perbezaan karya seni antara dua kuil yang dibina hanya beberapa tahun begitu ketara. "Itu mungkin hanya kehendak," kata Agurcia, "tapi saya rasa itu ada hubungannya dengan akses ke plaster." Sama ada cukup batu kapur atau kayu bakar untuk memanaskan batu untuk menghasilkan kapur menjadi topik perbahasan, tetapi setelah Rosalila selesai, pembangun kuil Cop & aacuten menggunakan plaster lebih sedikit. Sekiranya kayu bakar menjadi langka, perubahan karya seni juga dapat menandakan episod kemerosotan alam sekitar. Dalam 200 tahun atau lebih setelah Rosalila dibina, ukiran batu menjadi lebih lazim dan Cop & aacuten terkenal dengan patung dan hiasan seni bina yang unik. "Saya rasa [Orop & eacutendola] benar-benar merupakan permulaan revolusi patung di Cop & aacuten yang memberi jalan kepada patung-patung besar yang muncul kemudian," kata Agurcia.

Dalam sistem kepercayaan Maya, malam adalah waktu yang dihabiskan oleh matahari di dunia bawah. Ia melalui kawasan berair yang dihuni oleh dewa dan orang mati. Jaguar, pemangsa pada waktu malam dan salah satu dari beberapa kucing yang berenang dan menghabiskan masa di dalam air, mewakili matahari pada waktu malam. Orop & eacutendola ditutup dengan ikon jaguar. Di tingkat dua fasad utara, gambar besar burung mitos tersebar di seluruh bangunan, diapit oleh kepala kucing dengan taring batu melengkung. Di tingkat pertama muka utara, seekor jaguar kelihatan dari mulut monster gunung. Rosalila kelihatan sebagai kuil matahari pada siang hari. Orop & eacutendola, di sisi lain, adalah kuil matahari pada waktu malam, gunung upacara jaguar, dan mungkin jalan menuju dunia bawah.

Cangkang tiram berduri ini yang terdapat di makam raja mengandungi manik batu besar. Orang Maya mengaitkan cengkerang dengan dunia bawah dan jade dengan jiwa manusia. Kedua-duanya bersama-sama dapat mewakili jiwa raja di dunia bawah. (Dengan hormat Proyecto Orop & eacutendola)

Tidak seperti hiasan patung di Rosalila, Orop & eacutendola tidak mengeja nama raja yang dikenali. "Rosalila memiliki burung matahari yang besar di sisinya kerana raja matahari dikuburkan di bawahnya," kata Agurcia. "Jadi, saya berfikir bahawa ikonografi [di Orop & eacutendola] mencerminkan identiti lelaki yang kami temui di bawah tetapi saya belum dapat menambahkannya. Kami tidak mempunyai nama-nama penguasa awal," dia cakap. "Sekiranya namanya Bird-Jaguar, saya akan sangat senang, tapi kami tidak dapat membuat hubungan itu."

Kami turun melalui lebih banyak terowong, berpusing-pusing ke ruang sempit dan menuruni tangga tangga yang menuju ke dinding. Sepuluh kaki di bawah lantai Orop & eacutendola, Agurcia menunjukkan beberapa batu rata yang panjang diletakkan bersebelahan, jenis yang biasanya digunakan untuk menutupi kubur. Pasukannya menemui batu permata pada akhir musim lapangan ketika wang geran mereka hampir habis dan sebahagian besar kru telah bertekad untuk mengerjakan pekerjaan lain. Oleh itu, dia harus menunggu tiga bulan untuk mendapatkan dana baru dan kru penggali baru.

Fierer-Donaldson dibawa untuk menjadi pengarah lapangan kru. Dia harus menggali terowong lain dengan harapan masuk di bawah batu kapur dan melalui dinding kubur. Tetapi sebaliknya dia harus menggali tanah seluas enam kaki sebelum mencapai tiga lapisan batu kapur yang sebenarnya menutupi kubur itu. "Kami mencari peti besi," kata Agurcia. "Semua makam awal memiliki peti besi." Itu bukan satu-satunya perkara aneh mengenai kubur itu. "Kami tidak menemui tawaran di atas batu seperti yang anda harapkan," kata Fierer-Donaldson.

"Kami menyedari peningkatan dan stratigrafi bahawa kami berada di tahap paling awal di Acropolis," kata Agurcia. Tarikh radiokarbon menunjukkan bahawa raja dikuburkan pada suatu waktu antara tahun 450 hingga 550 M. mengakui bahawa ia boleh menjadi raja antara raja kedua dan kelima dalam dinasti. Walaupun nama raja masih belum diketahui, makam tersebut memberikan beberapa petunjuk tentang kemakmuran Cop & aacuten yang semakin meningkat pada masa itu, serta peranan yang dimainkan oleh raja dalam membuatnya.

Makam itu kosong semasa saya melawat. Kami berada sekitar 16 kaki di bawah tingkat pertama Orop & eacutendola dan hampir 60 kaki di bawah puncak piramid, cukup dalam sehingga udara terasa lebih sejuk dan kering. Pasukan penggalian telah menghabiskan tahun lalu untuk merekam, membuat katalog, dan membuang semua barang dari kubur tersebut sehingga objek dapat dianalisis di makmal mereka di dekatnya. Tidak banyak yang dapat dilihat, tetapi saya terkejut dengan ukuran kuburnya. Walaupun Fierer-Donaldson langsing dan setinggi lima kaki, setinggi lapan inci, ia terasa sesak ketika dia naik ke dalam untuk menunjukkan di mana terdapat berbagai objek.

Ahli arkeologi Molly Fierer-Donaldson dan Nereyda Alonso bertengger di pelantar kayu ketika mereka mengangkat artifak dari makam raja Maya awal yang ditemui di bawah kuil Orop & eacutendola. (Dengan hormat Proyecto Orop & eacutendola)

Saya dan Agurcia duduk di terowong di luar kubur ketika dia menerangkan beberapa kejutan yang dilakukannya. "Dalam banyak cara, ini adalah makam perantaraan," katanya, "mereka cuba melakukan batu batu, tetapi mereka tidak tahu bagaimana melakukannya. Mereka belum benar-benar belajar membuat bumbung rata. Dinding makam tidak begitu baik, mereka lebih seperti batu menghadap. "

Walaupun kami duduk di sebelah makam, Agurcia sebenarnya tidak dapat menunjukkan bumbungnya kerana ia runtuh beberapa ketika setelah Orop & eacutendola dibina dan menghancurkan semua benda di dalamnya. "Tulang dalam bentuk yang mengerikan," kata Fierer-Donaldson, menunjukkan bahawa mereka tidak dapat memperoleh maklumat asas, seperti usia, dari kerangka. Mereka bahkan tidak dapat memastikan bahawa jenazah itu milik lelaki. Tetapi runtuhan bumbung mempunyai satu manfaat penting - nampaknya telah membantu memelihara sisa-sisa organik yang rapuh, seperti kain pakaian raja yang sangat halus. Lynn Grant dari University of Pennsylvania memulihara tekstil. Analisis lebih lanjut dapat menunjukkan warna dan jenis pakaian yang dipakai raja.

Tubuhnya dibentangkan di atas pelataran, mungkin terbuat dari kayu, yang benar-benar busuk bersama tikar anyaman yang menutupi lantai. Lapisan cinnabar serbuk (merkuri oksida) tersebar di seluruh badan. Cinnabar muncul di dalam beberapa sendi kerangka, menunjukkan bahawa pigmen merah yang bersemangat ditambahkan setelah daging dan sebahagian besar tendon telah busuk.

Sebilangan kecil cengkerang kerang tergeletak di lantai berhampiran bahu kanannya. Dua timbunan cangkang tiram berduri berada di kakinya. Kerang laut adalah barang mewah yang berkaitan dengan dunia bawah laut. Tiga cangkang kerang dan satu cangkang tiram berduri berisi manik-manik batu giok, Agurcia percaya batu giok itu mungkin melambangkan jiwa, dan meletakkan manik di dalam cangkang itu mewakili jiwa di dunia bawah.

Raja memakai kalung yang diperbuat daripada 20 manik-manik jed dan 40 manik tempurung. Sebilangan besar batu giok yang diukir menjadi simbol perkataan Maya "K'inich," yang bermaksud "Mata Matahari" atau "Perwujudan Matahari," telah diletakkan di mulut mayat. Kalung kedua yang berisi sepotong batu giok besar, diukir seperti kepala monyet, melambangkan perkataan Ahau yang bermaksud "Tuhan", dililitkan di pelvisnya. Menurut Agurcia, kedua lambang ini merupakan petunjuk yang jelas bahawa penghuni kubur itu adalah raja. Tetapi banyaknya kekayaan dan barang eksotik juga mengungkapkan sesuatu mengenai peranan raja dalam menjadikan Cop & aacuten sebagai pusat perdagangan utama.

"Bandar ini semacam pintu masuk untuk barang-barang seperti batu giok dan obsidian yang keluar dari daerah Maya. Apa yang masuk masih kurang didokumentasikan," Robert Sharer dari University of Pennsylvania dan penggali kubur Yax K'uk 'Mo, memberitahu saya dalam temu ramah telefon. Ketika dinasti ditubuhkan, keadaan ekonomi di kawasan sekitar Cop & aacuten mengalami perubahan yang mendalam. "Ekonomi adalah salah satu manifestasi organisasi yang lebih berpusat di Lembah Cop & aacuten," lanjutnya. "Mengikat orang dengan ekonomi adalah salah satu cara agar mereka lebih bergantung dan dapat dimanipulasi oleh penguasa terpusat ini."

Wajah Yax K'uk 'Mo' yang bergaya, pengasas dinasti Maya Cop & aacuten, menghiasi dinding kuil Rosalila. Tanda di matanya, dan hiasan kepala burung quetzal, menghubungkannya dengan dewa matahari. (Ken Garrett) Taring jaguar yang melengkung menonjol dari sudut kuil Orop & eacutendola. The stone-block sculptures were once covered with a thin layer of brightly painted plaster, which may have been a scarce resource when the temple was built. (Ken Garrett)

Copán lies near the Motagua River, a major source of jade, which was an important luxury item--not just because it was beautiful, but also because it had ritual associations with rainfall and maize. Being able to control access to jade may have presented a big opportunity for the person in this tomb. "The trade here was very important," says Agurcia. "They were plugged into a network, and had access to these very exotic goods."

Agurcia interprets the large number of shell artifacts as an indicator that the kings of Copán may have increased their trade with settlements on the coasts. Sharer thinks that the shell artifacts may only indicate that the king liked shells.

Items such as four pyrite mirrors and hundreds of tiny green-obsidian beads show that the Maya of Copán were in contact with city-state of Teotihuacán, more than 700 miles north in central Mexico. "Trade with Teotihuacán became very important," says Agurcia. "It was like the Wall Street of its time." Gaining access to trade goods from all over the Maya areas would have drastically increased Copán's prosperity. "So, this guy is showing splendorous wealth that shows major success," Agurcia tells me. "This is the guy who nails the state of Copán into place."

Completing the story of how the early kings of Copán established their state is likely to require many more trips into the tunnels. There were two other temples that sat around the courtyard next to Rosalila and Oropéndola, nicknamed Jiquilite and Peach-Colorado. Their foundations are still intact and they may also have tombs beneath them. Agurcia estimates that finding and excavating these tombs might take another 10 years and he still has a lot of work to do on Oropéndola. "There could be tombs under the other temples," Agurcia says with a smile, "but I'm not going to look for them."


The Configuration of Rosalila Temple

Rosalila Temple is a three-story building rising to a height to 42.3 feet (12.9 meters), with a base measuring 60.7 feet by 41.0 feet (18.5 meters by 12.5 meters). Archaeologists discovered that Rosalila Temple was built directly on top of the remains of another temple, which they called Azul.

The two upper stories serve as a “giant pre-Columbian billboard”, as they display artwork that reflects the religious belief of Copan’s population at that time. The first floor, on the other hand, contains four rooms, each being long and narrow.

The central room, which is also the most intimate one, can only be reached by traversing the first three. It is believed that elaborate rituals were performed in this sacred space when the temple was in operation.

In terms of orientation, Rosalila Temple, like all other temples built on the central axis of the Acropolis, has its principal façade facing west. This direction is significant for the Maya, as they associate it with the entrance to the underworld. It is also from the western side of the temple that archaeologists were able to determine when Rosalila Temple was built.

The temple’s principal stairway has seven steps, and on the fifth one is a dedication date in hieroglyphs. This date is equivalent to the 21st of February 571 AD, which is around the end of the reign of Tzi-B’alam (known also as Moon Jaguar), the 10th ruler of Copan.

Rosalila Temple at the Copan site – here pictured Stela M and the hieroglyphic stairway. (Peter Andersen / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Rosalila Temple served as Copan’s main religious sanctuary during the late 6th century AD, but eventually ceased functioning during the reign of Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil (known also as 18 Rabbit), the 13th ruler of Copan, in the early 8th century AD. Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil replaced Rosalila Temple with a larger monument, which has been dubbed by archaeologists as Purpura.


Exploring the Mayan Tunnels in Copan

The kings of Copan built their temples one on top of the other, leaving parts of the old buildings inside the new structures. For 20 years, archaeologist Ricardo Agurcia has tunneled into these temples, where he recently discovered a king’s tomb.

The Maya kings of Copan were not interested in moving mountains. They preferred to build their own, like the pyramid now known as Temple 16. Rising 100 feet above the city’s Great Plaza, it is the highest point among a group of holy buildings that archaeologists have dubbed “the Acropolis.” Inside an excavation tunnel deep beneath the pyramid’s surface, the face of the sun-king scowls at me from the wall of his temple. The city’s ancient rulers built their temples–one on top of the next–to suit the needs of the moment. The moment I am visiting occurred shortly after A.D. 540 when the first of four temples was built around a small plaza at the top of the Acropolis.

The sun-king’s face adorns the first floor of Rosalila, a temple that was once painted a brilliant, bloody shade of red. His image wears a headdress of red, yellow, and green plumage–the feathers of a quetzal and a macaw–and curving lines in his eyes associate him with depictions of the sun god. The Maya words for each of these sculptural elements spells his name, K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’, which translates as “Sun-Eyed Resplendent Quetzal Macaw,” the first king of Copan.

Forty-three feet below the floor of the temple, the sun-king’s tomb was found inside one of the first buildings to be constructed on the Acropolis. Beginning around A.D. 426, the time that K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ came to power, Temple 16 underwent seven major phases of construction, as well as dozens of smaller renovations and additions. The last phase took place in A.D. 775 shortly before the city, which encompassed 520 acres and held a population of about 28,000 people at its peak, was largely abandoned.

Ricardo Agurcia, the director of a research and sustainable tourism organization called the Copan Association, discovered Rosalila in 1989. Copan lies in north-central Honduras at what was the southern edge of the Maya region. Finding Rosalila revolutionized what was known of the city’s early history and the Maya’s southern frontier. Now he has uncovered an adjacent temple called Oropendola, and discovered the king who was laid to rest beneath it.

The pyramid called Temple 16 rises 100 feet above the ground. Beneath its outer layer lie the remnants of dozens of holy buildings dating back to the earliest days of Maya rule, A.D. 426. Two temples remain mostly intact within the pyramid.

Agurcia invited me here to see the finds, and we have stopped at Rosalila for a little orientation in Maya iconography. The building facade soars three stories into the darkness overhead. Standing in the narrow space separating the temple from the tunnel wall, I see another face staring from the second floor. Agurcia tells me it is the mountain monster, Witz, symbolizing the temple’s role as a ceremonial mountain. The Maya understood mountains to be powerful places they believed the rain god stored water in them and the caves that penetrated them were portals to the underworld. Rosalila was buried around A.D. 700. The temple was coated with white plaster, which Agurcia interprets as a symbolic embalming of the building. Construction fill was carefully placed against the temple preserving it almost perfectly.

Agurcia and his field director, Molly Fierer-Donaldson, take me to a low, narrow tunnel that leads to Oropendola. We leave the sun-king, now pallid and lighted only by a string of naked incandescent bulbs.

From a biological standpoint, Agurcia seems poorly adapted to his chosen environment. Agurcia stands six feet, four inches tall, and has to bend like a question mark as we move through the tunnels. On his first trip into the tunnels, he learned that he suffers from claustrophobia. “When I started, I told [friend and colleague William Fash] that I would go down there, but that I reserved the right to come running out of the tunnel screaming,” he told me later.

Archaeologists have dug more than two miles of tunnels through the Acropolis, every foot of space paid for with hours of labor and at the cost of destabilizing the stones above it. Understandably, Agurcia’s tunnels tend to be a little larger than those dug by others. He also makes sure there are two or three ways out of wherever he is working. Over time, his tunnels have become a familiar space that no longer triggers his phobia, and he feels he has good reason to face his fear day after day. “The stuff I’ve found has been outrageous, totally off the wall,” he says. “The work has been fascinating. Who would have dreamed I would find two almost complete buildings.”

Agurcia folds himself into a tunnel and the three of us head deeper into the pyramid, turning on our flashlights as we enter a newly excavated section of tunnel. A gradual incline leads to Oropendola’s second story, where I am unwittingly looking at another image of the mountain monster, Witz. Its face nearly stretches across the width of the entire temple.

A jade monkey head was part of a necklace buried with the king. It symbolizes the noble title Ahau, which means “Lord.” Exporting jade was a major source of wealth for Copan’s rulers.
Oropendola was not as carefully preserved as Rosalila. The entire third floor and about one-third of the rest of the structure was destroyed during later construction. The two buildings were also designed differently. Instead of decorations made entirely from plaster, allowing the sculptors to create fluid lines and intricate details, Oropendola’s decorations were made of stone blocks covered by a thin layer of painted plaster. The blocks make the artwork look like it was assembled out of Legos, and the plaster is almost completely gone. The image of Witz is 17 feet wide but only a few feet high, so the face is squat and stretched out. It is a radical change from the monster’s portrayal on Rosalila.

I wonder why the differences in artwork between two temples that were built just a few years apart are so striking. “It could have just been a whim,” says Agurcia, “but I think it had to do with access to plaster.” Whether it was getting enough limestone or firewood to heat the stone to produce lime is a subject of debate, but after Rosalila was completed, Copan’s temple-builders used much less plaster. If firewood did become scarce, the change in artwork may also mark an episode of environmental degradation. In the 200 years or so after Rosalila was built, stone carving became much more prevalent and Copan became known for its unique sculptures and architectural decorations. “I think [Oropendola] really was the beginning of a sculptural revolution at Copan that gives way to the great sculptures that come later on,” Agurcia says.

In the Maya belief system, night is the time that the sun spends in the underworld. It travels through a watery place inhabited by gods and the dead. The jaguar, a nocturnal predator and one of the few cats that swims and spends time in the water, represents the sun at night. Oropendola is covered with jaguar icons. On the northern facade’s second floor, a large image of a mythical bird spreads across the building, flanked by feline heads with curving stone fangs. On the north face’s first floor, a jaguar looks out from the mouth of the mountain monster. Rosalila appears to be the temple of the sun during the day. Oropendola, on the other hand, is the temple of the sun at night, a ceremonial mountain of the jaguar, and perhaps a passage to the underworld.

A spiny oyster shell found in a king’s tomb contains a large jade bead. The Maya associated shells with the underworld and jade with the human soul. The two together may represent the king’s soul in the underworld.
Unlike the sculptural decorations on Rosalila, Oropendola’s do not spell out the name of any known king. “Rosalila has a huge sun-bird on the side of it because the sun-king is buried beneath it,” says Agurcia. “So, I’ve been thinking that the iconography [in Oropendola] reflects the identity of the guy we found just below but I can’t make it add up just yet. We don’t have the names of the early rulers,” he says. “If his name was Bird-Jaguar, I’d be really happy, but we can’t make that connection.”

We descend through more tunnels, contorting ourselves into narrow spaces and climbing down ladder rungs set into the walls. Ten feet below the floor of Oropendola, Agurcia points out some long, flat stones laid side-by-side, the kind that are typically used to cover a tomb. His team found the capstones at the end of a field season when their grant money was about to run out and most of the crew had committed to working on other jobs. So he had to wait three months for new funding and a new crew of excavators.

Fierer-Donaldson was brought in to be the crew’s field director. She had to dig another tunnel hoping to come in below the capstones and through the sidewall of the tomb. But instead she had to excavate six-feet of loose soil before reaching the three layers of capstones that actually cover the tomb. “We were looking for a vault,” Agurcia tells me. “All of the early tombs have vaults.” That wasn’t the only strange thing about the tomb. “We didn’t find any offerings on top of the capstones like you might expect,” says Fierer-Donaldson.

“We realized by the elevation and stratigraphy that we were in the earliest levels of the Acropolis,” Agurcia says. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the king was buried sometime between A.D. 450 and 550. The artifacts and decorations point to a date prior to A.D. 500. Agurcia believes the tomb belonged to the second king, the son of Yax K’uk’ Mo’, but acknowledges that it could be any king between the second and fifth rulers in the dynasty. Although the king’s name is still unknown, the tomb provides some clues about Copan’s growing prosperity at the time, as well as the role the king played in creating it.

The tomb is empty when I visit. We are about 16 feet below the first floor of Oropendola and almost 60 feet below the top of the pyramid, deep enough that the air is noticeably cooler and drier. The excavation team has spent the past year recording, cataloguing, and removing everything from the tomb so that the objects can be analyzed in their laboratory nearby. There isn’t much to see, but I am surprised at the size of the tomb. Even though Fierer-Donaldson is slender and five feet, eight inches tall, it seems cramped as she climbs inside to point out where different objects were found.
Archaeologists Molly Fierer-Donaldson and Nereyda Alonso perch on a wooden platform as they lift artifacts from the tomb of the early Maya king discovered beneath the Oropendola temple.
Agurcia and I sit in the tunnel outside the tomb as he explains some of the surprises it held. “In many ways, this is an intermediate tomb,” he says, “they try to do capstones, but they don’t really know how to do it. They haven’t really learned to make the flat roof. The walls of the tomb aren’t very good, they are more like a stone facing.”

Although we are sitting next to the tomb, Agurcia can’t actually point out the roof because it collapsed some time after Oropendola was built and crushed everything inside. “The bones were in terrible shape,” says Fierer-Donaldson, pointing out that they can’t get basic information, such as age, from the skeleton. They can’t even be certain that the remains belonged to a male. But the roof collapse had one important benefit–it seems to have helped preserve some of the fragile organic remains, such as the very fine fabric of the king’s clothing. Lynn Grant of the University of Pennsylvania is conserving the textiles. Further analysis may reveal the color and type of garment the king wore.

His body had been laid out on a platform, probably made of wood, that has completely rotted away along with the woven mats that covered the floor. A layer of powdered cinnabar (mercury oxide) was scattered over the body. The cinnabar shows up inside some of the skeleton’s joints, revealing that the vibrant red pigment was added after the flesh and most of the tendons had rotted away.

A small number of scallop shells lay on the floor near his right shoulder. Two piles of spiny oyster shells were at his feet. Seashells were luxury items associated with the watery underworld. Three scallop shells and one spiny oyster shell contained a jade bead, Agurcia believes the jade may have symbolized the soul, and placing the bead inside the shell represented the soul in the underworld.

The king wore a necklace made of 20 jade beads and 40 shell beads. A large chunk of jade carved into the symbol for the Maya word “K’inich,” meaning “Eye of the Sun” or “Embodiment of the Sun,” had been placed in the corpse’s mouth. A second necklace containing a large piece of jade, carved in the likeness of a monkey head, symbolizing the word Ahau meaning “Lord,” was draped across his pelvis. According to Agurcia, these two emblems are clear indicators that the tomb’s occupant was a king. But the mass of wealth and exotic goods also reveal something about the king’s role in making Copan a major center of trade.

“The city was kind of a gateway for stuff like jade and obsidian going out of the Maya areas. What was coming in is still less documented,” Robert Sharer of the University of Pennsylvania and the excavator of Yax K’uk’ Mo’s tomb, told me in a phone interview. When the dynasty was established, the economic situation in the area around Copan underwent a profound change. “The economy is one manifestation of a more centralized organization in the Copan Valley,” he continues. “Tying people in by the economy is just one way that they become more dependent upon and available to manipulation by these centralized rulers.”
The stylized face of Yax K’uk’ Mo’, the founder of Copan’s Maya dynasty, adorns the wall of the Rosalila temple. The markings in his eyes, and the quetzal bird headdress, connect him to the sun god.
Copan lies near the Motagua River, a major source of jade, which was an important luxury item–not just because it was beautiful, but also because it had ritual associations with rainfall and maize. Being able to control access to jade may have presented a big opportunity for the person in this tomb. “The trade here was very important,” says Agurcia. “They were plugged into a network, and had access to these very exotic goods.”
The curving fangs of a jaguar protrude from a corner of the Oropendola temple. The stone-block sculptures were once covered with a thin layer of brightly painted plaster, which may have been a scarce resource when the temple was built.
Agurcia interprets the large number of shell artifacts as an indicator that the kings of Copan may have increased their trade with settlements on the coasts. Sharer thinks that the shell artifacts may only indicate that the king liked shells.

Items such as four pyrite mirrors and hundreds of tiny green-obsidian beads show that the Maya of Copan were in contact with city-state of Teotihuacan, more than 700 miles north in central Mexico. “Trade with Teotihuacan became very important,” says Agurcia. “It was like the Wall Street of its time.” Gaining access to trade goods from all over the Maya areas would have drastically increased Copan’s prosperity. “So, this guy is showing splendorous wealth that shows major success,” Agurcia tells me. “This is the guy who nails the state of Copan into place.”

Completing the story of how the early kings of Copan established their state is likely to require many more trips into the tunnels. There were two other temples that sat around the courtyard next to Rosalila and Oropendola, nicknamed Jiquilite and Peach-Colorado. Their foundations are still intact and they may also have tombs beneath them. Agurcia estimates that finding and excavating these tombs might take another 10 years and he still has a lot of work to do on Oropendola. “There could be tombs under the other temples,” Agurcia says with a smile, “but I’m not going to look for them.”


Completed Projects – Investigation and Consolidation of Temple 10L-16 & Rosalila (1990-1997)

Discovering Rosalila
On June 23, 1989, Honduran archaeologist Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle (now the Executive Director of the Copán Association) discovered a unique and remarkable ancient temple. While exploring under Temple 16, he found the best-preserved example of monumental architecture at Copan. He named it “Rosalila” (rosalila means rose-lilac color in Spanish), in keeping with the accepted system of naming temple after colors.

Rosalila was not destroyed by the ancient Maya, like other buildings archaeologists have found. It was carefully buried with much ceremony. Its rooms, moldings, and niches were carefully filled with mud and stones, while its elaborate stucco panels were covered with a thick layer of white plaster. This plaster still protects Rosalila’s many layers of original paint.



Rosalila’s Facts & Figures
Rosalila is 12.9 meters tall and has three stories. The upper two levels serve as a giant pre-Columbian billboard and display complex religious artwork from the Early Classic. The lower level has four rooms each room is long and narrow and only by walking through the first three can you reach the central and most intimate room. Within these sacred spaces the Maya carried out elaborate ceremonies while the building was in use, and later, as they carefully buried it, these rooms were where the Maya cached beautiful offerings.

The building’s base measures 18.5 by 12.5 meters, and the principal facade faces west. The temple is located over a three-meter tall terraced pyramid, named “Azul.” It is small compared to others in Copán, which can reach up to 20 meters. Like all other temples constructed over the Acropolis’ central axis, the principal steps face west, the direction the Maya associated with the entrance to the other world, the world of the dead, the place where the sun died daily. There are seven steps on the principal stairway and the fifth step has a hieroglyphic dedication date: February 21, 571 A.D. This date is close to the end of the reign of Moon Jaguar, the tenth ruler of Copan.

Function of Rosalila

The internal walls of the temple were covered with soot from the burning of incense and torches, not unlike the walls of many old churches. Inside the temple were numerous artifacts that reflect ancient religious practices. Agurcia found seven ceramic incense burners with charcoal still inside two of these lay upon sculpted, stone jaguar pedestals. He also found offerings of flint knives (for sacrificing), nine elaborate eccentric flints (ceremonial scepters) wrapped in the remnants of a deep blue bag or cloth, carved jade jewelry, conch shells, stingray spines (perforators for blood-letting rites), shark vertebrae, jaguar claws, and remains of flower petals and pine needles. Some of these remains (particularly the incense burners and the flowers) recall religious practices still in use among the modern Maya.

Rosalila was the principal religious sanctuary at Copán in the late 6th century AD. It is the most completely preserved example of the art and architecture of this period discovered to date. Like the cover of an illuminated manuscript, the facades are elaborately decorated with complex religious messages. The themes are cosmological, and emphasize the Sun God, K’inich Ahau – divine patron for Maya kings, and the spiritual namesake of the founder of the dynasty, K’inich Yax K’uk Mo’.

Project Support
The Copán Association sponsored much of the investigation, conservation, and presentation of Rosalila to the public. It helped create the Rosalila visitor’s tunnel and the Copan Sculpture Museum. Without the hard work and funds contributed by the Association, the impressive Rosalila temple would not be the icon of national identity and pride that it is today.


La Pintada

Higher up in the mountains beyond Los Sapos is another site, known as La Pintada, a single glyph-covered stela perched on the top of a mountain peak, still showing vestiges of its original red paint. The views out over the Río Copán valley and into the surrounding mountains are fantastic, particularly in the early morning. The site is near the village of the same name. Handicrafts are the specialty of the indigenous women here, who do backstrap weaving and make the corn husk dolls that are sold in town. By foot or horseback, La Pintada is about 2–3 hours from Copán Ruinas. Take the same road to Los Sapos, but stay left along the river instead of turning up to Rancho San Carlos. The road winds steadily up into the mountains, arriving at a gate. From here, it’s a 25-minute walk to the hilltop stela. It’s best to hire one of the many guides for a negotiable fee in Copán Ruinas to take you there either by foot or on horseback to ensure you don’t take a wrong turn. The Asociación de Guías Copán also offers tours to the site, and Yaragua offers combination tours to La Pintada and Los Sapos.


THE MAYAN RUINS OF COPAN, HONDURAS

Copán is known for a series of sculptured stelae most of which were placed along processional ways in the central plaza of the city and the adjoining acropolis, a large complex of overlapping step-pyramids, plazas, and palaces.

Located in the far west of Honduras, the Mayan ruins of Copán have to be one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites I can imagine visiting. Located in a semi-tropical forest setting, Copán is populated by vibrant macaws and is truly exotic, fascinating, and captivating. Copán stands out because of its massive and intricate sculptures which decorated the faces of the structures as well as the number of hieroglyphic texts which suggest the existence of an extensively literate culture. Copán flourished during the 7th century of our era and is representative today of what Athens was to the old world: the cradle of its civilization. Because of this and other reasons, UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1980.



The area of the Acropolis consists of both the western and eastern court. The western court includes Temple 11 which was built as a gateway to the underworld. Temple 16 was built on top of a previous temple (the Rosalila Temple) without damaging the remains. You can climb to the top of Temple 16, approximately 100 feet high, where you can see the overall layout of the Copán ruin complex. The Tunnels: archaeologists have dug 4km of tunnels under the acropolis to view earlier stages of Copan civilization. Two of the tunnels are open to the public for an additional fee.


Stelae became closely associated with the concept of divine kingship and declined at the same time as this institution. The production of stelae by the Maya had its origin around 400 BC and continued through to the end of the Classic Period around 900 although some monuments were reused in the Post Classic period (c. 900�).

The majority of archaeologists agree that Copán formed part of the three largest and most lavish cultural centers of the New World. The Maya of Copán developed a civilization based on a complex sociopolitical foundation with an advance knowledge in the fields of science, mathematics and astronomy. They also developed a writing system based on hieroglyphs. Equally impressive was their architecture which was based on the construction of scaled graded pyramids. The carved sculptures of Copán are without doubt some of the most spectacular found in the archaeological ruins of the Maya. The altars and historical monuments in Copán were often covered with painted murals which were stunning in red pigmented paint. And if this was not enough, their work in jade, ceramic, and stone was also amazing.


The two-headed monster is one of three structures that make up Altar G and is located at La Acropolis. A human figure can be seen emerging from the mouth of the east-facing head of the two headed-monster.

ALTAR G is the most famous monument at Copán. It was dedicated by king Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat in AD 776 and has each of the first 16 kings of the Copán dynasty carved around its side. Each figure is depicted seated on his name glyph.

Taking a break with the incredible Mayan remains of Copán. If only these stones could speak!

"There is evidence that Copán was inhabited during the American Formative period (2000 BC-AD 300), although few remains exist today which attest to this occupation. The great period of Copán, paralleling that of other major Mayan cities, occurred during the Classical period, AD 300-900. Major cultural developments took place with significant achievements in mathematics, astronomy and hieroglyphic writing."



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



A return visit to Copán would be at the top of my wish list!




Simply fantastic and awe-inspiring sculptures at the ruins of Copán


"Architectural activity, as well, made strides during this period. The site of Copán went through three principal stages of development during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today. Shortly after 900, the site was abandoned. Although Copán was discovered in 1570 by Diego Garcia de Palacio, its existence did not receive worldwide attention until the work of John Lloyd Stephens from 1839 to 1841. Since then, numerous archaeological expeditions have explored and excavated various parts of the site."





So much more to be explored and absorbed at the incredible Copán ruins in Honduras!

"From what is known today, the sculpture of Copán appears to have attained a high degree of perfection. The Acropolis, a magnificent architectural complex, appears today as a large mass of rubble which came about through successive additions of pyramids, terraces and temples. The world's largest archaeological cut runs through the Acropolis. In the walls of the cut, it is possible to distinguish floor levels of previous plazas and covered water outlets. During the period when Mayan civilization spread across Central America, Copán was the largest and most influential city in the south-eastern sector.”


THE MAYAN RUINS OF COPAN, HONDURAS

Copán is known for a series of sculptured stelae most of which were placed along processional ways in the central plaza of the city and the adjoining acropolis, a large complex of overlapping step-pyramids, plazas, and palaces.

Located in the far west of Honduras, the Mayan ruins of Copán have to be one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites I can imagine visiting. Located in a semi-tropical forest setting, Copán is populated by vibrant macaws and is truly exotic, fascinating, and captivating. Copán stands out because of its massive and intricate sculptures which decorated the faces of the structures as well as the number of hieroglyphic texts which suggest the existence of an extensively literate culture. Copán flourished during the 7th century of our era and is representative today of what Athens was to the old world: the cradle of its civilization. Because of this and other reasons, UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1980.



The area of the Acropolis consists of both the western and eastern court. The western court includes Temple 11 which was built as a gateway to the underworld. Temple 16 was built on top of a previous temple (the Rosalila Temple) without damaging the remains. You can climb to the top of Temple 16, approximately 100 feet high, where you can see the overall layout of the Copán ruin complex. The Tunnels: archaeologists have dug 4km of tunnels under the acropolis to view earlier stages of Copan civilization. Two of the tunnels are open to the public for an additional fee.


Stelae became closely associated with the concept of divine kingship and declined at the same time as this institution. The production of stelae by the Maya had its origin around 400 BC and continued through to the end of the Classic Period around 900 although some monuments were reused in the Post Classic period (c. 900�).

The majority of archaeologists agree that Copán formed part of the three largest and most lavish cultural centers of the New World. The Maya of Copán developed a civilization based on a complex sociopolitical foundation with an advance knowledge in the fields of science, mathematics and astronomy. They also developed a writing system based on hieroglyphs. Equally impressive was their architecture which was based on the construction of scaled graded pyramids. The carved sculptures of Copán are without doubt some of the most spectacular found in the archaeological ruins of the Maya. The altars and historical monuments in Copán were often covered with painted murals which were stunning in red pigmented paint. And if this was not enough, their work in jade, ceramic, and stone was also amazing.


The two-headed monster is one of three structures that make up Altar G and is located at La Acropolis. A human figure can be seen emerging from the mouth of the east-facing head of the two headed-monster.

ALTAR G is the most famous monument at Copán. It was dedicated by king Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat in AD 776 and has each of the first 16 kings of the Copán dynasty carved around its side. Each figure is depicted seated on his name glyph.

Taking a break with the incredible Mayan remains of Copán. If only these stones could speak!

"There is evidence that Copán was inhabited during the American Formative period (2000 BC-AD 300), although few remains exist today which attest to this occupation. The great period of Copán, paralleling that of other major Mayan cities, occurred during the Classical period, AD 300-900. Major cultural developments took place with significant achievements in mathematics, astronomy and hieroglyphic writing."



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



A return visit to Copán would be at the top of my wish list!




Simply fantastic and awe-inspiring sculptures at the ruins of Copán


"Architectural activity, as well, made strides during this period. The site of Copán went through three principal stages of development during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today. Shortly after 900, the site was abandoned. Although Copán was discovered in 1570 by Diego Garcia de Palacio, its existence did not receive worldwide attention until the work of John Lloyd Stephens from 1839 to 1841. Since then, numerous archaeological expeditions have explored and excavated various parts of the site."





So much more to be explored and absorbed at the incredible Copán ruins in Honduras!

"From what is known today, the sculpture of Copán appears to have attained a high degree of perfection. The Acropolis, a magnificent architectural complex, appears today as a large mass of rubble which came about through successive additions of pyramids, terraces and temples. The world's largest archaeological cut runs through the Acropolis. In the walls of the cut, it is possible to distinguish floor levels of previous plazas and covered water outlets. During the period when Mayan civilization spread across Central America, Copán was the largest and most influential city in the south-eastern sector.”


Frequently Asked Questions About The Mayan Temples

What were Mayan temples used for?

These were the venues for many ceremonies such as sacrificial rituals and were temples for gods. Apart from this, they served other important functions such as being used as landmarks to help in navigation.

What were Mayan temples made of?

Architects of the Mayan civilization used readily available local materials, such as limestone at Palenque and Tikal, sandstone at Quiriguá, and volcanic tuff at Copan. Burnt-lime cement was used to create a form of concrete and was occasionally used as mortar, as was simple mud. They decorated their buildings with intricate stone carvings, stucco statues, and paint.

What are the names of the Mayan temples?

There are some of the Mesoamerican pyramids and they are Copán Honduras, Bonampak Mexico in Temple of Murals, Calakmul Mexico in the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza Mexico in El Castillo.

What were Mayan temples used for?

Apart from the religious ceremonies, these Maya pyramids were used as basic landmarks to aid in navigation.

What is the biggest Mayan temple?

Calakmul is the biggest Mayan temple and it was the most powerful ancient city that was uncovered in the Maya lowlands.

When was the Mayan temple built?

The Mayan pyramids were built by the people of Southern Mexico and Northern Central America. Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador and have more than 3,000 years of history.

What is the oldest Mayan city?

Tikal is the Maya Civilization and the ancient city which is now modern-day Guatemala flourished between 600 B.C. and A.D. 900.

What is the oldest Mayan temple?

Maya Pyramids are the oldest and one of the most famous and the oldest is the funerary monument to the seventh-century king Hanab Pakal. The tallest Maya pyramid, which was located in Tikal, now Guatemala, dates to the eighth century A.D., before the civilization’s mysterious decline.

What does Chichen Itza mean?

It means that this is an archeological site in Yucatan and this is the most visited location in Mexico. It means the mouth at the well of Itza.


Tonton videonya: Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza. Lost Temples