After a whole day in the bus from Antigua, we arrived in Copan. It was a fairly scenic drive through the highlands, but coupled with a hot border crossing, and a hot bus, we were glad to arrive and take a cold shower. I remember not doing much that night; I was tired from two late night, early mornings in Antigua. The next day we walked down the road from where we were staying to the Copan Archaeological Ruins. Copan is a small town, mostly visited for the ruins and for the nearby hot springs. On the walk down, there were a few ruins on the side of the road such as this. Pretty cool!
Walking into the ruins, first off was into a mostly-left-intact area where the pyramids haven’t been excavated. You can even walk around and find bits of ancient pottery on the ground.
This area has been excavated fully.
It is a pyramid with the tomb of one of the old kings inside it. It was opened up and excavated, and then they closed it again and sealed it so that it wouldn’t erode. You can see in the middle the white cement where they have sealed it.
A broken slab of rock that was carved into some kind of lizard?
Overview of a part of the ruins - the acropolis.
This site was particularly rich with the symbols of the old language used by the people. Things like this are quite common in the site.
This area was some kind of arena. You can also see at the bottom a door leading down into some extensive tunnels.
I particularly liked this sculpture.
Here you can see the hieroglyphic stairway on the right. It has several large sculptures, each one representing the most important rulers of Copan. It is covered all the time by the tarp, as rain was eroding it badly. Behind it you can see two sloped stone areas. This is actually a ball court.
The game played in the ball court was very interesting. They had a heavy ball made from rubber, and they would use their hips and sometimes elbows to hit it. There are three goal posts on each side, and the aim is to hit the posts to score a point. There are only two defenders so it is hard to guard all three at once. The loser of the game was sometimes sacrificed to the gods!
Close up of the staircase.
The rulers of the city were recorded on slabs such as this.
Each one of those separate tiles is actually the name of the ruler. The second one up on the right, for example, was named “18 Rabbit”. You can see the three long bars, each one representing the number 5, and the three short bars, for the number 1.
Also saw some Macaws!
All in all, a very interesting Mayan site, I’m glad I got to see it!
That night the group went to the hot springs for some rest and relaxation. Here you can see how hot the water is. It’s a hot day and yet it still steams! I didn’t stay in that area long, it was pretty much burning me, and also the smell of sulphur isn’t that nice.
Nice spot otherwise.
We had a few drinks of vodka and orange juice. Yum!
Oh and I also saw a TOOCY!
So that was Copan done! Off to the amazing Roatan Island next!