Copán (in modern Honduras) is located on the floodplain of the river of the same name. It was the most southerly of the Classic Maya centres and, at an altitude of 600 metres, the highest. Copán reached the height of its power in the 8th century CE when it boasted 20,000 inhabitants. An artificial platform, built to a height of over 30 metres, forms a main 12 acre acropolis with lesser platforms spreading out to form an imposing mass of precincts of monumental courts and pyramids. An elite residential area and more modest dwellings surrounded the sacred centre so that Copán once covered some 250 acres. Copan is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Historical Overview

A farming settlement from as early as 1000 BCE, Copán emerged as a major centre in the Early Classic Period (250-550 CE), almost certainly with influence from Teotihuacan. The Copán rulers themselves claimed their own dynasty was founded in 331 CE, but there is no record of the names of these early rulers. The traditional named founder of Copán was actually K'inich Yax K'uk Mo' ('Great Sun Quetzal-Macaw'), who reigned from 426 CE to c. 437 CE and who was probably not himself from Copán but another Maya city, perhaps Tikal. K'inich Yax K'uk Mo' was the first of a line of 16 rulers, and he is credited with making Copán a major centre, whose wealth was based on regional conquest and control of the lucrative local trade in obsidian and jade.

The traditional founder of Maya Copán was K'inich Yax K'uk Mo'.

King Smoke Imix (the 12th ruler, reign 628 - 695 CE) was another Copán ruler who oversaw a period of great prosperity in the 7th century CE. The ruler known as King 18 Rabbit or Waxaklahun Ubah K'awiil (reign 695 - 738 CE) again aggrandized Copán in the early 8th century CE. The last well-documented ruler was Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat, whose mother was from Palenque and whose reign ended in 820 CE. Although Copán subsequently declined, there are no great signs of destruction, and there is some evidence (albeit controversial) that the elite rulers of Copán survived the general Maya collapse, which occurred between c. 760 and c. 910 CE, and continued their rule until 1000 CE.

Copán competed with local rival Quirigua over the centuries. Although Copán founded Quirigua, King 18 Rabbit was famously captured and beheaded by Chan Yopaat of Quirigua in 738 CE, possibly whilst campaigning for sacrificial victims. Copán recovered from this blow and even expanded the acropolis, but in the longer-term Quirigua gained in prominence, and Copán would never again enjoy the power and prosperity enjoyed during the Yax K'uk Mo' dynasties.


The unusually few buildings at Copán, constructed using local tufa, andesite, and limestone blocks cemented with mud and faced with stucco, include several pyramid structures, a ball court, and the Hieroglyphic Stairway, all laid out along a north-south axis. Many of the structures were deliberately placed to take advantage of specific views of the surrounding valleys, notably the ball court with its stone macaw markers. The river Copán has washed away a sizeable chunk of the east side of the main site, especially the grand stairway, but enough remains of the site to indicate its once great prosperity.

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The Hieroglyphic Stairway is a wide series of 63 steps which give access to the main court and heart of ceremonial Copán which dates to the 6th century CE. The stairway was constructed in the first half of the 8th century CE and is rich in both relief and fully round sculpture, a feature of Copán. Its name derives from the 2,500 glyphs which adorn it. These narrate the history of the Late Classical dynasty, and it constitutes one of the longest surviving Maya texts. The steps are interrupted by five Copán rulers and captives, whilst at the top of the stairway there was the shrine to Yax K'uk Mo'.

The 8th century CE kings of Copán built elaborately stucco-decorated tombs which were then deliberately covered in their entirety by less ornate pyramids, sometimes several times. An example is the largest building and earliest funerary monument Structure 16, a nine level pyramid inside of which are two tomb buildings known as Rosalila and Margarita. Temple 16 was further excavated in 1996-7 CE, and within was discovered the earliest structure in the pyramid, a small platform temple in the Teotihuacan style, inside of which was a tomb of a male over 50 years of age. As it is now known that Temple 16 was dedicated to the cult of Yax K'uk' Mo', the remains are considered to be of the great ruler himself. Isotopic analysis of the teeth suggests the man came from near Tikal. The neighbouring tomb of Margarita, the richest at Copán, is now considered to be that of the widow of Yax K'uk' Mo'.

Another important building at Copán is the rectangular Temple 22 with its short stepped entrance. It has mask facades on all four sides and dates to before 780 CE. The doorway is framed by a giant serpent-mask so that the portal seems to be the creature's open mouth with fangs on the sill and sides. This is a common Maya technique to reproduce the entrances to sacred caves and may specifically represent the sacred mountain entrance to the Maya underworld Xibalba of Maya mythology. The cornices were additionally decorated with maize gods. Another important building is Structure 22a which was built as a popol na or council house, where nobles advised the king and which has a fish on its façade, possibly the symbol of a prominent noble family.

Art & Pottery

Copán art is well represented by 14 altars, some which commemorate units of the Maya calendar, and over 60 elaborately carved stelae depicting Copán rulers (especially King 18 Rabbit). Several of the later stelae stand above a small cruciform vault which contained votive offerings, and some stelae were placed to create lines of sight connected to solar dates important in the agricultural year. Other fine examples of three-dimensional sculpture by Copán artists include a half-metre high monkey scribe god and a stone bust of the young maize god from Temple 22.

From c. 800 CE Copán also produced its own distinctive pottery style which was exported and even imitated, notably in western El Salvador. The style, known as Copador pottery, is distinct for its shiny surface (from the presence of hematite in the pigments) and stylised human and bird figures. Other finds include the 'Dazzler', a three-legged lidded box which depicts a Copán ruler and temple. The vessel is brightly coloured, and its clay came from distant Central Mexico. Altar Q has relief figures of 16 Copán rulers, including Yax K'uk Mo' (wearing the goggles of a Teotihuacan war god) handing over the sceptre of power to Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat who commissioned the altar in 776 CE. Finally, there are various objects related to the Mesoamerican ballgame indicating an influence from Veracruz.

Copan, Oklahoma

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway built a station at this site in 1899, which it named Copan, after the city of Copán, Honduras. However, when a post office was established here in 1900, it was designated as Lawton. The settlement was renamed Weldon in 1901, but reverted to Copan in 1904. It was incorporated under that name in Indian Territory in 1906. The Copan school district was founded in 1906, as well. By 1907, the town had 305 residents. [6]

The blossoming oil industry in Washington County spurred the growth of Copan. The Prairie Oil and Gas Company built Oklahoma's first trunk pipeline, which ran from Bartlesville, Oklahoma to Humboldt, Kansas in 1904. It also included an oil storage terminal near Copan, with 107 tanks, designed to hold 35,000 barrels of crude oil. The Copan oil field was discovered in 1907, and had nearly 2,200 producing wells by 1915. [6]

The town managed to survive and recover from major fires in 1906, 1911 and 1912. It enjoyed a spurt of growth after the creation of nearby Lake Hulah in 1951, and Lake Copan in 1983. Population reached a high of 960 in 1980, largely because the lakes increased tourism. The town economy is now largely based on travel and recreation. [6]

Transportation History

Prior to the construction of Copan Dam west of town, US-75 and OK-10 came through downtown Copan. US-75 entered Washington County from High Street in nearby Caney Kansas. As the old Highway 75 came south, it entered the town on Caney Street. As it exited south of town, it rejoined the current alignment at Washington County Road N 3975 Rd. OK-10 came out of the town of Wann Oklahoma in northern Nowata County Oklahoma, entered the town at Golden Avenue, then came south on Caney Street (old U-75) for 0.3 miles, then continued west on Weldon Avenue. There were two 90 degree curves on the town's west side, the first took the highway south for 0.1 miles, the second took the highway back toward the west and had it concurrency with Washington County W. 850 Rd and intersected Washington County N. 3970 Rd, and crossed the Little Caney River, and rejoined the current alignment of OK-10 west of the now Copan Lake into Osage County Oklahoma.

The current alignment on US-75 comes off of McGee Street in Caney Kansas, continues south along the east side of Copan Lake, then continues east of Copan. The current alignment of OK-10 in Copan that it has its concurrency with US-75 east of town beginning at Golden Avenue, then continues south for 1.1 miles, then turns to the west, and continues over Copan Dam. It continues north, then west into Osage County Oklahoma.

The Burlington Northern and Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Merger

Prior to the merger between the Burlington Northern and the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe in 1995, the line between nearby Caney Kansas into Tulsa Oklahoma was the main north-south rail line through Washington County Oklahoma. The line came out of Caney Kansas on the town's west side, then continued south into the town of Copan. It ran roughly parallel with Caney Street, and continued on the west side of downtown Copan, then exited the town to the south. Towns and cities in Washington County Oklahoma that were served by the line were, Owen Township, Copan, Dewey, Bartlesville, Ochelata, Ramona, and Vera. It continued south into Tulsa County Oklahoma through Collinsville, Owasso, into Tulsa. The existing switch is located west of Greenwood Avenue where it merges with the current BNSF Cherokee Subdivision through downtown Tulsa. There were as many as eight trains a day that ran this line. It was fully signaled.

The line was to be abandoned by the newly formed Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF). This would have left Washington County Oklahoma including Copan without rail service. This line also served the Montgomery Kansas towns of Caney, Havana, Wayside, Bolton, Independence, and Cherryvale. WATCO purchased the line from BNSF post merger, and BNSF still has trackage rights. The line is now Southern Kansas & Oklahoma Line (SKOL) now headquartered in Cherryvale Kansas. .As a consequence of the merger, BNSF continued to maintain the Afton Subdivision that comes off the Cherokee Subdivision in Afton Oklahoma, and the Fort Scott Subdivision from Springfield Missouri. There is no Class 1 rail service in Washington County Oklahoma and Copan.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km 2 ), all land.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920430 40.1%
1930521 21.2%
1940549 5.4%
1950459 −16.4%
1960617 34.4%
1970675 9.4%
1980960 42.2%
1990809 −15.7%
2000796 −1.6%
2010733 −7.9%
2019 (est.)737 [2] 0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [8]

As of the census [3] of 2000, there were 796 people, 346 households, and 232 families residing in the town. The population density was 777.7 people per square mile (301.3/km 2 ). There were 386 housing units at an average density of 377.1 per square mile (146.1/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the town was 81.53% White, 13.07% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.63% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.76% of the population.

There were 346 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.9% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,222, and the median income for a family was $36,563. Males had a median income of $30,938 versus $20,119 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,324. About 6.8% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Maya Site of Copan

Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the ruins of Copán, one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization, were not excavated until the 19th century. The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Site maya de Copán

Le site fut découvert en 1570 par Diego García de Palacio, mais des fouilles n'y ont été entreprises qu'à partir du XIX e siècle. C'est l'un des sites majeurs de la civilisation maya. Les ruines de son acropole et de ses places monumentales témoignent des trois grandes étapes de son développement, avant son abandon au début du X e siècle.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

موقع كوبان العائد لحضارة المايا

اكتُشف هذا الموقع دييغو غارسيا دي بالاسيو عام 1570، إلا أنّ الحفريات لم تبدأ إلا في القرن التاسع عشر. ويشكّل أحد أهمّ مواقع حضارة المايا. وتدلّ آثار قلعته والنصب التذكارية فيه على ثلاث حقبات زمنية لتطوره قبل هجره في مطلع القرن العاشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


科潘遗址于1570年被迭戈·加西亚·德帕拉西奥(Diego García de Palacio)玛雅文明最重要的地点之一 ,一直到19世纪才被挖掘出来。废弃的城堡和壮丽的公共大广场体现了它10世纪初期被遗弃前的三个主要发展阶段。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Город индейцев майя Копан

Руины города Копан, одного из важнейших центров цивилизации майя, были обнаружены в 1570 г. в Диего Гарсия де Паласио, и не исследовались археологами вплоть до XIX в. Руины цитадели и обширные общественные площади дают представление о трех главных этапах развития города, завершившихся к началу X в., когда он был оставлен жителями.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Sitio maya de Copán

Descubiertas en 1570 por Diego García de Palacio, las ruinas de Copán –uno de los sitios más importantes de la civilización maya– sólo fueron excavadas en el siglo XIX. Los vestigios de la ciudadela y las imponentes plazas públicas son exponentes de las tres etapas principales de desarrollo de esta ciudad, antes de que fuese abandonada a comienzos del siglo X.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Maya gebied van Copán

Copán is een van de belangrijkste archeologische gebieden van de Maya beschaving in Honduras. De stad – ontdekt in 1570 door Diego García de Palacio – werd pas in de 19e eeuw opgegraven. De citadel en aangrenzende openbare pleinen onthullen de drie belangrijkste ontwikkelingsstadia voordat de stad in de vroege 10e eeuw werd verlaten. Er is bewijs dat Copán werd bewoond vanaf 2000 voor Christus, hoewel er weinig overblijfselen zijn die getuigen van deze bezetting. De grote periode van Copán – parallel aan die van andere belangrijke Maya steden – was de Klassieke periode die duurde van 300 tot 900 na Christus.

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the Maya site of Copan is one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization. The site is functioned as the political, civil and religious centre of the Copan Valley. It was also the political centre and cultural focus of a larger territory that covered the southeast portion of the Maya area and its periphery.

The first evidence of population in the Copan Valley dates back to 1500 B.C., but the first Maya-Cholan immigration from the Guatemalan Highlands is dated around 100 A.D. The Maya leader Yax Kuk Mo, coming from the area of Tikal (Petén), arrived in the Copan Valley in 427 A.D., and started a dynasty of 16 rulers that transformed Copan into one of the greatest Maya cities during the Classic Maya Period. 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. The archaeological remains and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development, during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today, before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.

The Mayan city of Copán as it exists today is composed of a main complex of ruins with several secondary complexes encircling it. The main complex consists of the Acropolis and important plazas. Among the five plazas are the Ceremonial Plaza, with an impressive stadium opening onto a mound with numerous richly sculptured monoliths and altars the Hieroglyphic Stairway Plaza, with a monumental stairway at its eastern end that is one of the outstanding structures of Mayan culture. On the risers of this 100 m wide stairway are more than 1,800 individual glyphs which constitute the longest known Mayan inscription. The Eastern Plaza rises a considerable height above the valley floor. On its western side is a stairway sculptured with figures of jaguars originally inlaid with black obsidian.

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. The construction of the Great Plaza and the Acropolis reflects a prodigious amount of effort because of the size of its levelled and originally paved expanse of three hectares and the latter because of the enormous volume of its elevated mass, which rises some 30 meters from the ground.

Criterion (iv): The design of the, with its temples, plazas, terraces and other features, represent a type of architectural and sculptural complex among the most characteristic of the Classic Maya Civilization. The Maya site of Copan represents one of the most spectacular achievements of the Classic Maya Period because of the number, elaboration and magnitude of its architectural and sculptural monuments. The stelae and altars at the Plaza form one of the most beautiful sculpture ensembles in the region. In both the design and execution of monuments, the Maya bequeathed a unique example of their creative genius and advanced civilization at Copan.

Criterion (vi): The lengthy inscription on the Hieroglyphic Stairway, the longest inscribed text in the Maya region, is of considerable historic significance for the site, and for a wider cultural area.

The boundaries of the World Heritage property enclose the key monuments, specifically the Main Group and the residential neighbourhoods around it, that give the Maya Site of Copan its Outstanding Universal Value. All attributes to convey its significance are contained within the Copan Archaeological Park (about 84.7 ha).

Copán remains endangered by continued erosion of the river, microflora and the outlying complexes, by continued agricultural practices. The site is a seismic zone and had suffered damage from at least two earthquakes. Although impacts of both natural and human origins continue to exist, and the setting and natural surroundings are being threatened by sprawl of the neighbouring town, these conditions have been largely mitigated and continue to be monitored so as to prevent the erosion of the conditions of the integrity. However, the integrity of the property needs to be strengthened by extending the boundaries of the Copan Archaeological Park.


The Maya Site of Copan has maintained its form and design and has largely conserved also its setting. Since 1980 restoration projects have followed the recommendations and standards set forth at the international level to maintain the authenticity of the site. However, since 1997, a few original monuments have been transferred to the Sculpture Museum, for their preservation and taking into account strictly conservation-oriented criteria, and replaced in situ by replicas.

Protection and management requirements

The existing legislation, both at the national and regional level, provides an appropriate framework for the protection of the site. However, while overlapping legislation reflects the national importance of archaeological landscapes and nature conservation and is considered adequate, its enforcement is not always satisfactory. There is a need for specific regulations to coordinate the enforcement of all existing legislative and regulatory measures.

The property is managed by the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH). At the national level, the property is protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras (1982), the Law for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation (1997) that provides a general framework for the protection of cultural resources and the General Law of Environment (1993) that includes cultural resources as part of the protection of the environment.

At the regional level, a Presidential Decree (1982) created the National Monument of Copan, covering a 30 km stretch of land that includes the Copan Valley where the World Heritage property is located, and that prescribes a special protection for all archaeological vestiges within the National Monument. The Law of Municipalities (1990) also considers the protection of cultural resources.

The first management plan was produced in 1984 and updated in 2001. That plan, however, is flawed on conservation issues, does not propose a precise conservation policy, does not include disaster preparedness, and ignores the local community. A Public Use Plan has been commissioned by the Institute of Tourism in concurrence with the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History. In the next few years it t will be necessary to elaborate a participatory Management Plan for the whole National Monument of Copan created in 1982, with a special emphasis on the World Heritage Property.

The State Party is negotiating an extension of the National Park with the landowners which will extend the area owned by the State beyond the present limits of the World Heritage Property (about 250 ha). Such an extension of the Park and the delimitation of a new buffer zone will ensure the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Maya site of Copan.

About COPAN Diagnostics

From its humble beginnings to its current position as a global market leader in sample collection and transport systems, full laboratory automation, Digital Microbiology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Microbiology, COPAN will continue to invest in science and technology to continually improve its knowledge to offer the most innovative product line in its niche market.

Family Owned Company

COPAN (which stands for COllection and Preservation for ANalysis) was founded in 1979 by the late Giorgio Triva in Mantua, Italy. Initially a distribution company for laboratory products, COPAN quickly began manufacturing laboratory products, such as plastic pipets. In 1982, Triva's son, Daniele, a chemical engineer with a specialty in Biotechnology Processing, assumed position of General Manager. An important milestone in the COPAN family history, Daniele worked closely with his father to redefine internal processes, moving the company towards new technological innovations in preanalytics.

Roots In Italy, Worldwide Reach

In 1994, Daniele met Norman Sharples, a Microbiologist and business development manager from Liverpool, UK, and the two expanded COPAN into North America and South America. COPAN Diagnostics, Inc. was established to develop a close connection with the clinical microbiology scientific community in North and South America. As business continued to grow, COPAN expanded into larger manufacturing facilities, and in 2011 opened a business development office in China.

COPAN's vertically integrated approach to manufacturing allows complete control over the entire process to produce one of the best products in the market and to achieve constant technical and quality improvement at a competitive price.

Today, COPAN supplies products worldwide and operates three shifts 24/7 producing hundreds of millions of bacteriology transport swabs, transfer pipets, calibrated plastic inoculation loops, UTM ® viral transport systems and Flocked Swabs per year!

Relentless Innovation, Unsurpassed Collaboration

In the late 1990s, Microbiology began to see a renaissance of interest regarding preanalytics, specifically specimen collection transport devices. COPAN understood from the beginning that while swab transport systems look very similar, performance may vary dramatically. COPAN worked with the Microbiology community to set protocols to test and challenge products, measuring and comparing the performance. Championed by Microbiology leaders and COPAN, in 2003, international published standards for transport swabs were developed. These new standards, CLSI (NCCLS) M40-A, created a new performance benchmark for swab collection and transport systems manufacturers, and solidified COPAN's devotion to excellence in quality and preanalytical innovation.

COPAN's dedication to collaboration and innovation in Microbiology didn't end there. In the early 2000s, the late Daniele Triva had a breakthrough idea for a type of swab that would be a game changer in the industry and outperform any of the state-of the-art fiber swabs. COPAN's unique quantitative approach to diagnostics and passion for innovation drove research and development, and as a result, in 2004, COPAN invented and introduced the first flocked swabs to the market.

Living inside Brazil’s largest apartment complex amid a pandemic

As the Brazilian president denies the death toll from COVID-19, the Copan building has taken its own measures to halt the crisis.

The Copan building in São Paulo, Brazil, looks like a wave. It reminds me of the tilde that sits on the “a” in “São Paulo.” With 1,160 apartments, the massive concrete structure is the largest residential building in Latin America. It even has its own Zip code. Designed as a social experiment in the 1950s, the city-sized building now offers an up-close look at how a metropolis of 21 million is coping with isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

São Paulo is the epicenter of the outbreak in Brazil. As of April 15, 28,320 Brazilians have been infected with COVID-19 and 1,736 have died. Of those who perished, nearly 800 were from São Paulo state. Like other countries, the lack of testing here means the number of cases is likely much higher. A new study estimates there are likely seven times more cases in Brazil than have been officially reported. The country’s health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, has warned that the public health system could collapse by the end of April.

I spent the last two decades covering Latin America as a photographer. I came to São Paulo late last year and now am under a mandatory quarantine along with the rest of the city’s residents. When I heard about the Copan and its history, I knew it was a world I wanted to understand. So I rented one of the apartments and spent eight days photographing and getting to know the people who call it home. Before I moved in, I isolated myself in my apartment for 20 days and while there I followed strict safety protocols.

The Copan was the dream of architect Oscar Niemeyer, who wanted to build a place for people from all walks of Brazilian society. He succeeded. Artists, moguls, and maids are among the 5,000 residents living in apartments that range from nearly 300 square feet to more than 4,500 square feet. The building has about 102 employees.

Like the man who built it, the Copan’s residents lean left on the political spectrum. Every night from their windows, residents bang pots and pans in protest of the current president’s handling of the pandemic.

President Jair Bolsonaro has said he doesn’t believe that COVID-19 is a health emergency. He called it a “little flu” and has publicly doubted the announced death toll. He’s held political rallies encouraging people to go back to work. And his supporters are taking his dangerous message to the streets: This week, while chanting that coronavirus is a lie, they blocked ambulances from driving through São Paulo.

“For weeks, Bolsonaro has been sabotaging the states’ and his own Health Ministry’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and putting the lives and health of Brazilians at grave risk,” José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director at Human Rights Watch, wrote in a recent report.

Bolsonaro could learn a thing or two from the Copan’s Affonso Celso Oliveira. Since 1993, the 80-year-old manager, whom residents call “the mayor,” has been running things at the building where he’s lived for decades. When he first heard about the virus in January, he immediately shut down the building’s roof, typically crowded with hundreds of daily visitors, and ramped up cleaning throughout the building. “I’ve instructed the doormen to watch on the CCTV when people are using the elevators,” Oliveira told me. “If they touch the surfaces or the mirrors, the cleaning personnel is called up to clean the whole elevator right away."

Daniel Sabino, 14, peers out from his family’s sprawling apartment on the 31st floor of the Copan. The building is home to a cross-section of Brazilian society, from artists and freelancers to the very wealthy.

Staff have fuel vouchers, instead of public transportation vouchers, so they can avoid taking crowded buses through the densely populated city. And doormen are also on alert for residents exhibiting symptoms. One woman I met had recently returned from Europe with the flu and said the staff checked in on her every day.

Many thought Oliveira was overreacting, but now they call him a genius. As of press time, there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in the Copan.

Still, like the rest of São Paulo, life at the Copan isn’t immune to the effects of the pandemic. While some residents are doing fine financially, others are on forced “vacation.” Still others have lost their jobs and have no prospects. All are feeling anxious.

Many are like Carine Wallauer. Before the pandemic, she was a successful director of photography. In early March, as the virus was surging across the globe, she attended the Berlinale, a prestigious film festival in Berlin. Since then, she’s lost two of her three jobs. Now, she’s worried about what her life will be like next month. When I visited recently, she seemed relieved to have someone to speak to. We sat on the floor—six feet apart—and talked for three hours. Like Carine, other residents were eager to talk, after not seeing anyone for weeks. With each visit, I thoroughly washed my hands and practiced social distancing. Even with the extra precautions, you can never tell when facing an invisible disease.

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The lengthy volume Copan is the result of intensive research, scholarly seminars . and extensive collaborations among the contributors over the past 20 years. This book is important for scholars of the archaeology of Classic Maya nobles in urban areas, and researchers on elites in other ancient societies and students of Classic Maya civilization will find it very useful. It is well written and well illustrated and contains a detailed index and bibliography. --Joel W. Palka

This volume presents the culmination of seven years of intensive multidisciplinary research into the archaeology and history of ancient Copán… Andrews and Fash have assembled an impressive group of scholars … whose contributions, read together, present a nuanced, multifaceted view of life in classic era Copán… This book will serve as a useful reference and should be required reading for graduate students interested in New World complex societies. --T. Kam Manahan, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Vol. 13, no. 1 (March 2007)

Profusely illustrated with illustrations, diagrams, photographs and charts, the eleven essays in this volume bring together new findings from the very important archaeological complexes at Copan. The authors are internationally renowned, and all took part in the Copan Acropolis Archaeological Project. This volume will be a valuable resource for Mayanist scholars in the fields of archaeology and anthropology alike. --British Bulletin of Publications, No. 113 (October 2005-October 2006)

Art and Sculpture

This ancient citadel was rich with unique sculptural monuments. In spite of the fall of their long-ruling king, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awaiil, the following rulers of Copán started building monumental structures again right after sometime. A distinctive sculpture style was developed within the city, which emphasized the ethnicity of Maya rulers. The altars and the array of portrait stelae located at the plaza exemplify sublime sculptural beauty, such as the sculpture of Howling Monkey God, situated in temple 11.

Copan Sculpture and Plazas

Sculpture of Howling Monkey God

The Interior Doorway of Structure

Copan Archeological Park

Located in a valley of the same name, western Honduras is, perhaps, the best source of information about ancient Mayan civilization.

Throughout the valley there are remains of this great civilization that lived in the area and that reached its maximum splendor between the sixth and eighth centuries of our era.

The most amazing attractions left to us by the Mayans of Copan are the Copán Ruinas Archeological Park the archaeological site of Las Sepulturas Los Sapos, a small set of sculpted rocks among which appear in the shape of frogs the stelae (statues) located across the valley, and two museums: the Regional Museum of Archeology and the Museum of Mayan Sculpture.

The long history of archaeological research and excavation in Copán has shown an extensive network of tunnels that were dug under the archaeological site. Once closed to the public, these tunnels have opened a window into the past exposing tombs and temples that are not in plain sight. For a few years, the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History has opened two of these tunnels to the public: the Rosa Lila tunnel and the Los Jaguares tunnel.

One of the most common questions among visitors to Copán is where and how the inhabitants of the Mayan city lived. And the answer can be found in Las Sepulturas (Gravesites). Las Sepulturas are an integral part of the Archaeological Project of Copan, and are located only two kilometers away from the main archaeological park. They are known by this name because of the Mayan custom of burying their dead in the same house where they lived. Today it is known that this was a residential area of Copan’s elite, during the days of the reign of Yax-Pac, the last king of Copan.

The first news of the Ruins of the Maya City of Copán dates back to 1576, when Diego Garcia de Palacio, a judge of the Royal Court of Guatemala, wrote to Philip II, King of Spain, mentioning the discovery of the ruins of this Mayan city. Subsequently, several explorers visited the ruins of Copán. Bishop Vásquez de Espinoza in 1613, who on his journey in Honduras wrote:

“There are magnificent buildings of times unknown, that throughout the ages memory was lost, and news of those who made them and constructed their great antiquity among the ruins of them. There are prodigious, admirable things … ” (Acosta, 1995 25).

In 1834, Colonel Juan Galindo, in the service of the Federal Government of Central America, made the first explorations and reported on what was found there. In 1839, the American John L. Stephens, accompanied by the English artist, Frederick Catherwood, visited the ruins and reproduced engravings of the abandoned Mayan City of Copan.

In the year 1885, Englishman Alfred Maudslay arrived in Copan. He established the first nomenclature of monuments and sculptures. He also made reproductions of steles and altars in gypsum molds, in addition to a topographic map of the Main Group. All the material collected by him is displayed in the British Museum.

In 1891, the Peabody Museum of Harvard University obtained permission from the Government of Honduras to perform excavations in which the Hieroglyphic Staircase, tombs and sculptures were discovered.

In 1910, Dr. Sylvanus G. Morley arrived in Copan, who conducted numerous investigations. Following the investigations, the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Government of Honduras signed an agreement in 1934 to allow the Carnegie to undertake restoration work on monuments. Stromsvik is responsible for carrying out this work.

The Archaeological Park of Copán Ruinas is located at 1.5 km from the village. In 1980 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and considered by guides and archaeologists as the Paris of its time. The Copán Ruinas Archaeological Park is a city that impresses in every way. Here political, religious and civic acts were held. The Main Group can be divided into two areas: Gran Plaza and Acropolis. While the first was a public space, the second was a closed area, reserved for the ruling elite. Other important areas to visit are the Ball Court, the Hieroglyphic Stairway and the Museum of Sculpture.

Hours: Daily from 8:00AM -6:00PM

Foreign Visitors:Park $15 (includes visit to Las Sepulturas)

Museo de las Esculturas (Sculpture Museum) $8

Central American Visitors: Park $8 (includes visit to Las Sepulturas)

Museo de las Esculturas (Sculpture Museum) $5

Honduran Visitors: Park L80.00 (includes visit to Las Sepulturas, Museo de las Esculturas, and Archeological Museum)

Our Story

Copan Trade has been family owned and operated for over 30 years, since founded by Sheri and Walter Dunaway in the Mid 80’s. Their story begins in Santa Rosa de Copan, a mountain town in western Honduras, in which Sheri and Walter began their quest to find some of the best green coffee beans in the world. Their travels took them deep into the mountain villages to purchase locally grown coffee, eliminating the middle-man and establishing relationships with the local growers. Soon they were planting their own coffee, but all the while maintaining close and personal connections with the independent growers in the Honduran highlands and mountain villages.

Copan Trade opened its USA office, established in Tomball, Texas in 2002, with the goal of commercializing green coffee from Honduras. Over the years, we have seen the market place change. Small and medium size coffee roasters are shifting the supply chain in a way that better and unique coffees are hitting the marketplace. Copan Trade aims to cater to this segment of the market by offering unique coffees from Honduras and other origins at prices that can only come from a direct relationship with the growers.

Touring the Copan Ruins

Things haven’t changed much in Copan Ruinas. Old men play checkers in the plaza and barefoot kids kick soccer balls in the dusty square. But the village, now the gateway to the restored Mayan city of Copan, thrives on its ancient neighbor, the National Monument whose massive pyramids and plazas rank among Central Americas preeminent cultural sites.

Like most vanished and deliciously ghoulish civilizations, the Mayan world fascinated our two grandsons, Will and Dillon. What better, then, but to show them the real thing?

Copan Ruinas baked in the heat on the afternoon that our tour bus from Tegucigalpa, the capital, pulled into town. Like most of the 80,000 tourists who visit Copan annually, we planned two days touring the site, and another exploring the town, sampling Honduran food and shopping for crafts – including a gift box (for our dog-sitter) of the first-rate Honduran cigars produced by Cuban families who’ve fled Castro’s Cuba.

It was late when we arrived, with just enough time to check into the Hotel Marina Copan, cool off in the swimming pool and grab a meal. But we were up early the next morning, ready to meet our guide at the park entrance.

As we walked through town, store owners stood in their doorways, yawning. Grade-schoolers in blue and white uniforms paraded down the sidewalk. Across the street, a security guard in cowboy boots and a Panama hat lounged against a store-front bank, a sawed-off shotgun slung over his shoulder. Dillon’s eyes went wide and the guard gave him a broad smile.

As promised, our guide, Inmar Diaz, young and clean-cut, was standing by the gate feeding fruit to two adult macaws, big birds with brilliant blue, green and red feathers. Handing some fruit to the kids, he showed them how to feed the parrots without getting nipped.

“These birds were sacred to the Mayans,” he said, as we shook hands. “You’ll see them today, represented in ancient iconography.”

Diaz was a traveler’s ideal companion, an enthusiast who knows his subject. A chance encounter with a visiting American led to a home stay with an American family and a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After graduation, speaking perfect English, he came home to a job in tourism.

“Copan isn’t the largest Mayan city,” he told the kids, “but it’s known for the finest sculpture and carving. Archaeologists from the United States and Honduras discover new things almost every month.”

In 800 A.D., Copan was the center of an empire, its temples the skyscrapers of their day, its broad plazas and elaborate carvings designed to exalt the rulers and impress the humble.

“It’s a spooky place,” said Pete Anderson, an American we met in the hotel restaurant. “Spooky but fantastic,” he added. “According to our guide, strange rites and human sacrifices were a common practice. But the temples are an engineering marvel. Each of those tens of thousands of stone blocks is perfectly shaped to fit together.”

Watch the video: The Best of Chopin (November 2021).