Copán


Copán
Sp. /kaw pahn"/, n.
See Santa Rosa de Copán.

* * *

Ruined ancient Maya city, Honduras.

It lies near the Guatemalan border on the bank of the Copán River, about 35 mi (55 km) from modern Santa Rosa de Copán. An important centre of Mayan art and astronomy during the Classic Period (с 300–с 900), it was at its peak in the 8th century and may have been home to as many as 20,000 people. The site consists of stone temples, two large pyramids, several stairways and plazas, and a ball court and is particularly noted for the friezes on its buildings. The Maya had completely abandoned the site by с 1200.

Stela with portrait sculpture, Copán, Honduras.

Walter Aguiar/EB Inc.

* * *

▪ ancient city, Honduras
 
ruined ancient Maya (pre-Columbian civilizations) city, in extreme western Honduras near the Guatemalan border. It lies on the west bank of the Copán River, about 35 miles (56 km) west of the modern town of Santa Rosa de Copán. The site was added to the World Heritage List (World Heritage site) in 1980.

      Copán began as a small agricultural settlement about 1000 BC. It became an important Maya city during the Classic Period (c. AD 250–900), and at its peak early in the 9th century it may have been home to as many as 20,000 people. A dynasty of at least 16 kings ruled Copán from about 426 to 822, by which latter date the city had entered a serious decline. The Maya had completely abandoned the site by about 1200.

 The site comprises some 250 acres (100 hectares), including residential areas. Its central district covers 54 acres (22 hectares) and consists of stone temples, two large pyramids, several stairways and plazas, and a court for playing the ball game tlachtli (Mayan: pok-ta-pok). Most of these structures centre on a raised platform (now called the Acropolis) that was apparently the architectural centre of the ancient city. Copán is particularly noted for the friezes on some of its other buildings and the portrait sculptures on its many stelae. The Hieroglyphic Stairway, which leads to one of the temples, is beautifully carved with some 1,260 hieroglyphic symbols on the risers of its 63 remaining steps. There is evidence that astronomers in Copán calculated the most accurate solar calendar produced by the Maya up to that time.

 The first Europeans to discover the site's ruins were Spanish explorers in the late 16th century. The American travelers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood rediscovered them in 1839, and in the 1930s and '40s the ruins were restored by a group jointly sponsored by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., and the government of Honduras. Another major investigation that began in 1975 revealed much of Copán's political and dynastic history through the decipherment of hieroglyphic inscriptions on its monuments.
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copán — Copan redirects here. For the town in the United States, see Copan, Oklahoma. For other uses, see Copán (disambiguation). Maya Site of Copan * UNESCO World Heritage Site …   Wikipedia

  • Copan — Copán Site Maya de Copán 1 Patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO Ruine d un temple Latitude Longitude …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Copán — designa a: Copán, antigua ciudad maya clásica, localizada en el occidente de Honduras. Copán, uno de los dieciocho departamentos de Honduras. Santa Rosa de Copán, capital del departamento de Copán. Trinidad de Copán, municipio del departamento de …   Wikipedia Español

  • copan — COPÁN, copane, s.n. (reg.) Şold, coapsă (de animal). – Din bg. kopan. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 23.05.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  COPÁN s. v. coapsă. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  copán s. n., pl …   Dicționar Român

  • Copan — steht für: Edifício Copan, Wohnkomplex in São Paulo, Brasilien Copán steht für: Copán, Maya Stadt im heutigen Staat Honduras Copan ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Paul Copan (* 1962), US amerikanischer Theologe, Philosoph, Apologet und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Copán — es un departamento hondureño, fronterizo con Guatemala. Su capital es Santa Rosa; tiene una superficie de 3.203 km², y de acuerdo al censo de 1991 la población del departamento asciende a los 226.000 habitantes. En esta región destacan las ruinas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Copan — Copan, OK U.S. town in Oklahoma Population (2000): 796 Housing Units (2000): 386 Land area (2000): 1.023535 sq. miles (2.650944 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.023535 sq. miles (2.650944 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Copan, OK — U.S. town in Oklahoma Population (2000): 796 Housing Units (2000): 386 Land area (2000): 1.023535 sq. miles (2.650944 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.023535 sq. miles (2.650944 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Copán — site archéol. du Honduras, sur le fl. Copán, à la frontière du Guatemala; ruines mayas (VIe IXe s.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Copan — Copan, so v. w. Coban (s.d.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Copán — Copán, Indianerdorf und Departement (1887: 36,744 Einw., worunter 3798 Indianer) der mittelamerikan. Republik Honduras, früher eine bedeutende Stadt, wie großartige Ruinen in der Nähe beweisen. Sie werden auf der einen Seite eingefaßt von einer… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.