Copan was one of the great Mayan cities of its time and had interaction with Palenque, Calakmul and Tikal. The city was founded by 'Great-Sun First Quetzal Macaw' who, along with all Copan's 16 rulers, can be seen depicted on the Alter-Q. This alter has been used with the hieroglyphic staircase to piece together what we know of Copan's history and its interactions with other Mayan cities. The cities most famous ruler (ruler 13) is known as '18 Rabbit' who, like Egypts Ramesus the Great, ruled for many years and errected many monuments to himself. His rule ended when he was beheaded in Quirigua, leading to the independance of Quirigua, a then vassel state of Copan, and started the demise of the Copan empire.
Read more on the (Wiki link) and view the site map here.

Stella P

Under Temple 16 lies the Rosalila temple
Altar Q depicts 16 kings in the dynastic succession of the city. It was created by Copan's final ruler who can be seen facing Copan's founder (wearing glasses).

The East Court

The dancing Jaguar

Tunnel entrance

Trees grow over the ruins

The Macaw ball court


The West court

... and again

The dead were buried with the living. This headstone found in the ruins.

Stella N

Stella M and the Hieroglyphic Stairway
The site's ball court differs from other Mayan sites that have a hoop to get the ball through. Instead scoring occurs when a player hits one of the six stone Macaw heads (three each side, not the top ones).

The ball court and the hieroglyphic staircase

Stella 3

18 Rabbit on Stella A

Stella 4

Stella B

Original red paint on Stella C

Stella D

Alter G

Stella H (a copy is in the British Museum)
The site museum with all originals except for the reconstruction of the Rosalila temple

the original Stella P

The original Alter Q

The Rosalila temple. The original is still under temple 16

Stella A (a copy is in the British Museum)

The Macaw ball court
The town of Copan and my flash hotel in Honduras