The buildings and monuments in Copán are identified with numbers and letters.
The Maya (A7) The Maya areNative Americans who live on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. They share common linguistic heritage. The people were divided into at least 10 different language groups each as different to English, as Englishis to Dutch. They are part of the larger cultural area called Mesoamerica. The pre-contact Maya evolved and developed over a period of two thousand years. The Maya had many great city states. Thesecities rose to power had their day in the sun and then set. Before the arrival of Europeans cities such as Nakbe, El Mirador, Tikal, Copan, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Mayapan and others had come and gone.When “The Conquest” began Tulum, Tayasal, Utatlan and Iximche were important centres of Mayan power. The cities were abandoned or converted to European use but the Maya people continue to the present asunique cultural groups. One great city of the Maya was Copan. Located in Honduras, Copan was a strong regional power. Importantly, it had a unique culture defined by extensive stone carved records ofits history. When the Spanish conquest swept across Central America, libraries of Mayan books were destroyed. When Copan was rediscovered these stones with carved records were uncovered. During thelast decade many of these documents have been translated giving us a strong sense of the human condition in Mesoamerica. We now have a clearer picture of religion, war, trade and science. Copan wasabandoned due to war and famine. The Acropolis of the Copan Valley, shown here, clearly illustrates that the community that existed her had strong leaders; political, religious and scientific. Yet theyfailed to find solutions to depleted resources and war. The Maya left impressive artifacts but they highlight the failure of this culture. The Mesoamerican experience could foreshadow our story...