KeO BLoG

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A Visit to the Copan “Mayan” Ruins in Honduras

Mountains and Cloud Covered Sky in Scenic Honduras

While navigating pot holed roads, border crossings and a few police check points from El Salvador to the Copan “Mayan” Ruins in Honduras, I had a general idea of what to expect based on my internet research.  We arrived just as they were opening the gates and after paying for our tickets and enjoying a  leisurely breakfast it was time to hike through the site.

Mayan Ruins @ Copan

In a matter of minutes I realized the Ruins were going to be above and beyond my expectations. To think their were such advanced and technically sophisticated cultures in the Mesoamerica spanning 3000 years starting 2600 BC, but rising to prominence around A.D. 250.  Mayan Time Line
According to the Canadian Museum of Civilization.    “Maya developed astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing. The Maya were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories, all built without metal tools. They were also skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya were equally skilled as weavers and potters, and cleared routes through jungles and swamps to foster extensive trade networks with distant peoples.

While meandering through the various ruins I was reminded of the Ancient Egyptians with their monumental pyramids, sculptural reliefs, tomb paintings and complex hieroglyphics. I tried to imagine these incredibly monumental temples and athletic stadiums being build with archaic tools and technologies. Mind boggling!

As an Art History teacher I’m constantly in awe and amazed at what communities of people can accomplish when they work together towards a common objective whether that be the construction of a giant Pyramid, ceremonial architecture and expansive cities in the middle of the jungle.

The Mayans were indeed an innovative and ingenious people who brought water down through a series of canals to the towns and temples from the river, built monumental ceremonial temples and created beautiful and highly conceptual art forms. We also need to remember they could also be ruthless, highly superstitious, conducted ritualistic human sacrifices and used captured slaves to build their temples.

Visiting the Mayan Ruins in Copan, Honduras reminded me of other great historical archeological sites like Stonehenge, the Parthenon and the great Pyramids of Egypt.

I have to wonder if there was any communication and or connections between these various cultures. I would like to think there was because of the many similarities in art, architecture and iconography.

Mayan Temple Sculptural Relief

Sites like Copan are a testament to man’s incredible desire and will to leave his/her mark on this earth no matter what the price in human suffering and sheer brute force and will power. Click here for travel / tour information and archeological history.

The slide show below is a cross section of my favorite photographs taken at the Copan Archeological site  and around the town of Copan.

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3 comments on “A Visit to the Copan “Mayan” Ruins in Honduras

  1. Pingback: The Downside of Traveling | KeO BLoG

  2. Where exactly did u pick up the ideas to compose ““A Visit to the Copan Mayan Ruins in Honduras | KeO BLoG”?
    Thanks a lot ,Stephanie

  3. Pingback: Ready for More Adventures… | KeO BLoG

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2012 by in ArT, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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