Copan

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Definition

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.

More about: Copan

Timeline

  • c. 1000 BCE
    Copan is first settled by farming communities.
  • 250 CE - 950 CE
    The Classic Maya Period which saw the height of the Maya Civilization in cities such as Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tikal, Copan and Uxmal.
  • 331 CE
    Traditional founding date of Maya Copan.
  • 426 CE - 437 CE
    Reign of the first named Copan ruler K'inich Yax K'uk Mo.
  • 628 CE - 695 CE
    Reign of King Smoke Imix at Copan.
  • 695 CE - 738 CE
    Reign of King 18 Rabbit at Copan.
  • 820 CE
    Reign ends of Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat at Copan.
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