July 16, 2014

1147 HONDURAS - Maya Site of Copan (UNESCO WHS)

Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the ruins of Copán, one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization (located now on western Honduras, near to the border with Guatemala) were not excavated until the 19th century. The first evidence of population in the Copan Valley dates back to 1500 B.C., but the first Maya-Cholan immigration from the Guatemalan Highlands is dated around 100 A.D. The Maya leader Yax Kuk Mo, coming from the area of Tikal (Petén), arrived in the Copan Valley in 427 A.D., and started a dynasty of 16 rulers that transformed Copan into one of the greatest Maya cities during the Classic Maya Period. The great period of Copán occurred during the Classical period, AD 300-900.

The archaeological remains and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development, during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today, before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century. The main complex consists of the Acropolis and important plazas. Among the five plazas are the Ceremonial Plaza, with an impressive stadium opening onto a mound with numerous richly sculptured monoliths and altars; the Hieroglyphic Stairway Plaza, with a monumental stairway at its eastern end that is one of the outstanding structures of Mayan culture. On the risers of this 100 m wide stairway are more than 1,800 individual glyphs which constitute the longest known Mayan inscription.From what is known today, the sculpture of Copán appears to have attained a high degree of perfection. On the left of the postcard is Stela N, dedicated by K'ak' Yipyaj Chan K'awiil in AD 761 and placed at the foot of the steps to Temple 11, which is believed to contain his burial.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued on August 25, 2012, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relationshis between Honduras and Korea.

The second stamp, showing the soccer national team of Honduras, is one of the three stamps of the series Football World Cup - South Africa, issued on December 3, 2009.

Copán - Wikipedia
Maya Site of Copan - UNESCO official website

Sender: ???
sent from Copan (Honduras), on 25.06.2014
photo: Juan Bendeck

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