Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, and one of the ancient Maya's most lavish cultural centres, Copan is well-known for its intricately carved stelae and incredible hieroglyphic stairway. Today you'll visit this world famous archaeological site, the on-site sculpture museum and two excavated tunnels under the ruins that provide insight into the early stages of Copan civilization.
Afterwards, you'll have lunch at a local restaurant, and then continue your archaeology tour to Las Sepulturas site. Las Sepulturas was a residential area for the nobility of Copan, and is situated a little more than a kilometre north-east of the main city. The name translates to “the Tombs” - a name given to the site by local farmers who discovered an abundance of tombs around the area. The nobility of Las Sepulturas were indeed buried under and around their homes here, with the oldest being the 5th century burial of a priest found in Plaza A.
After a short visit to Las Sepulturas, you will continue to Rastrojón site; this is an ancient Maya defensive fort that recently opened to the public following a six-year excavation led by Harvard University and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, among other institutions. It comprises ornate buildings (including what some consider Copán valley’s most beautifully decorated temple) and provides valuable insight into the military strategies of the ancient Maya. A tour of this site delves into the history - and demise - of Rastrojón. The façade of one of Rastrojón’s impressive structures is located in the Copán sculpture museum.
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