Honduras August 2000
Our Granddaughter Jesi Riley had her sixth birthday on August 23,
2000. Grammy and Poppy just had to attend her birthday party in Tegucigalpa
Honduras. While we were in Honduras, we visited our daughter Teri, Son in Law, Jim
Riley, as well as as Grandchildren, Jesi, Jeni and Josh. For her birthday, Jesi
wanted to go to the beach. Unfortunately, I do not have any good pictures of us at
the beach in Tela, Honduras but I have some other pictures of out side trip to the Mayan
ruins in Copan, Honduras as well as I'd like to share some of our family pictures taken on
this trip. I hope you enjoy them.
Jim at the model of the Mayan Village at Copan HN
Copan Ruins are located in the western part of Republic of Honduras, Central America in
the Department of Copan. The capital of this Department is the city of Santa Rosa de
Copan, formerly known as "Los Llanos". Copan is the archeological city located
south of the whole geographic area, and it is where the great Mayan Civilization developed
and flourished. (The area is 325,000 square kilometers and comprises the southeastern part
of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and part of El Salvador). San Jose de Copan,
situated one kilometer from the principal group of ruins in this archeological zone, is a
modern town which was founded during the last century and at present is called COPAN
RUINS, or RUINAS DE COPAN.
The Hieroglyphic Staircase of the Mayan Temple
This magnificent structure is located East of the Ball Court which has the same name and
it is considered as one of the most remarkable and interesting monument built by the Mayas
during the Classic Period. It contains 63 steps or stairs, each one carved with
hieroglyphic on the cants. At the time of discovery, ten steps from the base were found
completely in tact and five more partially destroyed. It measured 26 feet in width
including the balustrades or banisters, and 55 feet in height, above the Court level. The
banisters or balustrades on either side of the Stairway are 3 feet wide, decorated with
serpentine and bird-like motifs. The composition of these decorations appears to represent
the celestial Monster.
Billie at the Mayan estela of Ruler '18 Rabits'
This is one side of an estela made showing Eighteen Rabits, a famous Mayan ruler. On the
left the young Eighteen Rabits can be seen with a childish face. Various symbols on
estelas demonstrated that this side of the estela described the sunrise or the symbolic
birth of Eighteen Rabits. On the right, the older Eighteen Rabits ruler can be seen with a
grown beard, more mature and powerful. This side also demonstrated the dawn or death of
Jim on the Ball Court 'Goal' or sloped structure
This stately and sober aggregate of sculptures is situated between the Central or Middle
Court and the Hieroglyphic Stairway. The ball court or grounds is built in the shape of a
thick I, surrounded by slanting benches ending in a small vertical wall in the
upper part. Both the floor and the benches are covered with large carved stones, formerly
covered with stucco. The Ball Court or playing alley is 75 feet long and 18 feet wide. The
sloping platforms are 18 feet wide and 3 feet high. In the middle part of the alley there
are 3 carved rectangular stone blocks which are known as markers.
Billie at the ruins.
If you'd like to know more about Mayan culture, history, government etc. there are several
good web sites available. The Honduras Net has a good tour of the ruins and
The Science Museum of Minnesota has a neat Mayan tour even though it doesn't list Copan.