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After Guatemala we headed to Copan, the famous Mayan ruins in Honduras. The archaeological site was large, and the buildings were interesting with many normal, family dwellings in existence. The highlight of the site was definitely the stelae - large, carved columns depicting Mayan kings. One of the most interesting things for me about these were the extreme changes in carving style over the dynasties - one would look Dysneyesque, while another was similar in style to the ruins in Palenque while yet another could have come from China centuries ago!

The other wonderful thing about the Copan site is the museum. Inside is a full scale replica of what archaeologists believe one of the temples may have been like in original condition. This has always been one of my complaints about Mayan ruin sites - there are obviously some impressive stone monuments, but to actually imagine what the site may have looked like when it was in use I found virtually impossible with so little information to go on. The reconstructed temple nicknamed Rosalila by archaeologists is actually buried under a newer temple. We were only able to see parts of the real Rosalila by going through tunnels dug by archaeologists. The picture below shows part of the front of the temple as re-created. The area shown would be a couple of metres high.