Stela with portrait sculpture, Copán, Honduras.—Walter Aguiar/EB Inc.

Ruined ancient Mayan city, Honduras. It lies near the Guatemalan border on the bank of the Copán River, about 35 mi (56 km) from modern Santa Rosa de Copán. An important centre of Mayan art and astronomy during the Classic Period (c. AD 250–c. 900), it was at its peak early in the 9th century and may have been home to as many as 20,000 people. The site consists of stone temples, two large pyramids, several stairways and plazas, and a ball court. It is particularly noted for the friezes on its buildings. The Maya had completely abandoned the site by c. 1200. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

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