A visit to the Copan Archeological Site may take several hours. A discovery walk through a place like this shouldn’t feel rushed even though the heat and humidity may be pounding your body. And don’t forget you need to save energy for what comes after. The feast doesn’t end when you are done with the ruins.
The Archeological Site has a Mayan Sculpture Museum (Museo de Escultura Maya) on its grounds. There are several reasons why this museum is a must see (even if you don’t like museums).
This museum has been designed to depict several aspects of the Mayan cosmology. The four corners of the building are aligned with the cardinal points. The first level symbolizes the underworld and thus sculptures of bats, skulls and death can be found in there. The second level contains facades of many building and stelae which are artifacts that are found in the aboveground reality. The facilities are illuminated by an open-air skylight.
Entrance to the museum is done thru the mouth of a stone serpent (Mayans believed this was a way to communicate with its ancestors) and a tunnel similar to those found in the ruins.
After a few minutes of obscurity, you are faced with bright reds, yellows and greens (same colors that once covered the entire ruins). A replica of the Rosalila Temple stands of the middle of the museum. The original temple is buried under one of the structures in the archeological site.
Additionally there are over 60 exhibits showcasing the best work of the Mayans who inhabited the Valley of Copan. There are signs (in Spanish and English) explaining each piece. If you want to learn more, hire a guide (negotiate the price).
As you can see this is a museum containing artifacts that cannot be seen anywhere else. Pay a visit and delight on what Mayans left for posterity.
Have you visited this museum? Let me know in the comments section below.