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Robert Sharer

Early Copán Acropolis Program 1995-1997 Field Seasons
Latest Findings at Copán, Honduras
© 1997, Robert Sharer - Used with permission.
Vea este informe en Español.

Research Year:  1995-1997
Culture:  Maya
Chronology:  Early Classic
Location:  Copán, Honduras
Site:  Copán Acropolis

Table of Contents

Research Goals and Methods
The Northeast Court Complex
Court Groups 4 and 3
Court Group 5
The Southern Temple Complex
Burial 95-1
The Northeast Court Complex
Court Group 5
Court Groups 3 and 4
Court Group 2
The Southern Temple Complex
Burial 95-1
Hunal Tomb
Margarita Tomb
Other Human Burials
Court Group 2
List of Figures
List of Maps
Appendix by David Sedat


The Early Copán Acropolis Program (ECAP) of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, working under the auspices of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia (IHAH) 1   has completed nine field seasons of research within the Acropolis of the Classic period Maya site of Copán, Honduras (1989-1997). 2 

The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc., through the awarding of Grant 95060, provided vital support for ECAP’s Acropolis excavations over the past three seasons (1995-1997) during which all tunnel excavations were completed. 3   This report will summarize the results of ECAP’s research conducted under the support of this grant in each of these three field seasons. An Appendix to this report summarizes the results of a one year (1996) collateral award (Grant 95061) for the training of conservation personnel at Copán.

End Notes

  1. ECAP’s research has been made possible by the assistance and support of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia, Dra. Olga Joya S., Gerente, Licda. Carmen Julia Fajardo (Jefe, Depto. de Investigación Arqueológica), and Prof. Oscar Cruz M. (Jefe, Región Nor-Occidental del IHAH).
  1. Since its beginning in 1989, ECAP’s investigations have been carried out by some 50 professional researchers and consultants, a loyal work force of local laborers who have excavated and consolidated over 3 kms of tunnels, and an IHAH staff that has provided vital support for administration, conservation, architectural consolidation, and architectural recording. ECAP Director is Dr. Robert J. Sharer, Curator of the American Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. David W. Sedat, Research Specialist in the American Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, is Field Director. The computer mapping of all buried architecture beneath the Acropolis has been conducted by Loa P. Traxler of the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Sharer, Sedat, and Traxler have also supervised specific excavation areas during the course of ECAP’s research, as have Alfonso Morales (University of Texas), and Julie Miller (University of Pennsylvania). The consolidation of all Acropolis architecture has been under the overall direction of Rudy Larrios, ably assisted by Fernando Lopez, who has been especially helpful to ECAP’s research. The entire assemblage of buried Acropolis architecture has been catalogued by Christine Carrelli (Rutgers University). The cataloguing and analysis of the artifacts recovered by ECAP’s excavations has been carried out by Ellen Bell (University of Pennsylvania). The conservation of artifacts has been expertly handled by a team of professional conservators composed of Lynn Grant, University of Pennsylvania Museum, Harriet Beaubien, Smithsonian Institution, and several consultants and trainees from both the US and Honduras. A separate FAMSI Grant (number 95061) was awarded in 1996 to ECAP for archaeological conservation and the training of Honduran conservators (see the Appendix to this report).

    ECAP has relied on a variety of professional consultants over the course of its research. Linda Schele has visited ECAP’s tunnel excavations almost every field season, providing vital expertise on epigraphic and iconographic matters. ECAP has also benefited from the contributions made by many other individuals, including David Stuart, Stephen Houston, Pat Culbert, Dorie Reents-Budet, Simon Martin, Justin Kerr, Christopher Jones, and John Carlson.

    Over the past decade of research, a cadre of graduate and undergraduate students have played vital roles as Field Assistants for ECAP’s excavations. These individuals are Marcello Canuto, Charles Golden, and Laura Pillette (all of the University of Pennsylvania), Edward Barnhart and Christopher Powell (both of the University of Texas), and David Browning (University of Illinois), along with Luis Centeno and Eva Martinez (both Honduran college students). Last, but not least, ECAP has also greatly benefited from the contributions of volunteers, including Eleanor Coates (architectural and artifact photography), and William Castleman (excavation and mechanical engineering).

  1. In addition to the research grants from the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (1995-1997), support for ECAP research has been provided by the University of Pennsylvania Museum (Boyer and Shoemaker Chair Research Funds), the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Maya Workshop Foundation, the Kislak Foundation, the Selz Foundation, the Holt Family Foundation, the Segy Foundation, and numerous private donors.

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Early Copán Acropolis Program 1995-1997 Field Seasons — Latest Findings at Copán, Honduras  (1.40 MB)

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Submitted 05/01/1997 by:

Univ. of Penn Museum, Philadelphia

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