Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2000:
Robert J. Sharer

Report of the 1996 Field Season of the Early Copán Acropolis Program
Vea este informe en Español.

The floor below the burial platform holds an array of Early Classic funerary vessels.

Research Year:  1996
Culture:  Maya
Chronology:  Early Classic
Location:  Copán, Honduras
Site:  Copán Acropolis

Table of Contents

Division VI (ca. A.D. 350-400)
Division V (ca. A.D. 400-450)
Divisions IV & III (ca. A.D. 450-540)
Division II (ca. A.D. 540-600)
Computer Mapping
Tunnel Consolidation
Architectural Cataloguing
Artifact Conservation
Artifact Analyses
Pilot Study of Acropolis Burials
List of Figures


The Early Copán Acropolis Program (ECAP) completed its eighth field season of research between January 15 and May 30, 1996, working under the auspices of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia (IHAH). The ECAP research is directed by Robert J. Sharer, assisted by David W. Sedat (Field Director), both of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and was conducted by a team of researchers that included Loa P. Traxler (MASCA/University of Pennsylvania Museum), Ellen Bell, Marcello Canuto, and Charles Golden (University of Pennsylvania), Christine Carrelli (Rutgers University), and Christopher Powell and Edward Barnhart (University of Texas).

Once again ECAP benefited from a number of highly skilled and dedicated colleagues who joined the research team during the field season. As she has done for the past five seasons, Eleanor Coates rejoined ECAP during January and February to contribute her photographic expertise to the project. In February Pete Petrone (National Geographic Society) joined the investigation for the second time to conduct a remote video and photographic survey of a new tomb discovered by ECAP. During February and March the ECAP research team was augmented by two professional conservators, Lynn Grant (University of Pennsylvania Museum) and Julie Trosper (University of California, Berkeley). In March Dr. Jane Buikstra (University of New Mexico) joined the investigation to conduct a pilot study of the Acropolis burials. And as she has done on many past occasions, Dr. Linda Schele returned to Copán in April to enrich our research with her epigraphic and iconographic expertise.

The ECAP investigation is organized into several components: excavation, computer mapping, tunnel and architectural consolidation, architectural cataloguing, artifact conservation, and artifact analysis; each will be briefly reviewed in this report. The work force for excavation and consolidation ranged up to a maximum of 20 men, along with two field drawers and one conservation trainee. Our research was once again greatly assisted by the IHAH staff working at Copán, especially Professor Oscar Cruz M., and Srs. Juan Ramón Guerra and Fernando López.

The 1996 ECAP fieldwork was supported by funds from the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the Shoemaker Research Fund of the University of Pennsylvania, along with research grants from the National Geographic Society, the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI), the Holt Family Foundation, the Selz Foundation, the Maya Workshop Foundation, the Segy Foundation, and several private donors. Our deep appreciation is extended to all of these foundations and private individuals for making our research possible.

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Report of the 1996 Field Season of the Early Copán Acropolis Program  (325 KB)

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Submitted 05/01/1997 by:

Univ. of Penn Museum, Philadelphia

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