I have had the privilege of visiting Copan twice in recent years. Walking through the several kilometers of tunnels that have been excavated under the Acropolis is a breathtaking experience. The decorations on the walls of earlier structures are often so well preserved that they appear to have just been painted, and the tombs were filled with eye-catching objects of pottery and stone. I should emphasize, however, that ECAP has not only uncovered beautiful buildings and objects, but has also shed important new light on the changing nature of ruler-ship at the beginning of the royal dynasty at Copan in the 5th century AD. The project has gleaned new understandings of the size, orientation, and groupings of the public constructions and residences of the early rulers of Copan. ECAP’s findings will also illuminate the key question of the origin of the royal dynasty and its possible connections with Central Mexico.
The research at Copan carries on the proud tradition of Maya studies at the Museum throughout this century. As the analyses of the data collected at Copan continue in the next few years, we certainly can expect to see a number of exciting new insights into ancient Maya civilization emerging from the work of Dr. Sharer and his many ECAP colleagues.
Jeremy A. Sabloff
The Williams Director