Friday, July 08, 2005

Copan Ruins

Today I visited the ruins of Copan in western Honduras. I arrived in the morning and had them nearly all to myself. The grass was damp, a fog was lifting, the trees were dripping dew, and everything was completely silent except for the mosquitos.

I walked around and took photos before getting a guide to tell me what exactly I was looking at.

The thing I found most interesting was the Ball court. The Maya played a game with an 8 pound rubber ball. The goal was to have the ball roll up a sloping stone wall and hit a figure at the top. To do this they could use everything but their feet and hands. In Mexico they played a similiar game in which the losers would be sacrificed. In Honduras the losers were shamed with living. The only player who would be sacrificed would be the games MVP. Of course he was promised loads of virgins and the highest place in heaven. Players trained for years. Every kid wanted to be the best so they could be sacrificed.

Here is a website with some photos of Copan:

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