One day tour to Quirigua and Paleontology Museum
INCLUDES: Transportation from Copan Ruinas, visit the Paleontology Museum,
entrance ticket to Quirigua and Guide.
Transportation Only: Copan – Quirigua – Copan Ruinas
Quiriguá is located in eastern Guatemala and is three hours from Copan Ruinas, Honduras, traveling through El Florido border. This ancient Mayan city is distinguished by its large stelae and appears as a discovery by John Stephens in 1840.
Most stelae were erected during the sixty years reign of Butz ‘Tiliw or Cauac Sky, Quirigua´s greatest ruler. Quirigua Stela E is 10.5 meters in height and its carvings cover eight meters on three sides. It is estimated that from 750 AD, every Holtún (5 years) a new stela was erected until 805 AD. Quiriguá was an important trade link between Copan and Tikal through the Copan River and Motagua River.
In 738 AD, Cauac Sky captured Copan´s King, Ubah Waxaklahun K’awil or 18 Rabbit, decapitating him in the Great Plaza and ending the lengthy domination of Copan Quirigua. This memorable event is inscribed on a large stone block known as the Zoomorph G.
Six of these curious rounded sculptures depicting real or mythological animals are found in Quiriguá. At the center of the Great Plaza, Zoomorph G depicts a creature similar to a jaguar head with Copan´s King´s head in its jaws.
The released finding, Panel 1, corresponds to Quiriguá, which was discovered in the Eastern group. It is a set comprising three structures. These monuments had been mentioned by the researcher Alfred Maudslay in 1894. It was identified as an elite residential area as it is located approximately 100 meters from the most important group of the Mayan city.
Constructions are under vegetation and soil, so in some cases they are eroded and damaged.
The first excavations authorized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, began in June 2009, under the supervision of archaeologist Elizabeth Marroquin, in collaboration with students from the University of San Carlos de Guatemala-USAC.
Panel 1 was discovered on Thursday, August 12, 2010 while trying to locate the end of the floor inside the building. Several interpretations were made on the panel’s glyphs. It was determined through the architectural type and identified materials, that the site could have been occupied between the years 750 and 800 AD. One of the characters represented on the panel is the king known as Jade Sky, who would be performing a ritual ball game with the ruler Yax Pasaj from Copán, Honduras.
Jade Sky’s opponent could be the king Kak Chan Tiliw Yopat, who ruled Quiriguá years earlier. At the panel´s ends characters who observe this encounter can be identified and at the center a circular figure is seen representing the arc where the ball must pass trough to score.
Quirigua is an archaeological site of the Late Classic Mayan culture. It is known for its stelae and altars carved in a unique style for their finesse. It is located in the town of Los Amates, Izabal.
The panel was transferred for study and conservation to the Quirigua museum park .
This is the only place in its kind in Guatemala. In addition of exhibiting local archaeological pieces, prehistoric animal remains are exhibited such as the towering skeletons of a mastodon, a giant armadillo and a whale skeleton among others.
The initial information was provided by the German-born geologist Kart Sapper last century towards the 40s. But, it was not until the year 1950 and through reports from Dr. Barnum Brown and Jorge Ibarra, that the first pale ontological rescue research was performed first locating fossils.