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Fall Break: Mayan Art and Architecture

Today’s post comes from Taylor Shoolery, Class of 2012 and Art Center Student Docent.

Whereas most years I have returned home to California for fall break, this year I had an opportunity to embark on an adventure to Honduras to visit a friend, Giselle Del Carmen, class of 2011, whose family lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Giselle and her sister Teresa, class of 2009, toured me around several highlights of their country. One of the most exciting parts of our journey was our visit to the Mayan ruins in the town of Copan. There has been a huge effort on the part of conservationist to restore the ruins.  As you can see in the photo below, their efforts make a noticeable difference. The first image is of a building that has not yet been restored, while the second image shows one that has.

While there are countless stories of the ruins I could share with you, I have selected a few photos to share some of the highlights of the excursion.

Below is an image of some of the best-preserved Mayan hieroglyphics of which we know.  The hieroglyphics were etched into statues in the center of the stairs that run up the side of the pyramid.  Unfortunately, a few of the statues are missing from their original site and now reside in the British Museum. A tent protects this particular set of stairs in order to preserve these special examples of Mayan art.

If you ever get a chance to visit Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, or Honduras, make sure to see Mayan ruins, because they are truly spectacular.  Seeing Mayan sculptures in a museum is certainly special, but the experience of standing in front of a Mayan pyramid cannot be captured in a photograph, and will, without a doubt, blow you away.

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