Sacred Water Mountains of the Copan Valley: A View from Rastrojon

Author(s): Barbara Fash; Jorge Ramos; Marc Wolff; William Fash

Year: 2016


The temples and stone monuments of Copan are replete with symbols of water and sustenance, both driving forces in the development of complex society throughout the Maya region and greater Mesoamerica. Like other urban environments, Copan harnessed the power and religious nature of water, mountains, maize, ancestors, and the divine ruler, juxtaposed to their dualistic counterparts of fire and drought, to construct their urban landscape, cosmovision and social structures. Research on ancient water management facilities, settlement patterns, shrines, and water-related imagery associated with both the built environment and sacred places permits us to assess how people were once integrated around these vital elements of the natural and social worlds. In this paper we will present new data from investigations at the hillside residential site of Rastrojon that enhances understanding of the sacred water mountain concepts and practices we interpret as being celebrated, managed, and deified on the temples and landscapes of ancient Copan, both at the state (Principal Group) and community (outlying residential groups) levels.

Cite this Record

Sacred Water Mountains of the Copan Valley: A View from Rastrojon. Barbara Fash, Jorge Ramos, Marc Wolff, William Fash. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403511)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;