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Copan before Copan after
Stela C by Alfred Maudslay, 1889

This square stone column, called a "stela," is about 14 feet high and three feet wide and is located about 120 feet north of the famous Copan ruins in modern-day Honduras. When this photograph was taken in 1889, the stela on the left had broken into pieces. Vines and creepers had penetrated the stone and bound the fallen part to the earth. Stela C was built around the late seventh century under the rule of a man known as Washaklahun Ubah.

Stela C by Merle Greene Robertson, 1987

This photograph, taken in 1987, shows the same stela restored to its standing position. The vegetation has been cleared away, revealing the figure of an elaborately-dressed man. The site of Copan is particularly known for its three-dimensional sculpture, such as this stela. One explorer from the early 19th century, John Lloyd Stephens, described this stela as equaling the workmanship of the best Egyptian remains.


Photos: (2) © Merle Greene Robertson, 1987.

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