Quiriguá is known for its many finely sculptured stone monuments. The site boasts the largest carved Maya stela, a 65-ton behemoth known as Monument 5. Dating to A.D. 771, Monument 5 stands 35 feet tall, with fully eight feet underground. Its sculptors worked in the local sandstone, which has a close and even grain that allows for highly intricate carvings. Beginning in 725, Quiriguá came under the power of Copan; in that year, Copan ruler 18 Rabbit named Cauac Sky as ruler of Quiriguá. But 13 years later, Cauac Sky defeated 18 Rabbit in battle and sacrificed him, bringing Quiriguá independence and a rise to prominence that lasted until at least 810, the city's last recorded date.

Quirigua Stela carved from reddish sandstone, Quiriguá.

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