Conservation image Maya Initiative (1999–2009)
A project of the Getty Conservation Institute

Copán is managed as a cultural and natural site which covers approximately twelve hectares. Located in a restricted river valley with pockets of rich alluvial soil, Copán was well suited to the cultivation of Mesoamerican food staples like corn and beans, as well as tobacco and cacao. The central area of the site, called the Principal or Main Group, is made up of a series of large buildings organized around open plazas; however, it did not exist in isolation, as the Copán Valley contains thousands of archaeological sites. Photo: Richard Ross.