The zone of Las Sepulturas is an extensive residential and
ceremonial area located about one kilometer east of the Principal
Group. Many extraordinary architectural complexes are located there
and several of these have been excavated in the past 30 years.
While the archaeology in this zone is of vital importance for
understanding the ancient city and tourists can visit restored
ruins there as part of their admission to the National Park, the
entirety of Las Sepulturas sits on private land. The national
government has permission to use the area for tourism development
but at times the landowners control activities on their land,
barring excavation, etc. This is a complicated issue that will be
addressed elsewhere on this website.
|9N-82 Sculpture - Scribe
The bulk of the research in Las Sepulturas was conducted in the
1970s by Harvard University (soon to be published by Richard Leventhal)
and in the 1980s under the direction of William Sanders and David Webster.
Work conducted at Group 9N-8, location of the famed "Scribe House"
in Plaza A, has received much attention. The sculpture studies of
Structure 9N-82 of Plaza A led to the creation of the Copan Mosaics
Project and to rescue excavations and restorations in the Acropolis
(led by William and Barbara Fash and Rudy Larios). This sector of the
ancient city remains one of the most interesting for tourists,
though only about 15% of park visitors actually manage the walk
to Las Sepulturas.
Interpretations of Group 9N-8 run the gamut from elite
residential complex to "university". In the future, more
refined analysis of ceramics will be a vital element in
better securing the meaning and function of (especially)
Late Classic period (AD 600-800) settlement there.