Copan Sculptural Museum
Situated at the entrance to the archaeological area, this museum opened in 1996 and is housed in a large two-storey space with a central courtyard. It provides information about the building techniques used by the ancient Maya at Copan. The exhibits include the following stelae and other original monuments: the sculptures on the steps at Temple 10L-16, as well as the top temple; the reliefs inside the temple at the top of Structure 10L-26; the macaw heads from the Ball Court; stelae 2, P, A and 63; altars G1 and Q; the Motmot Marker; and various sculptural motifs from temples 10L-21, 21A and 22. It also contains a numerous reproductions of the stone architecture at the site, including building facades from the Central Acropolis, the Ball Court, Temple 16, the Cemetery Group and the Las Sepulturas Group.
The key exhibit, however, is the reproduction of the Rosalila Building, buried beneath Structure 10L-16. The first tier has two accesses (west and south) and four elongated rooms, three along the west, south and east sides and an interior fourth one in which the short side faces north; this central room and the east one contained two adoratoriums. There is no access to the upper tiers, although there was one room on the second level and three inter-connected rooms on the third level; this latter level has vertical vents on the east and west sides. Giant masks on the lower panels allude to the dynastic founder, each of them sporting a green bird from whose mouth emerges the red face of K’inich, the Sun God; the birds were probably K’uk’ quetzals K’uk’ with Mo’ macaw eyes. The greenish feathers at the sides blend into the red open mouths of cross-eyed serpents with yellow fangs. The same motifs are repeated on the projecting frieze: here we see the Sun God in the middle surrounded by feathers and with out-spread wings, above which two cartouches contain the representation of the Sun God in profile, while their frames resemble the Yax symbol. The second level is dominated by two giant masks of the earth monster on the east and west sides. Alongside the monster is the body of a white reptile with crossed bands, and at the ends we see their open-mouthed heads from which emerge faces; these are poorly preserved and it has not been possible to identify them. The body of this two-headed serpent continues up to the third level and across the top of a series of masks representing the gaunt figure of the God of Death.
Across the car park but right in front of the main gates to the site. But entrance tickets have to be bought at the main ticket office. It is not necessary to visit the archaeological site to visit the museum.