Copán Ruinas (Honduras), Dec 5 (EFE).- The Copán River and humans are the main threats to the Mayan archaeological site of Copán Ruinas, in western Honduras, according to archaeologist Ricardo Agurcia, who in 1989 discovered the Rosalila temple.
In an interview with EFE in Copán Ruinas, where the “2023 Archaeological Congress” ends this Tuesday, which has brought together national and foreign experts, Agurcia, a Honduran, said that “the Copán River is the main threat to the archaeological site because it has become in a tremendously unstable entity”.
“It has silted up (clogged) the base, the river is higher than before and, therefore, threatens the site more. This is a product of deforestation and destruction of the environment. We have to work hard to restore the archaeological zone and the environment that surrounds the site, protect the watersheds, learn better land use techniques in the Copán River basin,” he stressed.
Agurcia stated that humans are “the most harmful entity” that Copán can have, in the sense of environmental destruction.
“In terms of impact on the archaeological zone, Copán is underutilized, we have the capacity to double or triple the number of visitors as long as guidelines are developed so that the damage is minimal, where they are visiting, what they are touching, what they are not protected. they have to play,” said the professional.
At the eastern end of the Copán Ruinas park, an “archaeological cut” is visible, named after an almost vertical slope produced by the erosive action of the Copán River more than 50 years ago.
Of the Rosalila temple that he discovered in the Acropolis of Copán, Agurcia said that they have “focused a lot on investigating its meaning, its history, placing it within the different stages of the kings of Copán.”
More important is the concern for the conservation and care of the beautiful Rosalila temple, since it is a jewel that cannot be replaced and that must be taken care of.
Rosalila must be “given a lot of care and a lot of love so that future generations of Hondurans can appreciate her and can continue to feel proud of this heritage,” said Agurcia, who has been researching the Mayans for half a century.
“Rosalila has left us an extraordinary legacy, it is a temple that the Mayans left exposed and in which they performed ceremonies venerating the founder of the dynasty for perhaps 200 years, it was an important site of veneration that they did not bury and destroy like others. “he stressed.
The temple, of which there is a life-size replica in the Copán Ruinas Archaeological Park Museum, has captured not only information about the beliefs of the Mayans, their rites and their religion, but also about their art and architecture, which They are extremely important to know the monuments of Copán, so it is a duty and obligation that Hondurans have to take care of them.
Agurcia recalled that until the moment of discovering Rosalila, he believed or suspected that there were second floors in many of the buildings, but with Rosalila “we verified that there is not only a second, but a third floor on top of many of these constructions,” which “were larger and more elaborate than what we see with the naked eye.
He also said that what is interesting about the discovery and study of Rosalila is that not only are there archaeological resources professionally speaking, but also how incredible the advances in technology and science are, which allow the same object to be studied in different ways.
“So study and science allow us to advance a lot over time with technological advances and with the same archaeological wealth. Copán is a very large site, its beauty is incomparable, its art, its carving, the temple like Rosalila It will allow us to stand out for today, forever,” Agurcia stressed.
For scholars of the ancient civilization, which spread from southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, like Dr. Cameron McNeil, “Copán is the Paris of the Mayan world.”