COPAN

LA CITTA MAYA

Copan: la città Maya

E’ l’8 marzo dell’anno 1576.

Don Diego Garcia de Palacio invia una lettera a Filippo II, re di Spagna, per informarlo della scoperta di meravigliose rovine in una località dell’attuale Honduras che le popolazioni indigene chiamavano Copán.

La segnalazione di Palacio fu però ignorata fino al 1839, quando un diplomatico statunitense J.L. Stephens e il suo accompagnatore F. Cathervwood iniziarono l’esplorazione del sito.

Pochi anni dopo, Sthephens, pubblica “Incidents of travel in Yucatan”, in cui descrive le rovine di Copán.

Da allora ebbe inizio un’indagine sistematica della città Maya alla quale parteciparono alcuni dei massimi esperti di civiltà precolombiane.

A differenza delle principali città come Tikal o Palenque, Copán è famosa, più che per l’imponenza delle architetture, per la mole artistica ritrovata.

Copan: stele
Copan:stele
Impressionante il numero delle sculture e delle stele ritrovate.

4509 strutture, 3450 delle quali si trovano in un’area di soli ventiquattro chilometri quadrati attorno al gruppo principale, che ricopre una superficie di quaranta ettari, costituito da una spianata artificiale per la quale è stato impiegato un milione di metri cubi di terra.

Innanzitutto c’è l’Acropoli, divisa in due grandi spazi: la Piazza Ovest e quella Est, nell’area si trovano due templi e un altare. Un tempio era la porta per l’aldilà, mentre l’altro, costruito sulle rovine di un edificio precedente, è situato tra le due piazze.

L’altare era dedicato ai signori della dinastia di Copán, su cui sono scolpiti i ritratti.

Ci sono gallerie della lunghezza complessiva di quattro chilometri scavate dagli archeologi sotto l’Acropoli per risalire alle prima fasi del popolamento dell’area.

Copán sorse tra il III e il IX secolo d.C. ed appartiene al periodo classico Maya, anche se l’insediamento di gruppi di agricoltori nella zona risale al primo millennio a.C.

Un altro punto interessante è la Grande Piazza situata a nord, un’immensa spianata erbosa costellata di stele e di altari. Le steli e gli edifici principali della città, erano usate come punti di riferimento per le osservazioni astronomiche.

I luoghi più spettacolari di Copán sono il campo per il gioco della palla e la Scalinata dei Geroglifici.
Copan la scala dei geroglifici
La scala dei Geroglifici

Disposta ai piedi dell’Acropoli, è composta dal sessantatre gradini ed è decorata da duemilacinquecento glifi che hanno a lungo suscitato l’attenzione degli studiosi e costituiscono il più lungo testo pervenutoci dalla civiltà Maya.

Sfortunatamente restano un rompicapo insolvibile, poiché una parte dei gradini è caduta, spostandosi dalla sua sede originaria e rendendo il messaggio indecifrabile.

Intorno al V secolo Copán era governata da un sovrano, i cittadini più in vista vivevano in abitazioni in muratura, e utensili e vasellame avevano raggiunto un alto grado di perfezione.

All’inizio dell’VIII secolo, ci fu un nuovo progresso e la città raggiunse il massimo splendore in fatto di architettura e scultura, per divenire forse la più importante dell’impero.

Poco dopo, però Copán, fu improvvisamente abbandonata.

L’ultimo glifo fu inciso nell’anno 800. Poi sovrani, sacerdoti e cittadini se ne andarono, lasciandosi alle spalle la più elevata espressione artistica della civiltà Maya.

POTREBBE INTERESSARTI

Copan: la città Maya
Conquistatori e missionari
Quetzalcoatl il Serpente Piumato
L’equivoco della profezia Maya

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