Stela A

Copan: Great Plaza, Structure 4 [Photo courtesy of Reca Fernandez]

"Alfred Maudslay, one of the early explorers who photographed the site and published drawings of its monuments, excavated this little pyramid during his visit over a century ago. At plaza level, he found an offering pot containing a necklace made of pearls and jade beads, small figures cut from shell, several large pieces of jade, cinnabar, and several ounces of mercury. Three meters below that he found the remains of a jaguar buried under a layer of charcoal. The founder or his son probably commissioned the first version of this pyramid. Interestingly, the last king in this dynasty placed the bodies of fifteen jaguars in a pit next to the altar celebrating the founder and all of his successors in the dynasty. Perhaps these two jaguar offerings were related."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs, p. 135