Pauahtun

Head of Pauahtun

The head of a gigantic Pauahtun lies on the side of Temple 11.

The façade of Temple 11 once included the largest anthropomorphic figures ever carved in the Maya area which adorned the northwest and northeast corners of the building.

Pauahtun were Atlantean figures who were believed to hold up the sky.


Pauahtun

Schele & Freidel write that the huge hands of the Pauahtunob held up images of the Cosmic Monster which arched across the roof entablatures.

William L. Fash, Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya, p. 168

Fragment

Giant Crocodile Fragment

Proskouriakoff was the first to note that there were also dozens of fragments of the body of what must have been this gigantic crocodile, once held up by the Pauahtuns, lying around the base of Temple 11.


Fallen architectural fragment from Temple 11, Copan

More architectural fragments from the base of Temple 11.


Fallen architectural fragment from Temple 11, Copan

Additional fragment from Temple 11.

Part of an archaeologist's job requirements must surely include skill at re-assembling complicated three-dimensional puzzles.