Copan Acropolis Tunnel Conservation Plan Project

Since the 1930’s, archaeologists have tunneled into the acropolis at Copan to understand the many phases of construction throughout its history. With investigations now mostly complete, the tunnels measure close to 4 kilometers in cumulative length, and have uncovered early stelae, plaster facades and tombs that have taught us much about what the acropolis was like before its final phase. A conservation plan for these tunnels, led by Laura Lacombe (pictured below), will address ways to preserve the valuable architectural heritage within, taking into account the humid climate, seasonal changes to the water table, visitor access, and risk of collapse. To analyze these problems in the most comprehensive way, this plan will also involve the creation of a digital 3D model of the entire tunnel system.

Installing condition monitors with IHAH personnel Fernando López (photos by Laura Lacombe).