chapter  2
The Royal Court of Early Classic Copan
ByLoa P. Traxler
Pages 28

This chapter draws on excavations conducted by the Early Copan Acropolis Program, directed by Robert Sharer. It focuses on some of the evidence for a royal court during the Early Classic period at the site of Copan. Hieroglyphic inscriptions provide some of the most explicit information about Maya royalty and the court. Representational art provides emic, stylized scenes of social groupings that in some cases represent court activity. The carved peccary skull found in Tomb 1 shows two elaborately dressed figures engaged in activity centered on an altar and stela between them. The chapter describes the term "court" refers to a subgroup of the community that included the royalty and other individuals who possessed a large measure of political power. Their power derived from personal histories, control of economic resources, religious authority, and accesses to resources of physical coercion or persuasion.