Structural Complexity and Social Conflict in Managing the Past at Copán, Honduras

Neil Brodie, Morag M. Kersel and Kathryn Walker Tubb

in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780813029726
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039145 | DOI:
Structural Complexity and Social Conflict in Managing the Past at Copán, Honduras

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This chapter highlights that archaeologists are not the only stakeholders in archaeological heritage and that lost historical knowledge is not the only issue—illegal digging also has a political aspect. It also offers an account of the negotiations that took place in 2000 and 2001 during the preparation of a management plan for the Maya site of Copán in Honduras, and discusses the interest groups that were involved. The Mundo Maya project effectively remaps a contemporary vision of the ancient Maya homeland over the current political borders of five Central American states for the purposes of creating a tourist megazone, based on the popular fascination with both Maya archaeology and adventure or ecotourism. The growing popularity of Copán as a Maya tourism destination has also increased its vulnerability.

Keywords: Copán; Mundo Maya; archaeological heritage; Maya tourism; structural complexity; social conflict

Chapter.  5205 words. 

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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