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Maya Site of Copan

Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the ruins of Copán, one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization, were not excavated until the 19th century. The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

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ivTo be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history. All
viTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria). All

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About the source: UNESCO

Within UNESCO's broad remit, this specialised agency of the UN works towards international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage, designating venues of exceptional value as World Heritage Sites.