Copán and the World Timeline

28 Mar


This timeline places ancient Copan in pre-historic and historic time.

History specific to Copan is in italics.

World Timeline

60 million years ago     

Age of the Dinosaurs

3 million years ago Humans evolve in Africa
30,000 BC Migration of humans from Asia to the Americas via the Bering Strait
5000 BC The first complex writing system, cuneiform, is created in Babylonia

(modern-day Iraq)

5000 BC Maize is first cultivated in the Americas
3000 BC The pyramids of Egypt are built
2000 BC The first dynasties of ancient China are founded
1200-400 BC Olmec culture develops in Mexico
950 BC The first textbook is created in China (a mathematics book)
600 BC Writing is first created by the Olmecs in southern Mexico
580-480 BC The Golden Age of Greece
503 BC Buddha is born in India
356 BC The building of the Great Wall of China begins
300 BC Nok Culture flourishes in West Africa
100-44 BC Under Julius Caesar the Roman Republic becomes the Roman Empire
0 Date assigned to the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian calendar
AD 159 A very important event happened at Copan, possibly the establishment of Copán as a kingdom
AD 250 The first compass is created in China
AD 320-550 Gupta dynasty rules India
AD 330 Constantinople is founded in Turkey
AD 376 The legendary “Foliated Ajaw” sets up a carved stone monument like those found in the Great Plaza. Celebrated by rituals of personal sacrifice and worship, the ceremony may have commemorated the founding of the Copan kingdom in AD 159
AD 400 Teotihuacan is the second largest city in the world
AD 410 Germanic tribes invade Rome
AD 420 The Dark Ages begin in Europe
AD 426 K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ (Great Sun, First Quetzal Macaw)

establishes the royal dynasty of Copan

AD 435 K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ erects Stela 63 to dedicate the beginning of the 9th baktun, in the Maya calendar (see Exhibit 7 for a description of the ancient Maya calendar)
AD 437 Death of K’inich Yax K’uk Mo’. His son K’inich Popol Hol (Great Sun, Mat Head) becomes Copan’s second ruler; his mother may have ruled as regent, since he was not more than 10 years old in 437
AD 440-460 K’inich Popol Hol builds Copan’s first ballcourt in the Great Plaza. His mother (and the wife of K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’) is buried in the Margarita Tomb inside Temple 16, the most elaborate tomb found at Copan
AD 450-460 The Chinese writing system is brought to Japan by people from Korea
AD 500 St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome begins construction on top of Roman temples
AD 504 B’alam Nehn (“Waterlily Jaguar”) rules as Copan’s 7th king
AD 524 B’alam Nehn dedicates Stela 15
AD 542-594 The Black Plague devastates Europe
AD 553 Tzi B’alam (“Moon Jaguar”) becomes Copan’s 10th ruler
AD 562 Calakmul (in Mexico) defeats its greatest enemy, Tikal (in Guatemala), and Tikal enters its “dark age,” which lasts 130 years
AD 564 Tzi B’alam erects Stela 9 in what today is the town of Copan Ruinas, perhaps the location of his family’s palace
AD 570 Mohammed is born
AD 571 The “Rosalila” temple is built by Tzi B’alam
AD 575 Buddhism is established in Japan
AD 578 B’utz’ Chan (K’ak’ Chan Yoaat, “Fire-drinking Sky Lightning God”) becomes the 11th ruler of Copan
AD 587 The Visigoths of Spain convert to Christianity
AD 600 The first printed books are made in China
AD 613 B’utz’ Chan erects Stela 7 in what today is the town of Copan Ruinas to commemorate the ending of the k’atun
AD 622 Bishop Isidore of Seville, Spain, writes the first European encyclopedia on arts and sciences
AD 623 B’utz’ Chan erects Stela P
AD 628 K’ak u- Ha K’awiil (“Fire-drinking Water K’awiil” or “Smoke Imix”) becomes Copan’s 12th ruler
AD 632 Mohammed dies. Islam begins to expand in the Middle East
AD 633 Spain becomes a kingdom of the Visigoths
AD 652 K’ak u- Ha K’awiil erects Stelae 2 and 3 in the Great Plaza, and places Stelae 10, 12, 13, and 19 on the hillssurrounding the Copan Valley. He erects Stela 23 in Santa Rita, 12 kilometers northeast of Copan. The stelae commemorate the end of the 11th k’atun ( and mention the creation of the Maya world in 3114 BC
AD 670 Codification of Visigoth law in Spain
AD 695 K’ak u- Ha K’awiil dies, having lived for more than 79 years
AD 695 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil (“18 Images of K’awiil” or “18-Rabbit”) becomes Copan’s 13th ruler
AD 710-784 The Japanese imperial capital is built in Nara, Japan
AD 710 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil sponsors the carving of the Hieroglyphic Stair on Temple 26, the longest Maya hieroglyphic text carved in stone
AD 712 Arabs from North Africa invade Spain
AD 715 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil builds Temple 22 to commemorate the first 20 years (k’atun) of his kingship
AD 724 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil places K’ak’ Tiliw Chan Yoaat in office as the king of Quirigua to help control the  rich lands and jade sources of the Motagua Valley AD 731 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil erects Stela A in the Great Plaza; its text indicates Copan is one of the four most powerful cities (with Tikal, Palenque and Calakmul) AD 738 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil dedicates the new ball court, the one we see in the Great Plaza today
AD 738 Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil loses a battle with Quirigua and is beheaded by its king, K’ak’ Tiliw Chan Yoaat
AD 738 K’ak Joplaj Chan K’awiil (“K’awiil who Stokes the Sky with Fire” or “Smoke Monkey”) becomes the 14th ruler of Copan. No monuments are carved for the next 17 years
AD 742-814 Charlemagne rules the Holy Roman Empire
AD 749 K’ak’ Yipyaj Chan K’awiil (“K’awiil Who Fills? The Sky with Fire” or “Smoke Shell”) becomes the 15th ruler of Copan
AD 750 The city of Granada, Spain, is founded
AD 756 K’ak’ Yipyaj Chan K’awiil erects Stela M in front of Temple 26, which dedicates his additions to the upper part of the Hieroglyphic Stairway
AD 760 Arabic numerals replace Roman numerals in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures (for example, DCCLX becomes 760)
AD 761 K’ak’ Yipyaj Chan K’awiil erects Stela N in front of Temple 11
AD 763 Yax Pasaj Chan Yoaat (“First Dawned Sky Lightning God”) becomes the 16th ruler of Copan when he is 9 years old; his mother, a noble from Palenque, may have ruled as regent
AD 773-776 Yax Pasaj sponsors an impressive building program that includes Temple 11, Altar Q, and Temple 16
AD 801 Copan’s Temple 18 is built as Yax Pasaj’s tomb


AD 820 Yax Pasaj celebrates the end of the k’atun recorded on Stela 11
AD 800-850 The palace complex of Borobudur is built in Java, Indonesia


AD 822 Ukit Took (“Patron? of Flint”) becomes Copan’s 17th and final king. His accession is recorded on Altar L, which was left unfinished
AD 900 Construction begins on the earliest castles in Europe

 Casa K´inich —  Teacher Guide  —


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Posted by on 03/28/2012 in Fotografias



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