MayaArch3D Digital Collections

The digital items in the collection will be of interest to students, educators, researchers, and cultural heritage managers of Maya archaeology, specifically, the archaeology of Honduras, and the archaeology of Copan. Details of the collection are provided below, but generally the collection includes coordinates and textual information for sites and monuments, photographs, maps, drawings, and archival documents, as well as 3D models of landscape, architecture, and monuments. A user management system offers different access levels to various types of data, with both a public and password log-ins.

These collections were created by the MayaArch3D Project, led by the Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) with the goal to test and demonstrate our prototype 2D/3D-WebGIS for spatio-temporal analyses of complex archaeological data. By gathering this material into a single location, the public has a new information resource and analytical tool for searching and analyzing geo-referenced archaeological sites, objects, and 2D and 3D data online within a map of Central America, and a 3D simulation of the ancient city of Copan (circa AD 800).

Dr. Jennifer von Schwerin (German Archaeological Institute) has led the team responsible for building and structuring the archaeological collections. Contributors include: Professor Heather Richards-Rissetto (Department of Anthropology and Digital Humanities at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Barbara Fash (Harvard University), Dr. Peter Biro (University of Bonn), and research assistants Mike Lyons, Franziska Fecher, Laura Stelson, Jana Meyer, and Carina Aufermann (University of Bonn). Remote sensing of the Copan architecture and sculpture was done by the 3D Optical Metrology Department (3DOM) of FBK Trento (Fabio Remondino and Belen Jimenez Fernandez and ETH Zürich (Armin Gruen, Henri Eisenbeiss) and GISciences at the University of Heidelberg (Nicolas Billen). The aerial LiDAR data for the Copan valley was collected by WSI of Oregon, USA and further processed by FBK and GISciences, Heidlerberg. Special thanks also go to the staff of the Honduran Institute for Anthropology and History (IHAH) for their collaboration on this project.

The collection and processing of this data was funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and UNESCO.

Collection Details

The contents of the collection are listed on the left by category and then by sub-collection. Listed on the right are the copyright holders and publishers of the collection (noted in bold), the contributing authors, and year of publication in the 3DWebGIS.

For more information about these datasets and licenses for use, please contact Jennifer von Schwerin (jennifer.vonschwerin(at)


DAI = German Archaeological Institute
KAAK = Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures
EAAMS = Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites
IHAH = Honduran institute of Anthropology and History

Title of Sub-collection (organized by category): Copyright Holder, Author/s, Date of Publication in the MayaArch3D WebGIS

Maya Region (southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras)

GPS points for Archaeological Sites: DAI/KAAK, EAAMS, Jennifer von Schwerin, Jana Meyer, Franziska Fecher
GPS points for Archaeological Parks: DAI/KAAK, EAAMS , Jennifer von Schwerin, Jana Meyer, Franziska Fecher


236 GPS points for Honduran Archaeological Sites: DAI/KAAK, EAAMS, Franziska Fecher, 2015
6 GPS points for Honduran Archaeological Parks: DAI/KAAK, EAAMS , Franziska Fecher, 2014
33 Shape Files for Honduran Archaeological Projects: DAI/KAAK, Franziska Fecher, 2014

Copan – 3D Models

24 sq km LiDAR data for the Copan valley: DAI/KAAK, IHAH, GISciences, 2014
3,500 geo-referenced structures across the Copan valley: DAI/KAAK, Heather Richards-Rissetto, 2013
Temple 18 and selected facade sculpture: DAI/KAAK , IHAH, Mike Lyons, 2014
Stelae 11, 10, 12, 19, Petapilla, Titoror: DAI/KAAK, IHAH, Nicolas Billen, Chance Coughenour), 2015
Altars: Altar A (Stela 19), Altar A (Petapilla), Altar 14 (Petapilla), Altar A (Titoror): (MayaArch3D, IHAH, Nicolas Billen and Chance Coughenour), 2015

Copan – GIS data

LiDAR shapefiles for Copan valley: DAI/KAAK, IHAH,
GPS points (coordinates) for altars and stelae: DAI/KAAK, IHAH, Michael Auer, Lukas Loos, Nicolas Billen, Laura Stelson, 2015
Georeferenced Structure Maps /Settlement Plan: DAI/KAAK, IHAH, Heather Richards-Rissetto, Heather Richards-Rissetto, 2014
Attributes for Groups and Structures: DAI/KAAK, Heather Richards-Rissetto
A Catalogue Honduran Archaeological Sites: DAI/KAAK, Franziska Fecher, Franziska Fecher 2015

Copan, Photographs

88 Altars: DAI/KAAK, Jennifer von Schwerin, Laura Stelson, 2014
Façade Sculpture of Temple 18: DAI/KAAK, IHAH, Barbara Fash, Jennifer von Schwerin, Mike Lyons, 2015
Structures: DAI/KAAK, Jennifer von Schwerin, Jennifer von Schwerin 2014
Stelae: DAI/KAAK, Jennifer von Schwerin, Jennifer von Schwerin 2014

Copan, Inscription Transcriptions, Transliteration, Translations

106 Inscriptions on Monuments from the 12-6th ruler: DAI/KAAK, Peter Biro, 2013

Copan, Archival Documents

Temple 18 Excavation Documents: IHAH, DAI/KAAK, Barbara Fash, Mike Lyons, 2014