Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in western Honduras. It was the Mayan capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region. Copán had an occupational history that spanned more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period right through to the Postclassic. The city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya, perhaps to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city’s rulers. A significant portion of the eastern side of the acropolis has been eroded away by the Copán River, although the river has since been diverted in order to protect the site from further damage.