This is in a grassy setting beside an area of dense forest, surrounded by extensive banana plantations owned by the United Fruit Company.
Quirigua is a small site but important as in 738 its ruler Cauac Sky defeated our friend 18-Rabbit from the more powerful city of Copan, beheading him in the acropolis at Quirigua. The acropolis is in the now familiar style with buildings on three sides of an open area, including a ball-court. The fourth side had been washed away by the river. Before we reached the acropolis we crossed the extensive Great Plaza with its many stelae erected at five-year intervals by Cauac Sky. These were in low relief and not in the round like the stelae in Copan, but included the tallest in the Maya lands, stela E a monolithic block ten metres high. All were carved with lengthy inscriptions detailing his exploits. A special feature of the site is the so-called zoomorphs, massive rocks that had been dragged from miles away and carved in site with elaborate depictions of mythical creatures and hieroglyphic inscriptions.