Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Monte Alban was the ancient capital of the Zapotec and one of the first cities in Mesoamerica and most populated during its peak, was founded about 500 years. C. and flourished until 750 d. C. Located in the center of the Valley of Oaxaca, Monte
Alban exercised political, economic and ideological control over other communities in the valley and surrounding mountains. Its main buildings: La Gran Plaza, Ball Court, System II, The Dancers, Building "J" Central GHI Buildings, The Palace, South platform, System 7 Deer and Tomb No. 7 Gran Plaza. It has 200 mts. long by 200 meters. wide, so we had to cut the rocky ledges and fill in gaps.
• Fencing: Located to the left of the entrance to the Great Plaza, presents the characteristics of ball games characteristics of the region. This field is delimited by two structures on the sides of rectangular base, very inclined; the east presents on top a sculpture representing a grasshopper, located west platform presents a staircase, flanked by two sloping rafters finished with two stelae at the top, at the corners of the headers are two small niches .
• System II: A structure of two bodies with a staircase, flanked by two ramps, slope and finished in double scapular panels. At the top there is a small temple of rectangular base with five columns in front and back without as many side walls; south of this building, is a tunnel with angular vault that communicates with the central buildings.
• The Dancers: This building of three bodies belong to Period III B, with slanted walls are covered with slabs carved with representations of human figures in strange positions and characteristic physical features of Olmec sculpture.
• Building "J": It is separated from the other buildings, is certainly one of the most interesting, because of its orientation and shape. It looks like an arrowhead, is of two bodies, its staircase is oriented toward the northwest, its walls are vertical, coated tablets with inscriptions, it is believed that the anterior chamber was used for astronomical observations but this is not proven; This building belongs to the period II.
• Central GHI Buildings: These buildings are located in the central part of the large square. The central building "H" is the larger of two bodies, with a grand staircase, two tombs and temple on top with two cameras and two columns at the entrance, very close to the side walls. It is believed that this building belongs to Period III A, continued to be used at the end of the period III b. Opposite the main staircase there is a small shrine square base, which found the famous Bat God Mask, made of jade.
• The Palace: It is a structure composed of two bodies with a central staircase, with balustrades finished shaped slope, presents at the top 13/4 grouped around a central courtyard, on the cover of access to this set there is a lintel recently placed.
• Southern Platform: A very large structure that closes the square on that side. Two bodies, at the top there are two mounds, from this place you can appreciate the entire ceremonial plaza. At the bottom of this and the corners are embedded several stelae with reliefs of zoomorphic figures as well as some offerings.
• System 7 Deer: To reach this place is recommended to walk on top of the south platform, to the southeast which is approximately 250 m. away off the main square. There are four structures around oriented to the four cardinal points plaza.
• Tomb No. 7: To explore the January 6, 1932, the Mexican archaeologist Dr. Alfonso Caso, a funeral was met with a great array of offerings, considered a great archaeological treasure, it being exposed in the Regional Museum Oaxaca. The arrangement of the tomb is rectangular base, comprising entrance and main chamber with an angular vault. It is among the few that have been found, despite deterioration, had intact offerings.

Location• Monte Albán: Located west of Oaxaca City, 10 kilometers (six miles) by road s / n Oaxaca - Monte Alban. Approximate time: [0:15]

Additional InformationThe archaeological site of Monte Albán is a Zapotec culture, is the most important in the Oaxaca area. Its cultural development and monumental architecture has made it representative of the region, in Mesoamerican area. The Pre-Hispanic settlement on the top of a high mountain, southwest of the City of Oaxaca. It is 1948 m.s.n.m. (400 more than the level of the valley of Oaxaca).
The prehispanic name of Monte Albán has not been precisely identified. Those closest to the Zapotec descendants claim that the hill was known as Dhauya quch or Dauyacach "Hill of Precious Stones". For its part, the Mixtec identified him as Yucucui "Green Hill". From the seventeenth century, the place known as Monte Albán, because, at that time, the land belonged to a Spanish surname Monte Albán or Montalban.
Dr. Alfonso Caso, Mexican archaeologist, was in charge of the first explorations and restoration of the archaeological zone. His project, which included 18 seasons, started in 1931 and ended in 1958. Based on studies of the architecture of the buildings, tombs, pottery and jewelery, determined that the history of Monte Albán is divided in different eras, each other in terms of social organization, population density and exchange activity. Thus established five times calling them: Monte Albán I, II, III, IV and V; from the year 500 a. BC to 1521 AD; each with their subdivisions. These periods totaled fourteen centuries of continuous occupation, plus six centuries when, somehow, the site already left, it was important for the inhabitants of the valley of Oaxaca. With this came the formal recognition that the two main cultures that made the prehispanic history of Oaxaca were the Zapotec and Mixtec.
The scanned and restored area corresponds to the center of the ancient Zapotec city; covers seven kilometers of the total set, which extends over 20 square kilometers. It covers several hills, including the hills of Gallo and Bonnet; the area adjacent to San Martín agencies Mexicapan and San Juan Chapultepec and the municipalities of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, San Pedro and Santa María Atzompa Ixtlahuaca. The Main Square, the center of the complex is surrounded by pyramidal bases, terraces, plazas, courtyards and shrines, where temples and palaces. All these architectural spaces are built of stone. Most of them show the last time of construction; however, it can be seen in some parts corresponding to the early days, which allow overlays noted that occurred in the course of centuries. The buildings are characterized by horizontal design, accented by stairways bordered with light beams crowned with a board, double-scapular, typical Zapotec vision of the Teotihuacan theme, panel on joist. The scapular panel, decorative element characteristic for its E-shaped silhouette, stretched and elongated, is reinforced by its simple engagement of cloths, and contributes not only to cut the main volumes of temples and palaces, but to confer unit diversity set.