Sunday, March 11, 2007





Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. From about 500 B.C. through 800 A.D., Monte Alban, located at an altitude of 1941m on the top of an artificially-levelled mount, which rises 400 m above the Oaxaca Valley, flourished as the capital of the Zapotecs. Monte Albán was named Danipaguache in the Zapotec language; what a name...

"THE SITE is located approximately 9 km to the west of the city of Oaxaca City, perched high above the surrounding valley"

"GRAND PLAZA seen from the Northern Platform - The archaeological site is built around the Gran Plaza, approximately 300 meters by 200 meters, with three pyramids occupying the centre of the plaza, along with the enigmatic Building J"


"DANZANTES - The oldest carved stones at the site are the Dancers, featuring drawings of naked men in contorted and twisted poses. The notion that they depict dancers is now largely discredited, and the present consensus is that they represent those who lived and died in Monte Alban, including captives, warriors, and the sacrificed"



"ARBÓL DE TULE - Santa Maria del Tule, about 13 kilometres east of Oaxaca, is famous for its Tree, a Taxodium mucionatum, which is two thousand years old, about 40 m high and 42 m wide at its bottom. The Tule Tree has a volume of 705 cubic meters and an approximated weight of 509 020 kilograms. In its shade more than 500 people can be sheltered, and it takes about 30 individuals, hand to hand, to hold it at ground-level..."

"TULE CHURCH - Front view of the church with football playground..."



San Pablo de Mitla is located about 40 km southeast of the city of Oaxaca. While archaeological evidence shows that Mitla was occupied by 500 BC, the earliest construction dates to only about 200 AD. Construction of pre-Columbian style buildings continued up until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 1520s. The ruins of Mitla are one of Mexico's most interesting sacred places.

"CACTUS - Mitla's archeological site consists of 5 main groups of construction, the oldest of which is believed to date from between 450 and 700 A.C. High cactus receive the visitors to the site"

"CHURCH OF SAN PABLO - In 1494 the Aztecs conquered Mitla and sacked the city. Once the Spanish took over, they found their efforts to convert locals to Catholicism thwarted by competition from native beliefs, manifesting themselves at ancient buildings such as those at Mitla. To combat the problem, the Spanish built a new church on top of a former temple"

"THE SITE - The archaeological zone of Mitla includes five main groups of structures and by the beginning of the Christian era the town had stretched for more than two thirds of a mile along either side of the Mitla River"

"THE PRE-COLUMBIAN BUILDINGS that survived still retain traces of paintwork"


"THE PALACE WALLS are decorated with distinctive geometric mosaics that characterize Mitla's buildings. Each frieze consists of up to 100,000 separate pieces of cut stone. The motif of these intricate geometric mosaics are believed to be a stylized representation of the Sky Serpent and therefore a symbol of the pan-regional deity, Quetzalcoatl"

No comments: