Are you passionate about history and archeology? Well then you will be interested to know that, beyond hosting idyllic beaches and spectacular natural corners, Mexico It has more than 2,000 archaeological sites on its territory and best of all, nearly 200 are open to the public. Therefore, choosing this country as a destination for your next vacation can be a fantastic idea.
If there is a place in Mexico that you cannot miss if you are a lover of archaeological sites, it is Oaxaca de Juárez, a city in the state of Oaxaca that offers the best of the charm of the south of the country, combining the joy of its festivals and entertainment with a exquisite gastronomy and unique cultural attractions. In addition, you should know that the city is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today we want to talk to you about one of the main points of interest of this place. We refer to Monte Albán, an archaeological site that will fascinate you. Would you like to join us?
Contacts with other cultures
Monte Albán is located just 10 kilometers from the city of Oaxaca. Considered as the most important indigenous capital of the region of the valleys of Oaxaca between 400 and 800 AD, it was successively inhabited by the Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs throughout fifteen centuries. Of course, it is important to note that the origin of the first inhabitants is a reason for debate by historians, who do agree that Monte Albán had contact with other cultures, especially with the inhabitants of Teotihuacán. It is what they have deduced when studying the architecture of both places.
The most remarkable constructions
We want to comment that thanks to the restoration carried out by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the buildings of Monte Albán have recovered their splendor. Separate mention deserves the Large square, a great plain where you can rotate 360 degrees to admire the temples and palaces. Apparently a market was set up here. Of all the temples, one stands out with some stone carved tombstones, known as “The Dancers”. According to some studies, it could be a medical treatise on birth defects. We also want to highlight the South Platform, which, with more than 40 meters high, is considered the highest construction in Monte Albán. At the bottom you can see stelae with Zapotec glyphs. Of course, we also have to talk about the Big Ball Game, a space in which a traditional ball game was held under the supervision of priests or rulers, and always for ceremonial purposes.
If you want to know more about this wonderful place, you will have to visit the museum, which is located right at the entrance of the archaeological zone. Here they will guide you on the treasures of Monte Albán, among which the more than 170 burials stand out, which, apparently, are characters of high religious and political rank of the Zapotec culture. In addition, you should know that the archaeological zone has a cafeteria / restaurant, toilets and shops where you can buy publications, jewelry and crafts. Of course, you will also have at your disposal rest areas, guides and parking for cars, although there are buses that arrive in the area.
A nice sunset
Before leaving you with the photos of this place, we want to comment that watching the sunset from this area is a wonderful experience. Then we leave you with our Gallery, where you will find more images of this archaeological site located in Mexico. Do not miss it!
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Exploring Monte Alban Ruins, Mexico (September 2020)
- archeology, Oaxaca