The Monte Alban Zapotec ruins in Mexico

imageThe third city where we spent some time in Mexico was Oaxaca, in the state of Oaxaca. After a bumpy overnight bus we checked into a hostel, slept for a few hours and then decided to do some sight seeing. The picture above is the view of Monte Alban from the North platform overlooking the whole site.

imageMonte Alban is an important archaeological site nearby Oaxaca. Unlike other Mayan sites that we’ve visited, like Tikal and Chichen Itza, Monte Alban is a Zapotec city and was first occupied around 500BC, making it one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica. Monte Alba was the center of a Zapotec state that dominated much of the territory that is part of the Oaxaca state today. The picture above shows the ball court where the traditional ball game was played.

imageAfter you walk past the Ball game court (a court that’s present in most archaeological sites), you enter the Gran (grand) Plaza that is surrounded by temples and residential quarters.

imageWhen Monte Alban was at its peak there lived 25 000 people on the site and the surrounding hills.

image

image

image

imageThe height of the site made it an easily defensible location. The view over Oaxaca is spectacular:

imageWe fooled around with the cactus plants on site:

imageThe building in the centre behind Dirk is an arrow shaped observatory. This photo was taken from the South Platform:

image

imageThere are some intricate stone carvings of aggressive looking people:

image

imageNot all the pyramids are excavated and restored:

imageWe spent about two hours at Monte Alban. As you can see from the pictures there is not a lot of shade or places to sit and rest for a while.

image

image

imageOaxaca is known for the Mezcal that is produced in the area. The plant below is a type of Agave of whic Mezcal is made from:

image

image

image

imageDirk was getting tired…

imageRain clouds gathered round while we were walking between the ruins. Our shuttle driver said that it usually rains after 4:30pm in Monte Alban.

image

image

image

imageThere are many underground tombs around Monte Alban, but  sadly none of them are open to visitors.

image

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Monte Alban Zapotec ruins in Mexico

  1. 25 000 mense!! Wow
    Ja dit is mooi,maar anders as al die ander ruines wat jul besoek het. Dankie vir die inligting en mooi foto’s ook van julle twee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s