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Monte Albán, Oaxaca | The memory of our history

Monte Alban is an archaeological zone wich it also was the most important indigenous capital of the valley region of Oaxaca during the so-called classical period (400-800 AD) when it was inhabited by the Zapotec culture.

Monte Albán is an archaeological zone located just 10 kilometers from the beautiful city of Oaxaca; a cultural attraction that you should visit without hesitation.

Cultural wealth and more in Monte Albán, Oaxaca

This incredible archaeological zone was the most important indigenous capital of the valley region of Oaxaca during the so-called classical period (400-800 AD) when it was inhabited by the Zapotec culture.

As happened with more than one pre-Hispanic metropolis, Monte Albán was inhabited by more than one culture, and the origin of the first inhabitants is a matter of debate; neither the archaeologists themselves have been able to specify it.

Later, Monte Albán was inhabited by the Zapotecs, and finally, by the Mixtecs. In addition, thanks to several studies specializing in architecture, numerous specialists were able to say that Monte Albán had a relation with other cultures, one of them, the powerful Teotihuacán in the center of Mexico.

Archaeology of Oaxaca

Image by LBM1948

What can I find in Monte Albán, Oaxaca?

In Monte Albán, any tourist can find three main structures, all with important functions and worth differentiating: The South Platform, the Big Ball Game, and the building of the Dancers.

The South Platform is a two-body construction and in fact, the highest in the city. From the tip of this building in Monte Albán, you can observe the rest of the site. The game of Big Ball owes its name as next to Tomb 105 is a very similar but smaller structure.

Finally, the Plaza de Los Danzantes is a sui generis construction in which many stelae with the calendar and anthropomorphic glyphs stand out.

Monte Albán is a vast archaeological site and constitutes the largest and most important ceremonial center of Zapotec culture. Located on a hill whose summit was flattened by the first culture that was inhabited. Most of the temples and buildings there belong to the time when the Zapotecs lived.

What stands out most in the construction of Monte Albán?

Arquitecture Oaxaca

The Great Square

Located in the heart of the old ceremonial center. According to several archaeologists, there was an esplanade to set up a market, to the surroundings there are several temples and some residences reserved for the social class and ruler.


Southern platform

The highest construction of Monte Albán, Oaxaca with 40 meters of height, we managed to identify it easily by its two bodies, and in which we can also find trails with different Zapotec glyphs.

Oaxaca south platform.

Image by Román Israel

Big Ball Game

In this area, the traditional ball game, which was done under the supervision of priests or rulers, was carried out for ceremonial purposes always.

Ball game

Building of the Dancers

One of the oldest buildings in Monte Albán, the most outstanding here are the stelae placed on the side of the enclosure, there are glyphs and characters in suggestive positions. Today it is known that the glyphs were engraved as a representation of the city’s military might. There are also numerical glyphs and calendars.


Image by LBM1948

In Monte Albán there are also other buildings: The Palace, a building with 13 rooms, Building P, from which astronomical observations were made, and Tombs 103 and 104.

No doubt this archaeological wonder must be present on that trip to Oaxaca that you plan to make.

Disfruta las raíces del mezcal, la bebida espiritual más antigua de México desde Quiegolani.

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