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4 | The Zapotec world
12 | Discoverers of Monte Alban
18 | The Monte Alban´s Buildings
36 | Map of the site
38 | The tombs
41 | The on-site museum
Nelly Robles García
Giovanni Dagli Orti, Michael Calderwood
22 x 12.5 cm – 8.66 x 4.92 in
Situated at the summit of a hill, flattened to build the great plaza, 400 meters (1,312 ft) above the level of the Valley of Oaxaca, the imposing Zapotec capital rises, symbol of the strength and power of that civilization.
The site emerged as a ceremonial center around 500 B.C. to conclude its impressive development around 850 A.D. Close by the buildings of cult and representation, the numerous tombs of the Classic period, richly decorated with polychrome frescoes, are witness to the political and religious power of the reigning elite class.
Moreover, the Zapotecs were the first Mesoamericans to use writing.
Tomb 7 has been the most spectacular find of Monte Albán, with more than 200 ritual objects, known as the treasure of Monte Albán.
This guide introduces the reader to the world of the Zapotecs and describes the routes and impressions of its first discoverers, travelers, explorers and archeologists. A complete tour supported by a detailed plan of the site allows the reader to know each of the monuments. It also includes a description of the main tombs and a visit to the Site Museum where there is a great variety of original steles, as well as other works of art.
Did you know that the discovery in 1932 of Tomb 7 by Alfonso Caso was recognized as the most spectacular find in Latin America in its time.
The offering recovered corresponds to the Mixtec period and from the interior of the tomb objects made of different materials were recovered: gold, silver, jade, turquoise, obsidian, rock crystal, alabaster, amber, pearl, coral, conch and human and feline bones.