December 13th, 2007 – by: geokid
Monte Alban a Zapotec (Danni Dipaa original historic name) residential and ceremonial hill top site is Meso-americas first metropolis. Monte Alban
was first occupied around 500 BC and continued to hold power over the Oaxaca
n Valley until AD 1300. The site was abandoned between AD 750 and 1000 for unknown reasons. Later Mixtec people invaded the Oaxacan Valley from the north and set up business at Monte Alban, utilizing the site for military quarters, a defensive position and a cemetery. Eventually the Zapotecs and Mixtecs held the site jointly for military purposes in their effort to control the Oaxacan Valley. The restored architecture occupies only one of the four hill tops of the site. The site was rediscovered in 1902 by Leopoido Batres with significant excavations and consolidations taking place from 1931 to 1949, 1958 and 1996. Monte Alban was influenced early by the Olmec. The structure Danzantes is identified by the Olmec- Style relief sculptures, later influence came from the Maya of Chiapas
and Guatemala with examples of their Bat God carved in Jade and other rock types, the last outside influence came from Teotihuacan. This can be seen in the grand staircases, the ball court, the Talud-Tablero facade treatment and numerous examples of fresco covered footed, lidded cylinder vessels. This is a must see site. If you only have time to do one thing while in Oaxaca, you should visit Monte Alban.