photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Albert | all galleries >> Galleries >> Photos of Albert > 0911MX041E - Monte Alban, MEXICO
previous | next
15-NOV-2009 Albert

0911MX041E - Monte Alban, MEXICO

Oaxaca, MEXICO

Monte Alban's ruins date back 1200 years when the Zapotecs reigned between 500BC and 750AD as a dominant force between Teotihuacan in the Valley of Oaxaca and the Maya kingdom of the southeast. Remains reveal an already advanced culture, with gods, permanent temples, a priesthood, a written language, numerals and a precise calendar. Monte Alban reached its apex in the years 300-500AD, attaining a population of 40000 in an urban zone of this hilltop of about 8 sq. km but they started declining in population and power until it was virtually abandoned by the year 1000AD. The reasons, whether drought, disease, or revolt, remain an enigma. The buildings were finished with handsome sloping staircases, corniced walls, monumental carvings, ball courts, and the hieroglyph-inscribed stelae depicting gods, kings and heroic scenes of battle. The photo shows only a few of the 22 buildings: the south platform with multi-room buildings at the far end, the palace complex on the left (top of tree), and the Building 11 on the bottom left, containing a peculiar tunnel covertly used by priests for privacy. The main plaza, where it is believed to have served as a market and civic/ceremonial ground, measures exactly 220 m wide by 330 m long, aligned along a precise north-south axis. North of the temples, archaeologists have uncovered tombs with the skeletons and offerings left intact. Along the bodies (a deceased dignitary buried with two servants and a dog for the netherworld), they left fabulous treasures of gold, silver, jade, alabaster, and turquoise, all now visible at the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca City. Discovered remains reveal their lifestyle: then, as now, planting, harvesting, and food preparation occupied most of the day. Men used flint axe-heads hafted to wooden handles to clear brush in preparation for seeding. Women ground corn with the familiar 'mano' and 'metate', a combination roller-crusher. They patted tortillas and baked them on flat clay 'comal' (griddle) and stewed meats, beans, and chili sauces in round clay pots. Excavated ceramic figurines reveal the villagers' dress: for women, woven cloth or frond skirts, fiber or leather sandals, and long hair, often attractively braided plus earrings and necklaces; for men, ordinarily a simple loin-cloth and sandals. I was thrilled to witness they preserved the same same 'ropa'(clothing) and lifestyle.

Nikon D40x
1/200s f/8.0 at 18.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
previous | next
Type your message and click Add Comment
It is best to login or register first but you may post as a guest.
Enter an optional name and contact email address. Name
Name Email
help private comment