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ZAPOTEC

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« on: January 03, 2009, 08:40:36 am »

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 08:43:08 am »









                                    T H E   Z A P O T E C   C I V I L I Z A T I O N





The Zapotec civilization was an indigenous pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica.

Archaeological evidence shows their culture goes back at least 2500 years.

They left archaeological evidence at the ancient city of Monte Albán in the form of buildings, ball courts, magnificent tombs and grave goods including finely worked gold jewelry.

Monte Albán was one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica and the center of a Zapotec state that dominated much of what we know of as the current state of Oaxaca.




The name Zapotec is an exonym coming from Nahuatl tzapotēcah (singular tzapotēcatl), which means "inhabitants of the place of sapote".

The Zapotec referred to themselves by some variant of the term Be'ena'a, which means "The People."
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 08:46:51 am »

             



             

              FUNERARY URN FROM OAXACA
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 08:49:23 am »



COCIJO - THE RAIN GOD




Religion



Like most Mesoamerican religious systems, the Zapotec religion was polytheistic.

Two principal deities include Cocijo, the rain god (similar to the Aztec god Tlaloc), and Coquihani, the god of light.
It is believed that the Zapotec sometimes used human sacrifice in their rituals.

The Zapotecs tell that their ancestors emerged from the earth, from caves, or that they turned from trees or jaguars into people, while the elite that governed them believed that they descended from supernatural beings
that lived among the clouds, and that upon death they would return to such status. In fact, the name by which Zapotecs are known today resulted from this belief.

In Central Valley Zapotec, "The Cloud People', is "Be'ena' Za'a."
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 08:50:52 am »









Warfare and resistance



The last battle between the Aztecs and the Zapotecs occurred between 1497 and 1502, under the Aztec ruler Ahuizotl. At the time of Spanish conquest of Mexico, when news arrived that the Aztecs were defeated by the Spaniards, King Cosijoeza ordered his people not to confront the Spaniards so they would avoid the same fate. They were defeated by the Spaniards only after several campaigns between 1522 and 1527. However, uprisings against colonial authorities occurred in 1550, 1560, and 1715.

In 1850 there was another rebellion against the local government of Oaxaca, followed in 1866 by one against the Royal French Army, during the French invasion of Mexico. In recent times, there was an uprising against the local governor Manuel Zárate Aquino in the 1970s, supported by the Mexican Army.


Starting in 2006, a non-violent grassroots social movement against the current governor, Ulises
Ruiz Ortiz, stemmed from the violent repression of a teacher's strike on June 16, 2006. Since then
a statewide movement has grown, leading to the formation of APPO, the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, in which a large number of indigenous groups are involved.
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 08:54:51 am »








References




 Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Category:Zapotec


Marcus, Joyce; and Kent V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico's Oaxaca Valley. New aspects of antiquity series. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05078-3. OCLC 34409496. 

Marcus, Joyce; and Kent V. Flannery (2000). "Cultural Evolution in Oaxaca: The Origins of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations". in Richard E.W. Adams and Murdo J. Macleod (eds.).

The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Vol. II: Mesoamerica, part 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 358–406. ISBN 0-521-35165-0. OCLC 33359444. 

Whitecotton, Joseph W. (1990). Zapotec Elite Ethnohistory: Pictorial Genealogies from Eastern Oaxaca. Vanderbilt University publications in anthropology, no. 39. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University. ISBN 0-935462-30-9. OCLC 23095346. 



Retrieved from:

wikipedia.org
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 04:07:17 pm »












                                                     Early Civilizations in the Americas:




Ceremonial centers:

Citylike centers usually run by priests and rulers, in which people from surrounding areas gathered
to practice the ceremonies of their religion,often at large temples and plazas built specifically for
this purpose.



Chiefdom:

A social unit larger and more structured than a tribe but smaller and less structured than a state, which is mainly governed by one powerful ruler. Though there are not distinct classes in a chiefdom, people are ranked by how closely they are related to the chief; the closer one is to the chief, the more prestige, wealth, and power one is likely to have.



City-state:

An independent self-governing community consisting of a single city and the surrounding area.



Elite:

A group of people within a society who are in a socially superior position and have more power and privileges than others.



Glyph:

A figure (often carved into stone orwood) used as a symbol to represent words, ideas, or sounds.



Human sacrifice:

Killing a person as an offering to the gods.



Observatory:

A building created for the purpose of observing the stars and planets.



Pantheon:

All of the gods that a particular group of people worship.



Propagandists:

People who spread information and ideas designed to further their own cause.



Ritual:

A formal act performed the same way each time, usually used as a means of religious worship by a particular group.



Tribute:

A payment to a nation or its ruler, usually made by people from a conquered territory as a sign that they surrender to the imposed rule; payment could be made in goods or labor or both.



Vigesimal:


Based on the number twenty(as a numeric system).Words to KnowAlmanac 2 MB 2/25/05 10:32 AM Page 300
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 04:08:22 pm »





               









                                                            T H E   Z A P O T E C S






The Zapotecs have lived in the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico since at least 500 B.C.E. and are still there today.

Most ancient Zapotec history revolves around the capital city, Monte Albán, which many experts consider the first Mesoamerican city.

The Zapotecs, like theOlmecs, are regarded by some current scholars as the possible originators of several key features of the great Mesoamerican civilizations that followed.

They were one of the earliest societies to produce a written version of their spoken language and they used the vigesimal, or base-twenty, numerical system (as opposed to the decimal, base-ten system used in contemporary society).

They also used bar-and-dot numbers and the two-calendar system of tracking time.These were all widespread characteristics of Mesoamerian cultures. (Culture is the arts, language, beliefs, customs, institu-tions, and other products of human work and thoughtshared by a group of people at a particular time.)

In seeking the origins of Mesoamerican cultural traits, it is important to remember that the Meso-american Zapotecs and Monte Albán cultures were strongly connected with each other from ancient times forward.

The earliest Zapotecs were heavily influenced by the Olmecs, and later enjoyed strong relations with
the great city of Teotihuacán in the Valley of Mexico. They also had regular contact with the Mayas
at Tikal.

The days when the Zapotecs were the predominant force in the Oaxaca Valley ended with the decline of the cityof Monte Albán in about 750 C.E.





This chapter is about Zapotec culture during the twelve hundred years it ruled over the valley from its capital city.
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 04:09:04 pm »













Dates of predominance500 B.C.E.–700 C.E.



Twenty-first century Zapotec people usually call themselves Be’ena’a, or “The People.”

In pre-Hispanic times, some of the elite Zapotecs believed their gods and ancestors lived among the clouds and that, upon death, they themselves would ascend to the clouds. Because of this belief, the Zapotec in some areas were called Be’ena’a Za’a, or “Cloud People.”

In the sixteenth century, when the Spanish tried to record information about the Mesoamerican peoples they had conquered, they interviewed the Aztec people, who called the Zapotec the Tzapote-catl, the Nahuatl language word for “Be’ena’ Za’a.”  The Spanish misunderstood the word as Za-poteca, and from that time the name Zapotec has been used.





Monte Albán (meaning “White Hill” in Spanish) was the Zapotec capital for many years. It is located in the central Oaxaca Valley in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico.  The area around the Oaxaca Valley is a rugged section of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains with some of its highest peaks and several volcanoes.

The Y-shaped valley is set on a wide and fertile plateau beneath these peaks and ridges at an altitude of about 1,300 feet (396 meters) above sea level. The three arms of the valley are formed by smaller valleys: the Etla Valley tothe north, the Tlacolula Valley to the east, and the Zimatlán-Ocotlán Valley to the south. The site is 6.2 miles (10 kilome-ters) west of present-day Oaxaca City.


In 1500 B.C.E. the Oaxaca Valley was dotted with small, permanent villages, most of which were made up of Zapotecs and Monte Albán households. People in the valley grew maize (corn) and beans, hunted rabbit and deer, and collected wild plants.

The villages gradually became chiefdoms, in which there was one strong ruler. The people most closely related to the ruler had higher rank than others, but there were not distinct social classes. The chiefdoms scattered throughout the Oaxaca Valley had direct connections with chiefdoms all over Mesoamerica. Trade and intermarriage among chiefs’ families reinforced these connections.  Early Mesoamerican societies were diverse, with distinct languages and customs. Connections among them, however, made it easy to share advances in science and religious systems, as well as art and architecture.





By 1300 B.C.E. one village, San José Mogote, located inthe northern arm of the Oaxaca Valley, had grown larger than the others with a population of over six hundred people. San José Mogote was ruled by a few powerful people who had taken over the best farmland and were able to obtain tribute from
others. 

The village quickly became a regional center, in which public buildings were erected and sophisticated art and monuments were created. The center had a strong Olmec influence, especially in its form of government and artistic styles.  San José Mogote attracted people from all over the val-ley and became a busy center for trade and crafts.  Other smaller towns developed in the surrounding Oaxaca Valley, though San José Mogote was the largest.

Scholars are uncertain when the Zapotecs arrived in the valley or if they had been there all along, but most believe they were a significant presence in the Oaxaca Valley by about 900 B.C.E.   

San José Mogote is considered the forerunner of the great Zapotec city of Monte Albán, and many of
its artifacts are the first indication of the distinctive Zapotec culture.

The most famous of the Zapotec artifacts found at San José Mogote was a stone slab with a carving
of a dead body, a victim of human sacrifice.  The carving, which dates back to 600B.C.E., contains the first known example of Zapotec writing with glyphs (figures, often carved into stone or wood, used as symbols to represent words, ideas, or sounds) writing.
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2009, 04:17:33 pm »


       

              MONTE ALBAN









Monte Albán



Around 500 B.C.E., at a point where the three arms of the Y-shaped Oaxaca Valley meet, construction began on
the mountaintop city of Monte Albán. By this time, most experts believe the Zapotec culture was dominant in the Oaxaca Valley, though the valley’s communities probably had independent governments.

Apparently the rulers of the different cities and towns all over the valley agreed to this neutral mountaintop
space for a capital city of the region.

Why these valley rulers decided to build a city so far above the farmlands and water sources is unknown.  Some speculate the city was planned for defense against invaders. Others say its majestic mountaintop setting, close to the divine world of the clouds, was in keeping with the Mesoamerican spirit of creating awe by displaying the power and splendor of the valley’s rulers.  Whatever the purpose, by about 200 B.C.E. the Zapotecs had completed the massive job of flattening the mountaintop on which the city was to be situated. They eventually built artificial ridges that spanned across to three mountaintops as the city spread out.

Monte Albán was planned from the start as a ceremonial center (a city like center usually run by priests and rulers, in which people from surrounding areas gathered to practice the ceremonies of their religion, often at large temples and plazas built specifically for this purpose). In fact, the Zapotec name for Monte Albán was Dani Biaa, which means “sacred mountain.”

On the leveled mountaintop, laborers erected great pyramids, temples, and plazas. Two miles (3.2 kilome-ters) of walls were built around the city center, apparently to separate the sacred or elite (ruler-priests) from the rest of the population. The population in 200 B.C.E. had reached an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people. The hillsides were terraced (huge steps were cut into them), and many of the common people of Monte Albán lived on the hillside terraces, outside the city walls. At its peak, Monte Albán had a population of about 35,000 people.



Early Civilizations in the Americas:

Almanac304
Ruins of the ancient Zapotec civilization of Monte Albán in the Oaxaca Valley, Mexico.
© PaulThompson;
Ecoscen/Corbis.
Almanac   


http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:YgTWHlD-044J:www.gale.cengage.com/pdf/samples/sp692522.pdf+Be%27ena%27+Za%27a.%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2009, 04:54:35 pm »



OAXACA VALLEY
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2009, 05:12:44 pm »



OAXACA VALLEY FROM MONTE ALBAN
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2009, 05:16:58 pm »

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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2009, 05:20:05 pm »




             

              UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE








Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The site is located on a low mountainous range rising above the plain in the central section of the Valley of Oaxaca where the latter's northern Etla, eastern Tlacolula, and southern Zimatlán/Ocotlán (or Valle Grande) branches meet. The present-day state capital Oaxaca City is located approximately 9 km (5.8 mi) east of Monte Albán.

The civic-ceremonial center of the Monte Albán site is situated atop an artificially-levelled ridge, which with an elevation of about 1940 m (6368 ft) above mean sea level rises some 400 m (1312 ft) from the valley floor. In addition to the aforementioned monumental core, the site is characterized by several hundred artificial terraces and a dozen clusters of mounded architecture covering the entire ridgeline and surrounding flanks (Blanton 1978). The archaeological ruins on the nearby Atzompa and El Gallo hills to the north are traditionally considered to be an integral part of the ancient city as well.

Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán's importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years. Founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period at around 500 BC, by the Terminal Formative (ca.100 BC-AD 200) Monte Albán had become the capital of a large-scale expansionist polity that dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and interacted with other Mesoamerican regional states such as Teotihuacan to the north (Paddock 1983; Marcus 1983). The city had lost its political pre-eminence by the end of the Late Classic (ca. AD 500-750) and soon thereafter was largely abandoned. Small-scale reoccupation, opportunistic reutilization of earlier structures and tombs, and ritual visitations marked the archaeological history of the site into the Colonial period.

The etymology of the site's present-day name is unclear, and tentative suggestions regarding its origin range from a presumed corruption of a native Zapotec name such as “Danibaan” (Sacred Hill) to a colonial-era reference to a Spanish soldier by the name Montalbán or to the Alban Hills of Italy. The ancient Zapotec name of the city is not known, as abandonment occurred centuries before the writing of the earliest available ethnohistorical sources.
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2009, 05:26:24 pm »









Being visible from anywhere in the central part of the Valley of Oaxaca, the impressive ruins of Monte Albán attracted visitors and explorers throughout the colonial and modern eras. Among others, Guillermo Dupaix investigated the site in the early 19th century, J. M. García published a description of the site in 1859, and A. F. Bandelier visited and published further descriptions in the 1890s.

A first intensive archaeological exploration of the site was conducted in 1902 by Leopoldo Batres, then General Inspector of Monuments for the Mexican government under Porfirio Diaz (Batres 1902). It was however only in 1931 that large-scale scientific excavations were undertaken under the direction of Mexican archaeologist Alfonso Caso. Over the following eighteen years Caso and his colleagues Ignacio Bernal and Jorge Acosta excavated large sections within the monumental core of the site, and much of what is visible today in areas open to the public was reconstructed at that time.

Besides resulting in the excavation of a large number of residential and civic-ceremonial structures and hundreds of tombs and burials, one lasting achievement of the project by Caso and his colleagues was the establishment of a ceramic chronology (phases Monte Albán I through V) for the period between the site's founding in ca. 500 BC to end of the Postclassic period in AD 1521.

The investigation of the periods preceding Monte Albán's founding was a major focus of the Prehistory and Human Ecology Project started by Kent Flannery of the University of Michigan in the late 1960s. Over the following two decades this project documented the development of socio-political complexity in the valley from the earliest Archaic period (ca. 8000-2000 BC) to the Rosario phase (700-500 BC) immediately preceding Monte Albán, thus setting the stage for an understanding of the latter's founding and developmental trajectory. In this context, among the major accomplishments of Flannery's work in Oaxaca are his extensive excavations at the important formative center of San José Mogote in the Etla branch of the valley, a project co-directed with Joyce Marcus of the University of Michigan

(Flannery and Marcus 1983; Marcus and Flannery 1996).





A further important step in the understanding of the history of occupation of the Monte Albán site was reached with the Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Valley of Oaxaca Project begun by Richard Blanton and several colleagues in the early 1970s. It is only with their intensive survey and mapping of the entire site that the real extension and size of Monte Albán beyond the limited area explored by Caso became known (Blanton 1978). Subsequent seasons of the same project under the direction of Blanton, Gary Feinman, Steve Kowalewski, Linda Nicholas, and others extended the survey coverage to practically the entire valley, producing an invaluable amount of data on the region's changing settlement patterns from the earliest times to the arrival of the Spanish in AD 1521

(Blanton et al. 1982; Kowalewski et al. 1989)
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