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ZAPOTEC

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Author Topic: ZAPOTEC  (Read 5222 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 05:29:19 pm »









As indicated by Blanton's survey of the site, the Monte Albán hills appear to have been uninhabited prior to 500 BC (the end of the Rosario ceramic phase). At that time, San José Mogote was the major population center in the valley and head of a chiefdom that likely controlled much of the northern Etla branch (Marcus and Flannery 1996). Perhaps as many as three or four other smaller chiefly centers controlled other sub-regions of the valley, including Tilcajete in the southern Valle Grande branch and Yegüih in the Tlacolula arm to the east.

Competition and warfare seem to have characterized the Rosario phase, and the regional survey data suggests the existence of an unoccupied buffer zone between the San José Mogote chiefdom and those to the south and east (Marcus and Flannery 1996). It is within this no-man's land that at the end of the Rosario period Monte Albán was founded, quickly reaching a population estimate of around 5,200 by the end of the following Monte Albán Ia phase (ca.300 BC). This remarkable population increase was accompanied by an equally rapid decline at San José Mogote and neighbouring satellite sites, making it likely that its chiefly elites were directly involved in the founding of the future Zapotec capital.

This rapid shift in population and settlement, from dispersed localized settlements to a central urban site in a previously unsettled area, has been referred to as the “Monte Alban Synoikism” by Marcus and Flannery (1996:140-146) in reference to similar recorded instances in the Mediterranean area in antiquity. Although it was previously thought (Blanton 1978) that a similar process of large-scale abandonment, and thus participation in the founding of Monte Albán, occurred at other major chiefly centers such as Yegüih and Tilcajete, at least in the latter's case this now appears to be unlikely.

A recent project directed by Charles Spencer and Elsa Redmond of the American Museum of Natural History in New York has shown that rather than being abandoned the site actually grew significantly in population during the periods Monte Albán Early I and Late I (ca. 500-300 BC and 300-100 BC, respectively) and might have actively opposed incorporation into the increasingly powerful Monte Albán state

(Spencer and Redmond 2001).
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Bianca
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 05:31:36 pm »









By the beginning of the Terminal Formative (Monte Albán II phase, ca. 100 BC-AD 200) Monte Albán had an estimated population of 17,200 (Marcus and Flannery 1996:139), making it one of the largest Mesoamerican cities at the time.

As its political power grew, Monte Albán expanded militarily, through cooption, and via outright colonization into several areas outside the Valley of Oaxaca, including the Cañada de Cuicatlán to the north and the southern Ejutla and Sola de Vega valleys

(Balkansky 2002; Spencer 1982; Redmond 1983; Feinman and Nicholas 1990).

During this period and into the subsequent Early Classic (Monte Albán IIIA phase, ca. AD 200-500) Monte Albán was the capital of a major regional polity that exerted a dominating influence over the Valley of Oaxaca and across much of the Oaxacan highlands. As mentioned earlier, evidence at Monte Albán is suggestive of high-level contacts between the site's elites and those at the powerful central Mexican city of Teotihuacan, where archaeologists have identified a neighbourhood inhabited by ethnic Zapotecs from the valley of Oaxaca (Paddock 1983).

By the Late Classic (Monte Albán IIIB/IV, ca. AD 500-1000) the site's influence outside and inside the valley declined, and elites at several other centers, once part of the Monte Albán state, began to assert their autonomy, including sites such as Cuilapan and Zaachila in the Valle Grande and Lambityeco, Mitla, and El Palmillo in the eastern Tlacolula arm. The latter is the focus of an ongoing project by Gary Feinman and Linda Nicholas of Chicago's Field Museum

(Feinman and Nicholas 2002).

By the end of the same period (ca. AD 900-1000) the ancient capital was largely abandoned, and the once powerful Monte Albán state was replaced by dozens of competing smaller polities, a situation that lasted up to the Spanish conquest.
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Bianca
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 05:35:13 pm »



MONTE ALBAN - THE MAIN PLAZA FROM THE NORTH PLATFORM








The monumental center of Monte Albán is the Main Plaza, which measures approximately 300 meters by 200 meters.

The site's main civic-ceremonial and elite-residential structures are located around it or in its immediate vicinity, and most of these have been explored and restored by Alfonso Caso and his colleagues.

To the north and south the Main Plaza is delimited by large platforms accessible from the plaza via monumental staircases.

On its eastern and western sides the plaza is similarly bounded by a number of smaller platform mounds on which stood temples and elite residences, as well as one of two ballcourts known to have existed at the site. A north-south spine of mounds occupies the center of the plaza and similarly served as platforms for ceremonial structures.

 
One characteristic of Monte Albán is the large number of carved stone monuments one encounters throughout the plaza. The earliest examples are the so-called "Danzantes" (literally, dancers), found mostly in the vicinity of Building L and which represent naked men in contorted and twisted poses, some of them genitally mutilated. The 19th century notion that they depict dancers is now largely discredited, and these monuments, dating to the earliest period of occupation at the site (Monte Albán I), clearly represent tortured, sacrificed war prisoners, some identified by name, and may depict leaders of competing centers and villages captured by Monte Albán

(Marcus and Flannery 1996; Blanton et al. 1996).

Over 300 “Danzantes” stones have been recorded to date, and some of the better preserved ones can be viewed at the site's museum.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 05:42:46 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2009, 05:44:25 pm »

             

PANORAMA OF MONTE ALBAN FROM THE SOUTH PLATFORM








A different type of carved stones is found on the nearby Building J in the center of the Main Plaza, a building characterized by an unusual arrow-like shape and an orientation that differs from most other structures at the site.

Inserted within the building walls are over 40 large carved slabs dating to Monte Albán II and depicting place-names, occasionally accompanied by additional writing and in many cases characterized by upside-down heads. Alfonso Caso was the first to identify these stones as "conquest slabs", likely listing places the Monte Albán elites claimed to have conquered and/or controlled.

Some of the places listed on Building J slabs have been tentatively identified, and in one case (the Cañada de Cuicatlán region in northern Oaxaca) Zapotec conquest has been confirmed through archaeological survey and excavations.

(Redmond 1983; Spencer 1982).



Many of the artefacts excavated at Monte Albán in over a century of archaeological exploration can be seen at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City and at the Museo Regional de Oaxaca in the ex-convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Oaxaca City. The latter museum houses, among others, many of the objects discovered in 1932 by Alfonso Caso in Monte Albán's Tomb 7, a Classic period Zapotec tomb that was opportunistically reused in Postclassic times for the burial of Mixtec elite individuals. Their burial was accompanied by some of the most spectacular burial offerings of any site in the Americas

(Caso 1932).



The site is a popular tourist destination for visitors to Oaxaca and has a small site museum mostly displaying original carved stones from the site. Trails at the site are also used by joggers, hikers, and birders.



RETRIEVED FROM:

wikipedia.com
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 05:49:22 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2009, 05:46:07 pm »



THE IMPRESSIVE STAIRWAY OF THE SOUTH PLATFORM
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2009, 05:51:54 pm »



UNRESTORED AREA OF MONTE ALBAN WITH THE BEAUTIFUL OAXACA VALLEY BELOW
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2009, 05:53:16 pm »

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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2009, 05:54:32 pm »




             
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2009, 05:56:10 pm »

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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2009, 05:57:47 pm »




             
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2009, 06:00:33 pm »

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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2009, 06:03:05 pm »



MONTE ALBAN'S ANCIENT BALL COURT
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2009, 06:05:50 pm »

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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2009, 06:07:21 pm »

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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2009, 06:08:56 pm »

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