For our last full day in Oaxaca, we visited the Monte Alba, a Mixte site that was founded in about 1,000 BC (BCE), and abandoned about 1,000 AD (CE). Our guide was a Mixte. he said you could tell the difference between Mixte and Zapotec because the Mixte were so much better looking.
There is a lot of speculation about what went on here, since it was abandoned so long ago.,
Here is a diorama of the site:
You'll see more of that later.
There are a number of tombs on the site, here is one you see as you walk from the entrance.
According to our guide, Juan the Communist, these trees supplied both the fabric that the Mixtecs wore, and the name of the mountain. (the white blossoms inspired the Spaniards to name the place Monte Alba)
The excavations have uncovered a huge site, with many small (well, not really that small) buildings that look like this:
It is a beautiful setting, in the Sierra Madre mountains.
We learned something from Juan the Communist on this tour. When archeological sites are reconstructed, they insert small pebbles in the mortar so that subsequent researchers can distinguish the original from the new. Clever. One of my archaeologists friends confirmed this, and said it was a relatively new technique, but one that is rapidly gaining acceptance.
Much of this site has been reconstructed.
Below is the ball court. You may have heard stories about how the winners of games would be sacrificed, as victory was a sign of favor from god (the gods. I am not sure if they were monotheistic or not), and it was an honor to be sacrificed. J the C was not convinced of this, and neither were we.
It is hard to appreciate the scale of this place.
We liked the buildings that had some detail
I am not sure if these have been translated or interpreted.
You can see buildings that have been partially restored
and some that have not been restored at all
Doreen was very happy to be there
The stelle of the three women gods. Goddesses, I suppose you could call them
See where we are? (Above and below)
And here is where we were earlier.
The following two stones are called "The Dancers" (there are a couple more) but they are more likely enemy soldiers being castrated and eviscerated.
A communal tomb.