Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dainzú, Lambityeco, Mitla, Yagul

The above are the names of the four archaeological sites we visited today for class, all of them really just outside Oaxaca and dating from the Classic to the late post-Classic era (so, 500 BCE to 1500 CE or so? Don't quote me). The most famous of these site is Mitla:

What you can see in this picture is one of the many examples of the Spanish conquerers being dicks and constructing their buildings on top of and out of materials taken from ancient sites. Mitla was actually still occupied at the time of the European conquests.

At Yagul, we got to climb inside some actual tombs (subterranean); that experience compared to our experience of climbing pyramids at other sites prompted the question, "If these ancient people were so short (such low ceilings!) why did were their stairs so tall?" We also saw this statue:

Is it a jaguar or a frog? You tell me!

We also climbed up to the top of a mountain at Yagul to see the remains of a fortress, and we ended up basically on top of the world, as you can see:

This dude is Tyler, by the way. He's also from Missouri!

As we were heading down the mountain, it became known that our professor has never seen the Indiana Jones movies. Presented with this information, one girl from our program asked, "Why did you become an archaeologist, then?'


Embly said...


Anonymous said...

Re: Spaniards rebuilding on others' temples...

When Spain retook Seville from the Moors during the Reconquista, the local archbishop took a look at the (gorgeous) mosque that had become the center of town and decreed it to be leveled, proclaiming that upon that very spot "we will build a church so grand, the world will take us for madmen".