Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monte Albán

Today, we went here:

This is Monte Albán, the site of the Zapotec civilization from 500 BCE to 800 AD. Our professor came here in his twenties to help with later excavations, and had a hand in most of the things and signs that are in the accompanying museum, which is pretty awesome. Also interesting is the variety of theories that exist as to the foundation of the city. A power grab? A centralization of authority? A mercantile maneuver? Theories abound! In the photo above you can see several temples, but by the last era, 10,000 to 20,000 people inhabited Monte Albán.

On this slab is Zapotec writing. I can tell you that the two bars and the dot at the very bottom mean the number 11 (bars = 5 and dots = 1). This slab is part of the building you can see directly behind me in the picture below, called building J. Its orientation (which differs slightly from the strict N-S orientation of every other building) has something to do with the sun's zenith.

We were pretty high up! You can see all of Oaxaca valley below.

Lectures were not so enrapturing that I failed to notice this face in the shadow of a dried leaf:

1 comment:

K said...

Louis the pig?