Monte Albán

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Monte Albán

(mōn`tā älbän`), ancient city, c.7 mi (11.3 km) from Oaxaca, SW Mexico, capital of the ZapotecZapotec
, indigenous people of Mexico, primarily in S Oaxaca and on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Little is known of the origin of the Zapotec. Unlike most native peoples of Middle America, they had no traditions or legends of migration, but believed themselves to have been born
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. Monte Albán was built on an artificially leveled, rocky promontory above the Valley of Oaxaca. Located around an enormous plaza about 1,000 ft (300 m) long and 650 ft (198 m) wide are long, low buildings set off by sunken courts and stairways. The tombs, particularly Tomb 7, have yielded great archaeological treasure—jewelry of gold, copper, jade, rock crystal, obsidian, and turquoise mosaic and bone and wood carving showing elaborate religious symbolism. Excavation was begun (1931) by the Mexican archaeologist Alfonso CasoCaso, Alfonso
, 1896–1970, Mexican archaeologist. An authority on the ancient high civilizations of Mexico, he directed explorations at Mitla and Monte Albán during the 1920s and 30s. Among his many books and articles are The Religion of the Aztecs (tr.
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. The Zapotec apparently had an advanced culture here c.200 B.C. and already were using the bar and dot system of numerals used by the Maya. The final epoch (c.1300–1521), terminated by the Spanish Conquest, covers the ascendancy of the MixtecMixtec
, Native American people of Oaxaca, Puebla, and part of Guerrero, SW Mexico, one of the most important groups in Mexico. Although the Mixtec codices constitute the largest collection of pre-Columbian manuscripts in existence, their origin is obscure.
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, when the Zapotec were driven from Monte Albán and MitlaMitla
[Nahuatl,=abode of the dead], religious center of the Zapotec, near Oaxaca, SW Mexico. Probably built in the 13th cent., the buildings, unlike the pyramidal structures of most Middle American architecture, are low, horizontal masses enclosing the plazas.
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. Tomb 7 belongs to the final period. Cultural links with the OlmecOlmec
, term denoting the culture of ancient Mexican natives inhabiting the tropical coastal plain of the contemporary states of Veracruz and Tabasco, between 1300 and 400 B.C.
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 and the ToltecToltec
, ancient civilization of Mexico. The name in Nahuatl means "master builders." The Toltec formed a warrior aristocracy that gained ascendancy in the Valley of Mexico c.A.D. 900 after the fall of Teotihuacán.
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 have been found.

Monte Albán

 

a city in southern Mexico, in Oaxaca State. From the fourth century B.C. to the 16th century A.D. the region around Monte Alban was a political and cultural center, first of the Zapotecs and later of the Mixtecs. Archaeological excavations conducted here from the early 1930’s by the Mexican scholar A. Caso have uncovered palaces, pyramids, stelae with inscriptions, an amphitheater, a stone staircase 40 meters wide, and other structures built on the crest of a mountain range on artificial terraces. The walls of buildings were decorated with frescoes, mosaics, and human figures in relief. The excavations also uncovered about 150 tombs with funerary urns in the shape of men and animals. In one of the tombs belonging to a Mixtec chief were found many gold artifacts of high artistic quality.

REFERENCE

Kinzhalov, R. V. Iskusstvo drevnei Ameriki. Moscow, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
In archaeological examples from Monte Alban and Copan, the palace consisted of two sections, a more public zone located atop an acropolis and a more private zone with residential occupation below and adjacent to the acropolis (Blanton 1978: 58, 61-2, fig.
Archaeological research conducted by Spencer in an Oaxaca canyon some 50 miles north of Monte Alban suggests that the old distinction between state and empire probably is not useful.
Blanco used to visit the archaeological museum in Oaxaca to look at the pottery collections from Mitla and Monte Alban.
For three seasons beginning in 1999, Elson excavated the secondary administrative center below Monte Alban, the capital of the prehispanic Zapotec state.
Monty then looks at the avant-garde, light-filled work of modern architect Luis Barragan before moving on to the vast stone edifices of Monte Alban, an ancient settlement in the middle of a rainforest, formed by levelling a mountain top to create a plateau.
Then burn those calories off with a trek through the ancient city of Monte Alban.
Perched atop an artificially leveled plateau, Monte Alban was founded some five hundred years before the birth of Christ and in its heyday rivaled the Maya wonders of Chichen Itza and Palenque.
We will travel in an air-conditioned bus with a bilingual guide to visit prehistoric and historic ruins, cathedrals, and museums, including the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Teotihuacan, Puebla, the Cholula Pyramids, Mitla, and the Monte Alban Ceremonial Center.
Monte Alban Mezcal (Barton Brands)--The best-selling brand of mezcal, Monte Alban is produced at the Fabricado Mezcal Mitla in Oaxaca.
In about 500 BC, the largest indigenous group in the area, the Zapotecs, founded what is believed to be the Americas' earliest metropolis on the Monte Alban hilltop just southwest of present-day Oaxaca city.
Perhaps they can build a strip club at the Holy Sepulcher [the site where Jesus was buried], a McDonald's at the ruins of Monte Alban [another famous Mexican ruin], or a Hard Rock Cafe next to the pyramids of Egypt," said Javier Aranda Luna.
These Shamans, who became the priestly class at Monte Alban during the 800s to 600s BC, must have travelled across the Atlantic from West Africa, for it is only in West Africa that the religious and the complex astronomical practices (Venus, the Dogon Sirius observation and the Venus worship of the Afro-Olmecs, the use of the ax in the worship of Shango among the Yoruba of West Africa and the use of the ax in Afro-Olmec worship in Mexico, as well as the prominence of the Thunder God later known as Tlalock among the Aztecs), are the same as those practised by the Afro-Olmec Shamans.