Sunday, December 16, 2007

Monte Alban

I suppose that everyone that comes to Oaxaca goes to Monte Alban and despite my disklike of doing what "everyone" does, the ruins at Monte Alban are unique and impressive for many reasons. The site is so spacious that it is possible to absorb many visitors without marring the atmosphere.The site is located on a low mountainous range rising above the valley of Oaxaca and can be seen from many other important pre-hispanic sites in the area. The site is truly a commanding one that overlooks the whole valley.From about 500 B.C. through 800 A.D., Monte Alban flourished as the capital of the Zapotecs so it is one of the New World´s very earliest cities.The number of inhabitants eventually reached 35,000.Some time around the year 800 A.D. the population decreased and by the time the Spanish arrived the site and inhabitants were in decline.
I was fascinated by the beauty of the design and the way the buildings were placed on the site. I also liked the trees with huge white blossoms with giant bees diving into the center.
I was also offered "genuine artifacts" that the sellers promised "were actually dug from farmer's fields", I but declined the offer, although the artwork was really quite good. Perhaps the instinct to make beautiful folk art is too deeply a part of the Oaxacan nature to skimp the artistic effort even making real/fake artifacts.

1 comment:

james orlov said...

thank you for your great photos and stories ))

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