• Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Héctor Montaño, INAH
    Héctor Montaño, INAH
  • Héctor Montaño
    Héctor Montaño
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
  • Héctor Montaño, INAH
    Héctor Montaño, INAH
  • Jorge Ríos Allier
    Jorge Ríos Allier
Mitla
Place of the dead
This is a zone where stone was worked like jewellery and the Zapotec people showed their devotion to the dead. Here we can see the imprint of the skills of this indigenous group and its marvellous world, established 18 centuries ago.
World heritage since 2010

About the site
We now call it Mitla from its Nahuatl name of Mictlán, but it was known in Zapotec as Lyobáa, “resting place” of the dead. It is estimated that Zapotec groups began settling the site in approximately 200 AD. It grew in importance after the fall of Monte Albán in the ninth century, reaching its height in approximately the year 1200, and maintaining supremacy in the Valley of Tlacolula until the Spanish conquest. Its population once stood at about 15,500. Mitla is currently a thriving, bustling city that contains and surrounds the archeological zone, where visitors can experience the everyday existence of a Zapotec community.

Five groupings of monumental architecture remain from ancient Mitla: the Northern Group, the Column Group, the Stream Group, the Adobe or Calvary Group and the Southern Group. The latter two date from an earlier age and are similar in style to Monte Albán (plazas bordered by palaces erected on platforms). The other three consist of three quadrangular courtyards interconnected with walkways. These are surrounded by large halls whose facades and internal walls present us with a profusion of complex geometrical mosaic decoration in finely carved stone. This is noteworthy due to its variety, which is characteristic of the late Zapotec style and cause for admiration from both locals and outsiders.

The Hall of Columns is the most outstanding of these buildings. Inside, there is a row of columns each carved from a single block of stone, fulfilling the architectural roles of support and decoration. In Courtyard E, several ancient palaces were destroyed and plundered for stones to build the church of San Pablo, which nevertheless remained supported and surrounded by extraordinary pre-Hispanic structures.

We can see the remains of paint, especially red paint, in several parts of the ancient city. Careful observation, and consultation of valuable testimony from national and international scholars (Eduard Seler, Edward Mühlenpfordt, Ignacio Marquina, Leopoldo Batres, Paul Gendrop, Alfonso Caso, Daniel Rubín de la Borbolla, John Paddock and Bernd Fahmel) have allowed us to rediscover the site’s abundance of mural painting, of which very fragmented yet revealing vestiges remain.
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200 - 1521

Preclásico Tardío a Posclásico Tardío
1200 - 1521

Posclásico

Did you know...
  • It was the last pre-Hispanic monumental center to be built in the cultural area of Oaxaca’s Central Valleys.
  • It was an important domain that was functioning as a regional commercial hub when the Spanish arrived.
  • Together with Teotihuacan, Mitla was one of the sites where the discipline of archeology began in Mexico, and it was the first to be documented in Oaxaca.
An exert point of view
A sample of the highest refinement of Zapotec architecture and the enjoyment of esthetic creation
Nelly M. Robles García
Nelly M. Robles García
Centro INAH Oaxaca
Archeological site
Mitla
Practical information
Temporarily closed
Monday to Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs

$80.00 pesos


  • Extra fee for video cameras
  • Discount for senior Mexican citizens
  • Discount for Mexican students and teachers
  • No Smoking
  • No entry with food
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza en el límite oriental de los valles centrales de Oaxaca en el poblado de San Pablo Villa de Mitla.

Services
  • Accesibilidad
  • Estacionamiento
  • Guardarropa
  • Módulo de información
  • Sanitarios
  • Visitas guiadas
GUIDE
Guide
  • +52 (951) 568 0316
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Directory
Jefe de la Zona Arqueológica
Leobardo Daniel Pacheco Arias
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (951) 568 0316
1764
IMG_8970
Héctor Montaño
IMG_8920
Jorge Ríos Allier
200_A_mitla_hector_montano_2
Héctor Montaño, INAH
ZONA_ARQUEOLGICA_MITLA_FOTOS_HCTOR_MONTAO_INAH_4
Héctor Montaño
IMG_8520
Jorge Ríos Allier
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Jorge Ríos Allier
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Jorge Ríos Allier
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Jorge Ríos Allier
IMG_8562
Jorge Ríos Allier
200_A_mitla_hector_montano_4
Héctor Montaño, INAH
IMG_8916
Jorge Ríos Allier
Oaxaca
Es una zona donde la piedra se trabajó como joyería y los zapotecas mostraron su devoción por los muertos. En todo ello se observa la huella de las destrezas de este grupo indígena y su mundo portentoso, nacido hace 18 siglos.
This is a zone where stone was worked like jewellery and the Zapotec people showed their devotion to the dead. Here we can see the imprint of the skills of this indigenous group and its marvellous world, established 18 centuries ago.
Lugar de los muertos
Place of the dead

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