• INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
    INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
  • INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
    INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
  • INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
    INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
  • CYARK, 2016
    CYARK, 2016
  • CYARK, 2016
    CYARK, 2016
  • INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
    INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
  • INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
    INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
  • INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
    INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
Monte Albán
Pre-Hispanic name unknown or the Hill of the Jaguar
The great Zapotec capital, on the flattened top of a group of hills, where the populace lived on the hillsides. Marvellous monuments, burial sites, ceramics, gold jewellery and fine stones. A rival of Teotihuacan, it was invaded by this empire, but survived to leave this amazing legacy.
World heritage since 1987

About the site
Monte Albán was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. This ancient Zapotec capital crowns the Cerro del Jaguar (Jaguar Hill), 4,921 feet above sea level. Its main plaza was artificially levelled, measures 328 yards long by 197 yards wide, and has a capacity of up to 15,000 visitors.

Other hills and sites, such as Atzompa, Cerro del Gallo, El Plumaje, Monte Albán Chico and El Mogollito, were incorporated into its sphere of influence from Period II onward (200 BC to 200 AD). During this time, Monte Albán expanded and consolidated itself as a state, eventually reaching a population of approximately 35,000. This site was the longest occupied in Mesoamerica (500 BC to 900 AD) and was one of the first states, as its origins predate those of Teotihuacan.

The archeological site covers more than eight square miles, but most of the population was concentrated into an area of two and a half square miles. Its main plaza lies on the highest part of the hill, around which run natural and artificial terraces with residential structures on them. High-status residential units are near the center, which was also an area of religious and governmental activity, while lower status residences (related to agricultural and craft activities) are on the hillsides, especially to the north and east.

The pre-Hispanic structures consist of panels (vertical walls) and slopes (inclined walls), with raised sloping sections (alfardas) bordering the very wide stairways, thus giving the structures a great deal of solidity. One of the city’s architectural characteristics from the height of its splendor consists of double scapulary panels. Elite residences had a square base, with a central courtyard surrounded by rooms in hierarchical order. People were generally buried within residences, and the associated architecture and offerings tell us that their funerary customs were also based on hierarchy.

Monte Albán was the capital of a state that exacted tribute in kind (e.g. corn, beans and squash) from the communities it controlled. Merchants from different villages travelled to the city to exchange different goods. The city was also a center for the production of ceramics such as urns, a striking example of which is the depiction of Cocijo, god of lightning and rain. Its most noteworthy discoveries include carved stones (the Dancers, Conquest Slabs and Stelae of Governors), some of which bear evidence of Zapotec writing.

The relationship with Teotihuacan became very important from 200 to 500 AD. Evidence of a Zapotec neighborhood in Teotihuacan is one sign of this, as is the influence of Teotihuacan on the ceramic style of Monte Albán. Despite the site’s fall, people visited it from different places to leave offerings, as it was still considered a sacred site.
305210
INAH-FN
306919
INAH-FN
369762
INAH-FN/Fondo Jorge R. Acosta
377153
INAH-FN/Fondo Nacho López
377235
INAH-FN/Fondo Nacho López
413626
INAH-FN
428455
INAH-FN/Fondo Felipe Teixidor
467223
INAH-FN
467231
INAH-FN/Fondo Hugo Brehme
500 a.C.- 900

Preclásico Medio a Posclásico Tardío
100 - 400

Clásico

Did you know...
  • Monte Albán’s protected area covers eight and a half square miles and includes three hills: that of Monte Albán, El Gallo and Atzompa.
  • The Wall of the Dancers and Building J were built with large monoliths, as was the wall of Mesoamerican ballgame players in Dainzú.
  • In 200 AD, a group of families who were possibly from Monte Albán established a Zapotec neighborhood on the western side of Teotihuacan, about two miles from the Avenue of the Dead. Although relations were initially peaceful between the two cities, the inhabitants of Teotihuacan conquered Monte Albán in approximately 350 AD and settled on the North Platform.
  • The palace above Tomb 105, on the eastern side of the access road, was an elite residence and may have been occupied by the last ruler of Monte Albán.
  • Tomb 7 is one of the best known archeological finds in Mexico. It was built and used during the Classic period. Centuries later, it was reused by a royal family who were perhaps of Zapotec and Mixtec descent to hide the family treasure (gold, jewels and carved bones).
  • A large circular wall was built on the South Platform in the Postclassic period, after Monte Albán had been abandoned. This was used as a fortress by people who lived on the valley floor, perhaps in what is now Xococotlán.
An exert point of view
Jesús Eduardo Medina Villalobos
Jesús Eduardo Medina Villalobos
Zona Arqueológica de Monte Albán
Archeological site
Monte Albán
Practical information
Temporarily closed
Monday to Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs

$80.00 pesos


  • Extra fee for video cameras
  • Discount for Mexican students and teachers
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza a 8 km al poniente de la ciudad de Oaxaca

Services
  • Accesibilidad
  • Asistencia médica
  • Estacionamiento
  • Restaurante
  • Sanitarios
  • Tienda
GUIDE
Guide
  • +52 (951) 516 7077
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • VISITA VIRTUAL
Directory
Directora de la Zona Arqueológica
Patricia Martínez Lira
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (951) 516 9770 y 501 2311
Área de Difusión y Servicios Educativos
Eric Valentín Flores Ramírez
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+52 (951) 516 9770 y 501 2311
Área de Conservación e Investigación
Jesús Eduardo Medina Villalobos
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+52 (951) 516 9770 y 501 2311
Centro de Documentación e Investigación sobre el Manejo de Sitios Arqueológicos del Patrimonio Mundial
Yuridia Inelva Ríos Gómez
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (951) 516 9770 y 501 2311
1765
MonteAlban
IMG_3225
INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
IMG_3188
INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
IMG_3229
INAH-Mediateca / Jimena Escobar
201_A_003
CYARK, 2016
201_A_004
CYARK, 2016
201_A_005
INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
201_A_006
INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
201_A_007
INAH-DMC/Héctor Montaño
Oaxaca
Museo de Sitio de Monte Albán
Gran capital de los zapotecas, en la cima de un grupo de montañas aplanada por ellos, en cuyas laderas vivía el pueblo. Portentosos monumentos, entierros, cerámica, joyas de oro y piedras finas. Rival de Teotihuacán, fue invadido por ella, pero que prevaleció para dejar un testimonio deslumbrante.
The great Zapotec capital, on the flattened top of a group of hills, where the populace lived on the hillsides. Marvellous monuments, burial sites, ceramics, gold jewellery and fine stones. A rival of Teotihuacan, it was invaded by this empire, but survived to leave this amazing legacy.
Nombre prehispánico no conocido o cerro del jaguar.
Pre-Hispanic name unknown or the Hill of the Jaguar

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