By Richard E. Blanton, Gary M. Feinman, Stephen A. Kowalewski, Linda M. Nicholas

Simply after 500 B.C., one of many earliest states within the New international constructed within the Valley of Oaxaca, in present-day Mexico. The newly created political establishment introduced in its wake a profound transformation of society and expertise. This e-book investigates the wealthy archaeological checklist of the valley in an try and throw gentle at the explanations and effects of those adjustments.

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Additional info for Ancient Oaxaca: The Monte Alban State

Sample text

They also noted certain shared conventions between these two sets of hieroglyphs, such as a numerical system in which a bar stood forfiveand a dot for one. In the 1920s, the pathbreaking Mexican anthropologist Alfonso Caso first identified the Oaxacan stones as culturally Zapotec, carefully describing the differences between Zapotec writing and that found in other regions (Caso 1928, 1965a and b). During his fifty-year career, Caso established that the ancient Zapotecs of the Valley of Oaxaca developed one of the most powerful and important societies in all of ancient Mesoamerica.

Supplemental water from wells, small-scale canal irrigation, and floodwater runoff helps prevent crop failures in many years; in some parts of the valley it may support more than one crop per year. The Valley of Oaxaca is markedly different from the mountainous terrain that surrounds it for approximately 200 kilometers in every direction. Yet this great breadth offlatland also is internally diverse. The valley 34 Ancient Oaxaca is shaped like a Y with the right arm bent down. The northern or Etla arm is narrow and fairly dry but offers the best opportunities for irrigation.

D. 500-700), Monte Albán extended over a complex of hills and ridges, including Cerro Atzompa, El Gallo, and Monte Albán Chico, as well as the main ridgeline of Monte Albán (fig. 1). At the highest point of this latter ridge, the valley's most massive complex of public buildings was constructed within and enclosing a plaza (the "Main Plaza") measuring some 250 by 100 meters. Building a city on steep slopes was not easy. Flat space for houses and other constructions was created by leveling the sloping terrain and constructing stone-faced terraces.

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