On my third day in Oaxaca, I took a day trip to the Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban. It’s about a 20 minute ride from the city and is a UNESCO site located on a mountaintop boasting panoramas of the city and Oaxaca Valley. Upon arrival at the archaeological site, the guide took me to the Grand Plaza, a large open area of the flattened plateau. I heard lots of engaging facts about Zapotec history and culture as I gazed at ceremonial platforms, including a series of rock carvings called Los Danzantes (The Dancers). I saw some of Monte Alban’s 170 tombs, whose excavations revealed a range of paintings and stone carvings. There were pyramids, temples, altars, and the I-shaped ball court constructed in 100 B.C. We made our way up the south platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great views. I had some free time to wander the well preserved site on my own and take pictures.
Unlike other pre-Columbian ruins, there is no written history about this place, so no one knows why the Zapotecs abandoned it.
After my tour of Monte Alban, I headed back to the city for lunch at Casa de la Abuela restaurant on the Zocalo. Chiles Rellenos…
More street art from this afternoon’s wanderings…