Pre-Hispanic Architecture in Oaxaca, Mexico

Pre-Hispanic Architecture in Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico is bursting with spectacular pre-hispanic archeological sites and some of the country's finest are found in none other than Oaxaca. Monte Albán is up there with the most famous and impressive examples of Pre-hispanic architecture in the Americas. This pre-colonial city enjoyed fame and fortune in its heyday between 300 and 700 AD. Excavated carvings at 'Los Danzantes' display a style undisputedly characteristic of the Olmecs which has aroused speculation as to whether they are purely influenced by this style, or whether the Olmecs did infact inhabit parts of the site. However, the glory of Monte Albán is attributed to the Zapotecs, who were undoubtedly responsible for carefully expanding and honing the city to architectural finesse. The building work is so sophisticated that it's construction continues to blow the minds of modern day visitors. From tombs to palaces, passages to complex drainage systems all built 400m above Oaxaca's Central Valleys. For more information follow the lonk to our Monte Albán page.

Oaxaca Pre-Hispanic Architecture

The other most noteworthy pre-hispanic architecture to be found in Oaxaca is at Mitla. This town which is still inhabited today flaunts a well preserved collection of pre-colombian mesoamerican palaces. Believed to have been inhabited from 200 AD, the design hints at Zapotec and Mixtec influences and its characteristic geometric reliefs give it its very unique flavour. Today, the town is an interesting mixture of pre and post hispanic as the Spanish left their colonial stamp there too by constructing churches on top of old ruins. Head to our Mitla Oaxaca page to find out more.

Want to find out what happened next? Check out our Spanish Colonial Architecture in Oaxaca page.


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