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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Archaeological Route in The Valley of Oaxaca: December 24 and 25, 2017

Mitla reached the height of its population in AD 1350. While Mitla is an archaeological site and its original builders are long gone, the descendants of those Zapotec ancestors continue to live in the area.

The Catholic Church was built atop a pyramid using stones from the ancient Mitla structures. The church builders left intact the surrounding wall with its varied stone fretwork sections.

The stone panel fretwork patterns show up in today's Zapotec textiles.

Wherever archaeologists dig, they find more evidence of life in this ancient city. The ruins include dwellings, plazas, tombs, monumental columns in addition to the features that are visible.

On Christmas Day we visited the spectacular ruined city of Monte Albán. Monte Albán was built atop a hill. It was occupied for at least 1200 years between 500 BC and AD 750. By AD 1000 the city was abandoned--reason unknown.

View of Monte Alban from the South Platform
The ruined city includes ceremonial grounds, plazas, a ball court, an astronomical observatory, tombs.

View of the City of Oaxaca from Monte Alban's South Platform
Archaeological research reveals an onion-like layering of ruins of both of these cities. When one layer is removed, evidence of earlier habitation is found below. In modern-day Oaxaca, it is the same. Modern residents have continued to move up the mountain or build their homes next to 2,000 year old walls thereby encroaching on the evidence of past cities and creating the newest layer in the onion.

It was once thought that Olmecs were the mother culture and all subsequent cultures borrowed from the Olmecs. With more sophisticated methods of dating now available, the new theory is that Zapotecs existed concurrently with the Olmec culture.

Visiting the archaeological sites was the least colorful part of Oaxaca. While interesting, the ruins are sterile and formerly painted surfaces are bare. As always, the lesson here is that all civilizations, no matter how great, eventually fail.


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