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PHOTO: vokrugsveta.ru 1655'36.66" 9621'24.90"

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The valley in which we find Mitla (the Place of the Dead) had been inhabited for several thousand years before Christ, and by the time of the first stone construction, there was a population of several hundred. But the city developed slowly over the next millenium as the whole region became eclipsed by the rise of Monte Albán. We see the real apogee of Mitle well into the Post-Classic, exactly timed with Monte Albán's eventual fall. All of the most impressive buildings were constructed during this period and it was to be the last burst of monumental building work in Oaxaca before the arrival of the Spanish.The Zapotec builders were heavily influenced by the Mixtecs who had moved into the valley and this is apparently shown in the general style and decoration of the palaces. Mitla became the most important religious centre in the Zapotec region. In 1494, after a few earlier unsuccessful attempts, the Aztecs finally entered and sacked Mitla, bringing about the subjugation of the valley. The Zapotec priests remained, paying tribute to their Aztec overlords, and would not actually be forced to leave until well into the Conquest era.


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Sergio Davidoff 17.11.2012 12:17
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