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Terminal Classic West Mexico & Post-Classic Maya. Monte Alban Chichen Itza. Location of Monte Alban. Map of Monte Alban. Early Monte Alban. Period I: 500 - 200 BC The most prominent Zapotec site in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Late Formative period was Monte Albán.

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early monte alban
Early Monte Alban
  • Period I: 500 - 200 BC
    • The most prominent Zapotec site in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Late Formative period was Monte Albán.
    • This site is located on a hill cluster that rises prominently over the juncture of three valley arms. Although there is evidence of occupation at this strategic hilltop by 500 BC, it was during the period 500 - 200 BC that the site experienced rapid growth.
  • Period II: 200 BC - AD 100
    • Building J was constructed during the next period, Monte Albán II, which spans the years 200 BC - AD 100.
    • The exterior of this unusually shaped building was decorated with more than 50 carved stones known as Conquest Slabs.
    • These slabs appear to function as a list of places that either paid tribute to Monte Albán or that had been conquered by the site.
later monte alban
Later Monte Alban
  • Period IIIa: AD 100 – 400
  • One of the most striking characteristics of the art of Monte Albán IIIa is the representation of Teotihuacanos on monuments at Monte Albán.
  • Teotihuacan influence during this time period also can be seen in the presence of imported ceramics from the Valley of Mexico and local ceramics done in a Teotihuacan style.
  • However, in contrast to the "Oaxaca Barrio" at Teotihuacan, there is no known equivalent ethnic enclave of Teotihuacanos at Monte Albán.
  • Equally striking during Period III are the tomb murals, such as those from Tombs 104 and 105, which were located beneath small palace structures at the site.
teotihuacan influence
Teotihuacan Influence

The Estela Lisa, or Monument 9, from the South Platform depicts a procession of four individuals who proceed toward a figure who is wearing a typically Zapotec headdress. The four individuals, however, wear costumes, carry implements, and are identified by glyph-like tags that are distinctly Teotihuacano. http://www.utexas.edu/cofa/a_ah/dir/precol/monte_alban.htm

late and terminal classic
Late and Terminal Classic
  • Period IIIb - IV: AD 400 – 800
    • By AD 700, Monte Albán was in decline, and a new type of stone monument made its appearance in the region.
    • This was the genealogical register, which documented marriages between important men and women from various sites in the Valley of Oaxaca or traced the birth and life events of elite individuals.
    • Unlike the earlier monumental Danzantes or Conquest Slabs, these genealogical registers were small and obviously meant to be read from close-up.
  • Period V: 750-1520 A.D.
    • During the later phases the Valley of Oaxaca participates in a pan-Mesoamerican reorganization of social structures and the public areas of Monte Albán itself are abandoned.
    • The hill-sides and base of the hill continue to be occupied and used for high-status burials.
danzantes
Danzantes
  • The Danzantes, associated with Building L at the southern/ceremonial end of the site, are the earliest sculpture known from Monte Albán.
  • The Danzantes are flat stone slabs carved with the depiction of humans who are portrayed in postures typically associated with humiliation and degradation.
  • Some figures display evidence of genital mutilation, heart extraction, or other forms of torture.
  • An early phase of Building L, partially buried beneath a later version of the structure, demonstrated that at least some of the Danzantes were placed on the façade of Building L in alternating vertical and horizontal rows.
  • Some of the figures also were accompanied by hieroglyphic texts that appear to provide dates, names, and places of origin.
slide19
Clay figurine of a woman wearing headdress and shawl similar to those worn by traditional woman in Mexico today.
chichen itza
Chichen Itza
  • The name Chichen Itza means "well of the Itzas."
  • Late in its history, the site was occupied by the Itza family, Mayas who resisted the Spanish until the 17th century by withdrawing to a fortress at Lake Peten.
  • In the Middle Preclassic period (800 B.C. - 300 B.C.) some villages grew into small ceremonial centers.
  • By the Late Classic period (600 - 900 A.D.) one of these provincial centers, later called Chichen Itza, contained a number of large structures built in the Puuc style of the South, exemplified by the Nunnery and the Palace of the Governors at Uxmal, some 100 miles southeast of Chichen Itza.
maya historical tradition
Maya historical tradition
  • States that in 987 A.D., a leader called Kukulkan (in Maya, "feathered serpent," in the Toltec language, "Quetzalcoatl") arrived from the sea to the west and conquered the land, probably with the aid of some of the indigenous people.
  • Kukulkan was almost certainly the Quetzalcoatl who had dominated the Toltec capital at Tula to the west and whose faction had been exiled from Tula in 987 A.D.
chichen itza toltec influence
Chichen Itza & Toltec Influence
  • The Toltec invaders, with the aid, forced or willing, of the Chichen Itza Mayas, proceeded to build a new capital close to the site of the older Maya center.
  • They built new buildings in the Toltec style, altered older Maya structures to suit their own needs, and left some of the older buildings untouched.
  • They may have built a wall around their new plaza, which is bounded by the Temple of the Warriors at one end and the Great Ball Court at the other.
  • The result of the building program was a lively, exciting melding of styles and forms, for many of the innovations of Tula were brought to the Yucatan and refined by Maya craftsmen.
slide32

http://maya.csuhayward.edu/archaeoplanet/ParisGra/ChichenMap.htmhttp://maya.csuhayward.edu/archaeoplanet/ParisGra/ChichenMap.htm

later chichen itza
Later Chichen Itza
  • The Toltecs ruled at Chichen Itza for 200 years and then abandoned the site, probably overthrown by the Mayas.
  • Although the building program ended, people continued to inhabit the site to this time; there is recent evidence that some minor Maya religious rituals, such as the burning of incense, are still practiced in the older sections of Chichen.
cenote excavations
Cenote Excavations
  • In the late 19th century, the American Edward Thompson bought a hacienda located on the site of Chichen Itza. An amateur archaeologist, he investigated many of the structures, of which only a small percentage have been excavated as of the present time.
  • Thompson's main interest, like many of the investigators who succeeded him, was in the Sacred Cenote. This is a limestone sink, not uncommon in the Yucatan, which serves as the only steady natural source of water in this region of low rainfall.
  • During the Toltec era, probably before it, and certainly long after, sacrifices of various kinds were thrown into the cenote.
  • These included human beings, as well as objects made of gold, jade, copal, rubber, and copper.
  • Although the Spanish believed (or hoped) the human sacrifices were beautiful virgins, there is no skeletal evidence for this belief. Skeletons of children, old men and mature women have been dredged from the Cenote.