"Oaxaca, Mexico: An

Expatriate Life"

Writing by Stan Gotlieb

Pictures by Diana Ricci

Mone Albán: a photo album

**Click on an image to see enlarged photo**


Building J stands apart in the center of the plaza. It is architecturaly unique, and is believed to have been an observatory, where the sun's rays enter through certain openings precisely at the time of the summer and winter solstices.
The ballcourt has the traditional double - "T" shape, with steep, sloping walls. Ball courts are found in all the ancient sites in Mexico. The Mixtec ballgame is still played in some villages.
Danzantes (dancers) date from the earliest period. They are the oldest group of stone carvings found in Oaxaca to date. They represent people in varying positions, perhaps recognizing the early leaders of Monte Alban.
This particular danzante is thought to be a portrayal of a woman giving birth. There are other fertility symbols found among the carvings.
This stela has calendar glyphs, and elements from the early history of Monte Alban. It is in a corner of the south platform. The exact meaning of the writing has not yet been deciphered.


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