Thursday, March 09, 2006

Monte Albán

Tuesday, Feb 28th

Today all of us (except Mom, who stayed home to rest) took a tour to Monte Albán. The guide was the same who took us on Sunday, a brother from El Buen Pastor, the Oaxaca church. Monte Albán is the site of a Zapotek city that was established some thousands of years before Christ.

A common question we asked was, “Why are the steps of the pyramids so tall, when the people were small?” Our guide told us it was because they were not only steps, but also seats like bleachers. The pyramid-like cathedrals were not built like now, where one can walk inside, but instead they were tall places where religious ceremonies could take place close to the heavens and where all could observe. Some of the pyramids were sacred, and only the priests could climb them.

Monte Albán was built on the top of a mountain that they figure took some 800 years to flatten the top so that the city could be built.

Here you can see what they call the “Zapotec Dancers.” There are a number of theories about what they signify, but the most recent is that the Zapotecs used them as a warning. It was said that the Zapotecs would take their prisoners of war and dislocate their wrists and ankles.

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