I love history a lot. My parents and I would sit down and watch documentaries for hours together throughout high school and when college came around, they would DVR them for me for when I came home. True love. It goes without saying then that the archaeological sites were what I was looking forward to most in Mexico!
Our study abroad group rented a bus tour and guide to take us to Monte Albán which is 6 miles (9 km) from Oaxaca City, Mexico. Monte Albán is a pre-Columbian archaeological site that is absolutely beautiful and high in altitude; you’ll need some water bottles, a sunhat, and some sunblock!
What was is pretty cool about Monte Albán is that people manually cleared the mountain top by hand in around 500 BC. Monte Albán was one of the earliest cities in Mesoamerica and was the economic center for the Zapotec culture for about 1000 years. The site was abandoned sometime around 500-750 AD.
We were able to see the impressive ball courts that ended with human sacrifices, but what surprised me the most? The stairs for these temples are steep. The temples were built with very steep stairs to symbolize a person’s submission to their Gods as they climbed; people back then were about 3’6 and I am about 5’3, but I was still climbing on my hands and knees for a lot of the stairs.
While I am used to souvenir shops, something I loved about Mexico is that vendors are everywhere! Craftsman are everywhere on the site and are willing to bargain. Some of my most beautiful souvenirs were hand carved and bought from Monte Albán. I had to laugh a little bit too because I had a group approach me and ask to take photos with me here.
These lovely photos were taken by @AshleyEkers due to my phone deciding to take a permanent vacation in Mexico. I feel like a lucky duck that I sent one picture of myself from the day to my husband since these photos did not resurrect themselves after my new phone connected to the cloud.