Monday, December 15, 2008

Monte Alban, near Oaxaca

Today we held our workshop atop one of the remains of the pyramids at Monte Alban, near Oaxaca. A few of us read a piece of writing, then we gave feedback, then Ariel gave us an assignment and we spread off to our own space on the grounds to write for an hour.

We were all grateful for her planning, as several bus loads of school children arrived, plus many other tourists, as we were sitting around the space writing. We had the entire space all to ourselves for the first hour or so; well, it was just us and the first of the people who come to sell things, such as replicas of masks of the original people, replicas of statues/icons, and so on.

The following is an excerpt from Advantage Mexico's website:

What is known about the history of the region is that 4000 years ago, a village-dwelling people of unknown origin (believed by many to have been Olmec colonies) moved into the Oaxaca valleys. Then, around 500 BC (1500 years later) a new people (the Zapotecans) moved into the region. One of these groups then began the monumental task of leveling the top of a 1,600 meter high mountain that intersects and divides three valley, and built Monte Alban with a maze of subterranean passage ways, rooms, drainage and water storage systems.