The ancient site of Monte Alban stands in a commanding position atop a low mountainous range overlooking the city of Oaxaca, a spectacular vantage point with superb views across the surrounding countryside.
The ruins are amongst the earliest in Mexico dating back to c500BC and the product of Zapotec culture. It was inhabitated up to it’s decline as a city between c500-750AD, after which it was mostly abandoned and forgotten.
The site is an a huge scale with vast ceremonial courtyards and several pyramid-like structures and temple platforms, many with grand staircases giving access to higher levels. There is also a ball court and a sequence of relief sculptures, known as the ‘Dancers’ due to their strange contortions (but considered more likely to be sacrificial victims or prisoners!).
Several tombs have been found at the site, and some fine pre-Columbian treasures were found, now on display in the archaeological museum in Oaxaca.
© Eric Lafforgue
AWIB-ISAW: Roman Mammisi at Dendera (II)
The entrance to the Roman Period birth house built after an earlier birth house was built over with the foundation for the first court of the main Temple to Hathor. Though probably built by Trajan there is also some evidence that it could have been built by Nero. by Kyera Giannini (2009)
copyright: 2009 Kyera Giannini
The Mayan ruins of Lamanai once belonged to a sizable Mayan city in the Orange Walk District of Belize. “Lamanai” comes from the Maya “Submerged Crocidile”. Lamanai was occupied continuously for over 3,000 years and it’s remoteness contributed to it’s continuous occupation, well beyond most other Maya sites, until at least 1,650 AD. It is the third largest Mayan site in Belize. Access to the ruins is by boat along the New River.