Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monte Albán

Ever since Señorita Tioga and The Team entered Mexico back in December, we have all had our mind's eye on Monte Albán, the huge archeolgical site located on a mountain near the City of Oaxaca. We did not know in December, how deep into this country we would travel.

However, this morning we will actually be in ancient Monte Albán. Señorita Tioga wants to climb the mountain and make a Monte Albán Camp. Wow!

We are sooooooooo excited about today! You would not believe!

8:30AM - Camp Monte Albán!
Señorita Tioga and The Team have made Camp Monte Albán! Our Camp is just on the edge of the ruins of this ancient place!
Monte Albán view from outer space!

10AM - Back from 1st trip.
Little Mavicito and I have returned to Señorita Tioga to change clothes. It is warm up there at Monte Albán. Lots of climbing. This place is BIG!

There are lots of tourists here, and from the looks of things, more our coming!
Loaded with tourists.

The Sunken Patio.
Little Mavicito took a pano pic of what is now called, "The Sunken Patio.
Sunken Patio.

We believe that the stones and material used to construct huge Monte Albán had to be carried up the mountain by people. Animals were not used by humans during this early period.

Stonework close-up.

12:30PM - The rest of the Monte Albán story!
The road up the mountain to Monte Albán is big enough for very large RVs. Huge buses drive here with no problem.

Señorita Tioga parked in the upper parking area in a dirt lot that is pretty level.
Our Monte Albán Camp.

Just a few feet away from our Camp, is the ramp up to the Monte Albán site. Along the ramp our a ton of hopeful vendors selling doodads to tourists. Continuing up the ramp we arrive at the Museum.
Monte Albán archaeology museum.

No tripods allowed.
We pay a $48 peso site charge for entering Monte Albán. However, when we try to go thru the entrance gate, we are stopped. The government has a rule against enterin Monte Albán with a camera tripod. Man-O-Man!

This means that we cannot take Virtual Reality pics which require a tripod! Wow! So, we check our Fousie Magic VR Camera and tripod, and entered the archeology site.

The people who created Monte Albán were somewhat mystical. The stars and time of the year were very important to them. The stonework below may have been used to determine when events should take place.

The stone carving below was made to honor the head guy of that time.

A sacrifice to bless the ceremony.
Holy days may have been to please their gods. Or, they may have been held to please the guys in charge. People were sacrificed here, and according to the park guides, they were happy to give up their lives.
Maybe people to be sacrificed walked down these stone stairs.

Some believe that a game with a ball was played in the stadium like structure below. There is a marker in the center which may have been used to bounce the ball at the beginning of the game.
Monte Albán Ball Court looking south.

The mysteriously-shaped Building J in the Main Plaza at the Zapotec site of Monte Albán has been thought to have been built for astronomical and ritual purposes.
View of Building J in the main plaza from the south platform.

This view of the structures seen below, was taken from the very south part of the south platform and shows how large and extensive is Monte Albán.
Looking northwest from the south platform.

3PM - Back to the City of Oaxaca.
There are things to see in the City of Oaxaca. So, we head back thru El Centro. We told you how difficult it is to find a place to park. We sort of feel our way thru town, and head north and east. We are looking for a certain kind of neighborhood.

We are the TiogaRV Team, the most experienced RVers in the entire World!
The Team at Camp Oaxaca.

What's up with Mr. Datastorm?
Did you notice in the Camp Oaxaca pic above, that Mr. Datastorm is standing tall on Señorita Tioga's roof?

What's going on here? I thought Mr. Datastorm had died!

6:30PM - Observations at dinner.
I walked the main drag near Camp Oaxaca, and came to a corner with a bunch of different stands. Shoe shine. T-shirt. Hot dog/hamburger. Gum/cigarettes. Coffee.

While I ate my bacon wrapped hot dog, I saw a man come up and buy cigarettes. He bought 3 cigarettes out of an open carton. Hmmmm?

I asked the hot dog guy if he owned the stand. He is an employee, and works from Sundown to 12 midnite.

A husband and wife drove up in a pickup truck, and unloaded a wood table and some stuff in two big kettles. They sell coffee. Do they make enough to live OK? No. Do either of them have another job? No.

The lady with the T-shirt stand is having trouble putting up her portable light. Her son who is the shoe shine guy is too short, so I put the light up for them. How many hours do you work each week? The Mom answers, "I work 12 hours a day, 72 hours each week."


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