May 14, 2015

1063, 1580 MEXICO (Oaxaca) - Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán (UNESCO WHS)

1063 Pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Albán (1)

Posted on 22.04.2014, 14.05.2015
This World Heritage property, located in the central valleys of Oaxaca, in the depression formed between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre del Sur, is composed of two distinct cultural sites: the historic centre of Oaxaca de Juarez (a good example of Spanish colonial town planning) and the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Albán, consisting of terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds carved out of the mountain, the symbols of a sacred topography. Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years by a succession of peoples (Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs), the site is known for its unique dimensions which exhibit the basic chronology and artistic style of the region and for the remains of magnificent temples, ball court, tombs and bas-reliefs with hieroglyphic inscriptions.

1580 Pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Albán (2)

The grand Zapotec capital flourished for thirteen centuries, from the year 500 B.C to 850 A.D. when, for reasons that have not been established, its eventual abandonment began. The main part of the ceremonial centre forms a 300m esplanade running north-south with a platform at either end, constructed during the Monte Albán II and the Monte Albán III phases. Phase II corresponds to the urbanization of the site, the construction of terraces on the sides of the hills, and the development of a system of dams and conduits. The final phases of Monte Albán IV and V were marked by the transformation of the sacred city into a fortified town. Excellent planning is evidenced in the position of the line buildings erected north to south, harmonized with both empty spaces and volumes.

About the stamps

All three stamps on the postcard 1063 - depicting tinaja de barro canelo - Tonalá / Jalisco (0.50 MXN), peine de curno - San Antonio la Isla / Estado de México (1.50 MXN), and cantaro de barro negro - San Bartolo Coyotepec / Oaxaca (2.00 MXN) - and also the second of the postcard 1580, cesto corita seri - Punta Chueca / Sonora (11.50 MXN), are part of the series México creación popular (Folk Art Mexico), about which I wrote here.

The first stamp on the postcard 1580 was issued in 1999 to mark the 150 Anniversary of the State of Guerrero.

Monte Albán - Wikipedia
Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán - UNESCO official website

Sender 1063: Ivinha
Sent from Mexico City (Federal District / Mexico), on 20.02.2014
Sender 1580: Ivinha
Sent from Mexico City (Federal District / Mexico), on 07.04.2014
Photo: B. Altamirano

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