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San José Mogote

Staircase of the partially excavated temple.

San José Mogote was the first major cultural center of the Zapotecs in the Etla valley of Oaxaca. There is evidence of a farming community as far back as 1500 BC, and significant political power with the attendant construction of temples, etc, beginning in 1300 BC, or 800 years prior to Monte Alban. Most of the site has yet to be unearthed, which is probably a good thing, as INAH, the Mexican governmental agency tasked with administration and protection of such sites, has barely enough to continue operating established tourist operations. There was no controlled entry here at all, and paths cris-crossed the entire site, with grafitti defacing some upper walls.

The top of the pyramid.
Trees and walls atop the pyramid.
Structural remnants.
New grafitti on ancient walls.
The corner of the main structure.

I chose to present these in B&W to accentuate the age of the site. Afterwards, we walked around the town of Guadalupe Etla a bit.

Carnival rides out to pasture.
Partial excavation of another structure from the Mogote settlement.
It is difficult to see from this photo, but this area above the new excavation very much resembles a typical ball court, shaped like a capital I with a V shaped center.
These last three are from the Templo de Guadalupe

I really hope INAH gets the funding they need to properly excavate and preserve this and other priceless heritage sites around Mexico. It would be a shame to lose this history.

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