Monte Albán: Buildings on east side of Grand Plaza--page 2 (of fifteen pages)

See map.


Left: northeast corner with plaza side of ball court wall; center and right: Building II, 100 BCE-350 CE; remodelled 500-800 CE

This is a temple platform topped with two sets of five columns. The scapular cornices (here doubled) recur in buildings on the Grand Plaza. Of this molding, Miller says," in its two separate layers, the molding bears a similarity to the symbol for sky, perhaps indicating the generally sacred quality of architecture so delineated" (87).

Building P, 350-800 CE, with monumental staircase

This structure, another temple platform, faces the Adoratorio.

The Adoratorio, also called the Sunken Patio, dating to Monte Albán V (or Mixtec period)

The famous bat mask of jade was discovered in a burial between the Adoraratio and Building P.

The Palacio/Palace--also called Building S, 350-800 CE

Scholars believe this building was used solely as a dwelling--unusual, given the public/ritual nature of the buildings facing the Grand Plaza. It would have been a dwelling for Zapotec nobility and has a sense of privacy since the entrance (with the lintel and jambs still standing) opens into a Z-shaped passage, a blind entrance shielding the inner rooms from sight.
Inside, about 12 rooms are built around a courtyard with a small shrine.

Left and center: the Palace; right: the east side looking back north with Mound Q, an unexcavated temple, in the foreground

Continue to page 3.

Works consulted or quoted:
Andrew Coe. Archaeological Mexico. Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2001.
Michael D. Coe and Rex Koontz. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. Fifth Edition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.
Nelly M. Robles Garcia. Monte Albán: History, Art, Monuments. Mexico: Monclem Ediciones, 2004. [official guide]
INAH. Signage at the site.
Mary Ellen Miller. The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec. Third Edition. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

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© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.