Monte Albán: System4/Edifice K and Stele 18--page 11 (of fifteen pages)

500-800 CE

See map.


Danzantes Temple in the center with System IV in the right background

Like System M, this complex includes temple-patio-temple as well. It is in the far northwest corner and serves as a kind of corner boundary to the site. The courtyard between the two buildings has low walls to the north and south. The temple at the rear is reached by a broad impressive staircase. Like other buildings at this site, the cornices have the double scapular decorative trim.

Views from the southeast, northeast and southeast


Details of the front temple


The tall stele (Stele 18) standing outside the north wall, 100 BCE-300 CE

According to signage at the site, this stele is the oldest and tallest (5.8 meters) found here. It is believed that it was an astronomical instrument, verifying midday--one of the four Pre-hispanic divisions of the day. On the eastern side are two glyphs, one a water sign. Incisions on the western side may relate to a calendar.

Continue to page 12.

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.