|Once Monte Albán lost its importance as a population center in Oaxaca, other sites, like Mitla, became prominent in the nearby valleys, especially to the south. The large elegant palaces in Mitla with spacious courtyards and beautiful geometric mosaics were constructed between 600-1250 CE, with the climax of development in 1250. Andrew Coe explains that although Mitla has not been thoroughly excavated, it is known that Mitla's population was in the hundreds by 200 BCE and by 1250 CE it was about 10,000 with impressive building complexes known now as the Church Group, Column Group, Adobe Group and Arroyo Group (219-220). He adds that during this time period Mitla was the "Vatican of the Zapotecs" and was a pilgrimage destination, with the Column Group as the home of the high priest. Scholars debate whether the region's rulers were Mixtec or Zapotec, with many concluding that they were Zapotec with some Mixtec influence.|
The Church GroupThis group is comprised of three patios with surrounding rooms, although the southernmost patio is largely taken up by the colonial church, built from some of the stones from the pre-Columbian site. These two patios have various stone mosaic designs, as elaborate and note-worthy as those decorating the Nunnery at Uxmal
Courtyard with ornate step-and-fret patterns
Go to the Mexico Index.
Click here to return to index of art historical sites.
Click here to return to index of artists and architects.
Click here to return to chronological index.
Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.