Home Region:  Mexico (North America)

Monte Alban Late I

EQ 2020  mx_monte_alban_1_late / MxAlb1L

The Monte Albán Late I period ran from 300 to 100 BCE. Archaeologists Charles Spencer and Elsa Redmond argue that the Zapotecs had formed a state by the beginning of this period (around 300 BCE). [1] The Zapotec polity based at Monte Albán started to expand to areas outside the valley at the beginning of this period, but could not yet control all areas within the Valley of Oaxaca. [2] It is thought that the unification of the whole valley by the Zapotec state did not occur until the following period (Monte Albán II). [1]
Population and political organization
There is evidence of an elite during this period. However, the nature of government is still unclear, as is the relationship between elites and non-elites. [3] Richard Blanton et al. summarize the situation: ’Obviously, powerful authorities at Monte Albán could collect taxes, wage wars, engage in diplomacy, erect carved stone monuments, construct public buildings, manage urban problems, appropriate surpluses from producer households, and adjudicate disputes. But who were these authorities and how did they come to positions of power? Were there rulers or a governing council?’ [3]
Violent conflicts were rife, and one third of the population of the valley eventually moved to fortified or defensible settlements by the end of Monte Albán I (including Monte Albán itself, which had a three-kilometre defensive wall and was built on a defensible hill top). [4] The danzantes, or carved images of captives, date to the first Monte Albán phases (MA Early-Late I) and may be linked with the expansionist policies and propaganda of Zapotec leaders. It is also worth noting that the richest burials date to this period and, like the danzantes, may be linked with an expression and justification of power by Zapotec elites. [5]
The population of the Zapotec polity grew during this period, particularly at Monte Albán, which housed around 17,000 people, and many new settlements were established within a roughly 30-kilometre radius of Monte Albán. [6] This was part of a general trend of population nucleation during this period, particularly to sites with civic-ceremonial functions. [7] The entire population of the Valley of Oaxaca during the Monte Albán IC phase has been estimated at around 50,000, [8] although it is not clear whether the entire valley was under Zapotec control at this time. [9]

[1]: (Spencer and Redmond 2004, 176) Charles S. Spencer and Elsa M. Redmond. 2004. ’Primary State Formation in Mesoamerica’. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 173-99.

[2]: (Redmond and Spencer 2013, E1707-15) Elsa M. Redmond and Charles S. Spencer. 2013. ’Early (300-100 BC) Temple Precinct in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (19): E1707-15.

[3]: (Blanton et al. 1999, 127-28) Richard E. Blanton, Gary M. Feinman, Stephen A. Kowalewski and Linda M. Nicholas. 1999. Ancient Oaxaca. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[4]: (Marcus and Flannery 1996, 150) Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery. 1996. Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. London: Thames and Hudson.

[5]: (Flannery and Marcus 1983, 90) Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery. 1983. ’The Earliest Public Buildings, Tombs, and Monuments at Monte Albán, with Notes on the Internal Chronology of Period I’, in The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations, edited by Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery, 87-91. New York: Academic Press.

[6]: (Marcus and Flannery 1996, 139, 145) Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery. 1996. Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. London: Thames and Hudson.

[7]: (Feinman et al. 1985, 349) Gary M. Feinman, Stephen A. Kowalewski, Laura Finsten, Richard E. Blanton and Linda Nicholas. 1985. ’Long-Term Demographic Change: A Perspective from the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico’. Journal of Field Archaeology 12 (3): 333-62.

[8]: (Marcus and Flannery 1996, 144-45) Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery. 1996. Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. London: Thames and Hudson.

[9]: (Marcus and Flannery 1996, 162) Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery. 1996. Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. London: Thames and Hudson.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
14 Q  
Original Name:
Monte Alban Late I  
Capital:
Monte Albán  
Alternative Name:
Monte Albán  
Late Preclassic  
Late Formative  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
100 BCE  
Duration:
[300 BCE ➜ 100 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Succeeding Entity:
MxAlb2*  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
MxAlb1E  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Otomanguean  
Language:
Zapotec  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
17,200 people  
Polity Territory:
5,000 km2  
Polity Population:
[50,000 to 60,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
[1 to 2]  
Administrative Level:
-  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
absent  
Formal Legal Code:
absent  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
absent  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent  
Port:
absent  
Canal:
absent  
Bridge:
absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
absent  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
absent  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
unknown  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred absent  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
inferred absent  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
unknown  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
present  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
unknown  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
unknown  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
absent  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Monte Alban Late I (mx_monte_alban_1_late) was in:
 (300 BCE 101 BCE)   Valley of Oaxaca
Home NGA: Valley of Oaxaca

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Monte Albán

Monte Albán was the largest city in the Zapotec polity at this time and had an estimated 17,242 inhabitants (or one third of the entire population of the valley). [1]

[1]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p139



Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
100 BCE

Monte Albán gained more territory throughout this period, so the peak date has been coded as the end of the Monte Albán Late I phase.


Duration:
[300 BCE ➜ 100 BCE]

The Zapotec polity began to expand at the beginning of this phase, conquering the Cañada de Cuicatlán and other areas. [1] [2]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199

[2]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70, p29


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

It has been argued that the Zapotecs at Monte Alban and the Teotihuacan state built mutually peaceful relationships, while both states were more powerful than other neighbouring polities. Neither conquered the other (based on distinct material culture and architectural styles) but did trade with one another. [1] Monte Alban Late I: “The expansionist tactics adopted by the rulers of Monte Albán apparently took many forms—including not just conquest, but also colonization, episodic raiding, the establishment of marriage alliances and/or trading relationships (perhaps backed by threats or occasional military force), and co-option of existing political structures.” [2]

[1]: Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York. p161-166

[2]: Sherman, R. J., et al. (2010). "Expansionary dynamics of the nascent Monte Alban state." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(3): 278-301, p282



Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

The Zapotec polity continued to be centred at Monte Albán, but began to extend its territory at the beginning of this phase. [1] [2]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70, p29-30

[2]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p86



Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

The establishment of a confederation (although not yet a state) at the beginning of Monte Albán Early I is suggested by the simultaneous abandonment of settlements and founding of Monte Albán, which itself was internally divided into different groupings of people, based on distinctions of pottery assemblages. [1] At the beginning of this phase (Late I), the people at Monte Albán began to expand beyond the valley and conquered Cañada de Cuicatlán (as well as other areas including: Ejutla, Peñoles, Miahuatlán and the San Francisco Arriba area) [2] , which remained in a subordinate, possibly tributary, relationship with Monte Albán until around 200 CE (the end of the Monte Albán II phase). [3]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p84

[2]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199, p183

[3]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70.

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

The establishment of a confederation (although not yet a state) at the beginning of Monte Albán Early I is suggested by the simultaneous abandonment of settlements and founding of Monte Albán, which itself was internally divided into different groupings of people, based on distinctions of pottery assemblages. [1] At the beginning of this phase (Late I), the people at Monte Albán began to expand beyond the valley and conquered Cañada de Cuicatlán (as well as other areas including: Ejutla, Peñoles, Miahuatlán and the San Francisco Arriba area) [2] , which remained in a subordinate, possibly tributary, relationship with Monte Albán until around 200 CE (the end of the Monte Albán II phase). [3]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p84

[2]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199, p183

[3]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70.


Language

Language:
Zapotec

“…the iconography and hieroglyphic writing of Monte Albán I suggest that we are dealing with people who spoke an early version of Zapotec and practiced an early form of Zapotec religion.” [1]

[1]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p155


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
17,200 people

Edited from 17,242. Inhabitants are estimated to have occupied Monte Albán, the largest settlement in the valley at this time. This concentration of people amounts to roughly one third of the population of the entire valley. [1]
17,000: "From the area of the distribution of Early I sherds (and estimating a population of about 25-50 persons per hectare, less for the area of more scattered pottery), we estimate a population for Early I of 3,500-7,000 (Blanton 1978:33-35) and take the middle value of about 5,000 as the best estimate of population for the period. Population group continued into Late I, eventually reaching an estimated 17,000 (Blanton 1978:44)(fig. 3.4)." [2]
"During Monte Alban Late I, Monte Alban tripled in size to approximately 17,000 people". [3]
"Table 11.3. Population in the largest centers, by phase, in Oaxaca and Ejutla." [4]
Valley of Oaxaca population (Largest center in Oaxaca): Late I: 51339 (17242). [4]

[1]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p139

[2]: (Blanton, Feinman, Kowalewski, Nicholas 1999, 53) Blanton, Richard E. Feinman, Gary M. Kowalewski, Stephen A. Nicholas, Linda M. 1999. Ancient Oaxaca. The Monte Alban State. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Feinman and Nicholas 2017, 38) Gary M Feinman. Linda M Nicholas. 2017. Settlement Patterns in the Albarradas Area of Highland Oaxaca, Mexico: Frontiers, Boundaries, and Interaction. Fieldiana Anthropology, 46(1):1-162. Publication 1572. Field Museum of Natural History. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3158/0071-4739-46.1.1

[4]: (Feinman and Nicholas 2013, 183) Gary M Feinman. Linda M Nicholas. 2013. Settlement Patterns of the Ejutla Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico: A Diachronic Macroscale Perspective. Fieldiana Anthropology, 43(1):1-330. 2013. Field Museum of Natural History. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3158/0071-4739-43.00.1


Polity Territory:
5,000 km2

squared kilometers, based on the map provided by Spencer (2009). [1]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. (2009). Testing the Morphogenesist Model of Primary State Formation: The Zapotec Case. Macroevolution in Human Prehistory: Evolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology. A. M. Prentiss, I. Kuijt and J. C. Chatters, Springer: 133-155, p146


Polity Population:
[50,000 to 60,000] people

People.
"Table 3.10. Monte Alban Late I sites in Valley of Oaxaca subareas." [1]
Etla: 10618; Central (contains Monte Alban): 22844; N Valle Grande: 8581; S Valle Grande: 2633; W Tlacolula: 4344; E Tlacolula: 2317; Ejutla: 3455; Albarradas: 1740; Sola: 1539. [1]
Total = 58,071
Late I early population tripled to 55,000. About 75% of increase within 20 km of Monte Alban. [2]
The approximate figure 50,000 corresponds to the estimated population of the Valley of Oaxaca during the Monte Albán Ic phase by the Settlement Pattern Project [3] , although it is not clear whether the entire valley was under Zapotec control at this time. [4] The population estimate does not include the population of the conquered area Canada Cuicatlan.
"Table 11.3. Population in the largest centers, by phase, in Oaxaca and Ejutla." [5]
Valley of Oaxaca population (Largest center in Oaxaca): Tierras Largas: 327 (128); San Jose: 1942 (1384); Guadalupe: 1788 (774); Rosario: 1835 (564); Early I: 14652 (5250); Late I: 51339 (17242); Monte Alban II: 41927 (14492); Monte Alban IIIA: 120121 (16507); Monte Alban IIIB: 78930 (24189); Monte Alban IV: 77612 (16117); Monte Alban V: 166467 (13831). [5]

[1]: (Feinman and Nicholas 2017, 40) Gary M Feinman. Linda M Nicholas. 2017. Settlement Patterns in the Albarradas Area of Highland Oaxaca, Mexico: Frontiers, Boundaries, and Interaction. Fieldiana Anthropology, 46(1):1-162. Publication 1572. Field Museum of Natural History. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3158/0071-4739-46.1.1

[2]: (Blanton, Feinman, Kowalewski, Nicholas 1999, 92) Blanton, Richard E. Feinman, Gary M. Kowalewski, Stephen A. Nicholas, Linda M. 1999. Ancient Oaxaca. The Monte Alban State. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p144-5

[4]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p162

[5]: (Feinman and Nicholas 2013, 183) Gary M Feinman. Linda M Nicholas. 2013. Settlement Patterns of the Ejutla Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico: A Diachronic Macroscale Perspective. Fieldiana Anthropology, 43(1):1-330. 2013. Field Museum of Natural History. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3158/0071-4739-43.00.1


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels. Four levels of site size, based on settlement size, have been identified by Spencer and Redmond (2004) for this period, in each of the three arms of the Valley of Oaxaca. [1] Spencer and Redmond suggest that the increasing complexity in the Ocotlán-Zimatlán and Tlacolula valleys may have been a response to the growing threat from the Zapotecs in the Etla-Central part of the valley. [2]
1. Primary centre-Monte Albán was the capital of the Zapotec polity during this period.
2. Secondary centre-San José Mogote, San Martin Tilcajete, Yegüih-Lambityeco [3] 3. Tertiary centre-relatively small, civic-ceremonial places [3] 4. Local villages
"Table 5.9. Monte Alban Late I population hierarchy in Oaxaca and Ejutla." [4]
Valley of Oaxaca: Level I: 17242; II: 1392-1946; III: 555-879; IV: 233-496; V: 102-221; No rank: 8-98. [4]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199, p176-7

[2]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199, p178

[3]: Feinman, G. M., et al. (1985). "Long-term demographic change: A perspective from the valley of Oaxaca, Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology 12(3): 333-362, p349

[4]: (Feinman and Nicholas 2013, 63) Gary M Feinman. Linda M Nicholas. 2013. Settlement Patterns of the Ejutla Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico: A Diachronic Macroscale Perspective. Fieldiana Anthropology, 43(1):1-330. 2013. Field Museum of Natural History. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3158/0071-4739-43.00.1


Religious Level:
1

level. State religion existed during this period, based on evidence for two multi-room temples in neighbouring polity at El Palenque. [1] Standardised two-room temples were however not yet present at Monte Alban, and so a permanent state religion with more than one organisational level cannot be inferred. [2]

[1]: Sherman, R. J., et al. (2010). "Expansionary dynamics of the nascent Monte Alban state." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(3): 278-301, p282

[2]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p161


Military Level:
[1 to 2]

Suggested by Zapotec expansion during this period. [1] The conquest of territories outside of the Valley of Oaxaca suggests that a permanent army, with the necessary commanders, would have existed at this time. [2]
1. War commanders
2. Individual soldiers

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Spencer, C. S. (1982) The Cuicatlán Cañada and Monte Albán: A study of primary state formation. Studies in Archaeology. Academic Press, New York. p243-4


Administrative Level:
-

levels. The administrative levels could be coded as equivalent to the three higher levels of settlement hierarchy, as those settlements have some evidence of administrative buildings. However sources do not suggest there is evidence that the administrative structure paralleled settlement hierarchy.
1. Main administrative centre-Monte Albán was the capital of the Zapotec polity during this period.
2. Regional administrative centre, secondary centres-San José Mogote, San Martin Tilcajete, Yegüih-Lambityeco [1] 3. Local administrative centres, tertiary centres-relatively small, civic-ceremonial places [1]

[1]: Feinman, G. M., et al. (1985). "Long-term demographic change: A perspective from the valley of Oaxaca, Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology 12(3): 333-362, p349


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

A permanent army is inferred to have been present based on evidence for Zapotec territorial expansion during this period. Evidence from the Cuicatlan Canada suggests that the Zapotec had enough force to destroy whole settlements and maintain a tributary relationship with the Zapotec centre. [1]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. (1982) The Cuicatlán Cañada and Monte Albán: A study of primary state formation. Studies in Archaeology. Academic Press, New York. p243-4


Professional Priesthood:
present

There is evidence for an institutional religion at the contemporary primary center El Palenque, so it is likely that there were full-time priests at Monte Albán (although this cannot be confirmed due to the lack of archaeological evidence from this period at Monte Albán). [1]

[1]: Sherman, R. J., et al. (2010). "Expansionary dynamics of the nascent Monte Alban state." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(3): 278-301, p282


Professional Military Officer:
present

A permanent army is inferred to have been present based on evidence for Zapotec territorial expansion during this period. Evidence from the Cuicatlan Canada suggests that the Zapotec had enough force to destroy whole settlements and maintain a tributary relationship with the Zapotec centre. [1]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. (1982) The Cuicatlán Cañada and Monte Albán: A study of primary state formation. Studies in Archaeology. Academic Press, New York. p243-4


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

Though the following is relevant, here we are interested in buildings that were used solely for administrative purposes. Charles Spencer commented: ’One cannot fail to be impressed by the amount and variety of public/institutional architecture constructed between B.C. 300 and A.D. 800 in and around the Main Plaza at Monte Alban. The archaeological data indicate that much of this architectural complexity was in existence by Monte Alban II (100 B.C. through A.D. 200). Many of these buildings do not appear to have been residential and most likely served an array of religious (e.g., the various structures associated with two-room temples), military (such as Building J and perhaps the Ballcourt), and other "administrative" functions (including a variety of other public/institutional buildings the functions of which are still unclear). At the same time, it is probably also appropriate to consider the quihuitao (royal palace) to be another example of a public/institutional building. Both the main candidate for a quihuitao at Monte Alban (the Patio Hundido complex, according to Flannery) and also the example recently excavated at El Palenque (which was probably the capital of a rival independent state polity in Late Formative times) near San Martin Tilcajete (see Spencer and Redmond 2004 in Lat Am Antiq, and Redmond and Spencer 2017 PNAS) were not associated with tombs like other elite (and non-elite) residences; also, both examples had "residential" as well as "ceremonial/governmental" components. Note that the El Palenque quihuitao is securely dated to the Late Monte Albán I phase (300-100 B.C.)’. [1]

[1]: Charles Spencer, pers. comm., January 2018.


Merit Promotion:
unknown

The monumental construction at Monte Alban has been seen as a sign of a high degree of administrative centralization. [1] However, we lack adequate information about administrative structures at Monte Albán to be able to discern whether full-time specialist bureaucrats (i.e. not just chiefs or generals with administrative duties) were present. [2] [3]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Gary Feinman, pers. comm., January 2018.

[3]: Charles Spencer, pers. comm., January 2018.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

The monumental construction at Monte Alban has been seen as a sign of a high degree of administrative centralization. [1] However, we lack adequate information about administrative structures at Monte Albán to be able to discern whether full-time specialist bureaucrats (i.e. not just chiefs or generals with administrative duties) were present. [2] [3]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Gary Feinman, pers. comm., January 2018.

[3]: Charles Spencer, pers. comm., January 2018.


Examination System:
unknown

The monumental construction at Monte Alban has been seen as a sign of a high degree of administrative centralization. [1] However, we lack adequate information about administrative structures at Monte Albán to be able to discern whether full-time specialist bureaucrats (i.e. not just chiefs or generals with administrative duties) were present. [2] [3]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Gary Feinman, pers. comm., January 2018.

[3]: Charles Spencer, pers. comm., January 2018.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a formal legal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a formal legal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Formal Legal Code:
absent

Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a formal legal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a formal legal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

There is no direct evidence for marketplaces. [1] However, increasing population numbers and product specialisation during this period, as well as the the access that different settlements had to a range of products suggest a trading system of a sort was present. Those sites furthest from Monte Albán and secondary sites had the smallest range of products. [2] We asked Gary Feinman [3] and he said: "Markets clearly have a long history in Mesoamerica before Aztec times. Back in the 1980s, I wrote a paper with Blanton and Kowalewski arguing that there were markets in Monte Albán I (ca. 500-200 BC). You can also find that argument in Ancient Mesoamerica and Ancient Oaxaca. While this may not yet be a consensual view yet, the literature on pre-Aztec markets across Mesoamerica is burgeoning."

[1]: Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York. p162

[2]: Blanton, R. E., et al. (1982). The Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Central and Southern Parts of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Regents of the University of Michigan, the Museum of Anthropology, p67-8

[3]: Gary Feinman, personal communication to Peter Turchin and Jenny Reddish, March 2020.


Irrigation System:
present

There is some evidence for the use of irrigation systems during this period (for example, at Hierve el Agua), but the evidence suggests that the irrigation systems were constructed at a small scale, serving the land of only one or two communities. [1] [2] [3] However, an irrigation system has been uncovered at La Coyotera in the Cuicatlan Canada during the Lomas phase (equivalent to MA Late I and II) which was likely constructed to fulfil Zapotec demands. [4]

[1]: Kirkby (1973) The use of land and water resources in past and present Valley of Oaxaca. Muesum of Anthropology, Memoirs No.5. An Arbor, University of Michigan. p117

[2]: Nicholas, L. M (1989) Land use in prehispanic Oaxaca. In, Kowalewski, S. A., Feiman, G.M., Finsten, L., Blanton, R. E. and Nicholas, L. M. Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: the prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacoula, Etla and Ocotlán, the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor: 449-505. p458

[3]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p146

[4]: Spencer, C. S. (1982) The Cuicatlán Cañada and Monte Albán: A study of primary state formation. Studies in Archaeology. Academic Press, New York. p224-6


Food Storage Site:
absent

No evidence for centralised food storage has been found at Monte Alban. [1] [2]

[1]: Feinman, G. M. and Nicholas, L. M (2012) The Late Prehispanic economy of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico: weaving threads from data, theory, and subsequent history. Political Economy, Neoliberalism, and the Prehistoric Economies of Latin America. Vol 32: 225-258. p235

[2]: Blanton, R. E., et al. (1982). The Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Central and Southern Parts of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Regents of the University of Michigan, the Museum of Anthropology, p55


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

A wall was built to dam a reservoir in the northern section of Monte Alban. [1]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p85


Transport Infrastructure

Small roads were constructed through Monte Alban, but sources do not suggest there is evidence for a road network linking settlements. [1] We asked Gary Feinman about roads in Oaxacan polities and he said: "It depends on what you mean by roads. There are definite roads/accessways within sites. Blanton defines some at Monte Albán and Linda [Nicholas] and I defined some at El Palmillo. These likely were not paved, but they may have been banked and were cleared. Between sites there are known 16th century trails, which were likely used for a long, long time. Again, they likely were not paved, but there were no beasts of burden." [2] Coded absent: we do not count accessways within settlements or paths and trails not constructed deliberately as roads.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Gary Feinman, personal communication to Peter Turchin and Jenny Reddish, March 2020.


The Valley of Oaxaca is landlocked.


Sources do not suggest there is evidence for the construction of canals during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Sources do not suggest there is evidence for the construction of bridges during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
absent

Sources only describe residential sites. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Roughly 350 inscribed stones have been found at Monte Albán (including 310 danzantes) assigned to MA I and II. [1] Mesoamerican civilizations, including the Maya, Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec all possessed "a true form of writing: a series of hieroglyphs arranged in vertical columns and in many instances combined with numerals. The glyphs were at least indirectly related to a spoken language." Zapotec inscriptions are considered true writing, since the inscriptions had verbs. [2]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70, p27

[2]: Joyce Marcus. February 1980. Zapotec Writing. Scientific American. Vol 242. No 2. Scientific American, Nature America, Inc. pp.50-67. URL: http://www.jstor.rg/stable/24966257


Script:
present

Evidence for carved glyphs (of names and calendar dates) has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

Roughly 350 inscribed stones have been found at Monte Albán (including 310 danzantes) assigned to MA I and II. [1] Mesoamerican civilizations, including the Maya, Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec all possessed "a true form of writing: a series of hieroglyphs arranged in vertical columns and in many instances combined with numerals. The glyphs were at least indirectly related to a spoken language." Zapotec inscriptions are considered true writing, since the inscriptions had verbs. [2]

[1]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2003). "Militarism, resistance, and early state development in Oaxaca, Mexico." Social Evolution & History 2: 25-70, p27

[2]: Joyce Marcus. February 1980. Zapotec Writing. Scientific American. Vol 242. No 2. Scientific American, Nature America, Inc. pp.50-67. URL: http://www.jstor.rg/stable/24966257


Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Mnemonic Device:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Sacred Text:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Religious Literature:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Practical Literature:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Philosophy:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


History:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Fiction:
absent

Glyphs dating to this period have been deciphered as either calendrical dates or the names of prisoners. Sources do not suggest that evidence for other types of writing has been found. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Calendar:
present

Several glyphs carved on stones at Monte Albán have been interpreted as calendrical glyphs, based on analogy with later periods [1] [2] More specifically, the glyphs on Stele 12 and 13 at Monte Alban seem to refer to days on the 365 day calendar, or yza secular year as it was known in the historical periods. In addition to evidence for the ritual 260 day calendar (or piye calendar) at San Jose Mogote, this suggests that both the two calendars were being used from this time. [3]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York.

[2]: Spencer, C. S. and E. M. Redmond (2004). "Primary state formation in Mesoamerica." Annual Review of Anthropology: 173-199, p179

[3]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p159


Information / Money

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Precious Metal:
absent

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Paper Currency:
absent

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Indigenous Coin:
absent

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Foreign Coin:
absent

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Article:
unknown

Sources do not suggest that monetary items have been found dating to this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a postal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


General Postal Service:
absent

Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a postal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Courier:
absent

Sources do not suggest there is evidence for a postal system during this period. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

Monte Albán was built with a 3km defensive wall along the shallower slopes of the hill, and wooden palisades may have been present. [1]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (2003). "The origin of war: New C-14 dates from ancient Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(20): 11801-11805, p11804


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

The defensive wall around Monte Alban was made of earth and stone. [1] [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p150

[2]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (2003). "The origin of war: New C-14 dates from ancient Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(20): 11801-11805, p11804


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

The defensive wall around Monte Alban was made of earth and stone. [1] [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p150

[2]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (2003). "The origin of war: New C-14 dates from ancient Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(20): 11801-11805, p11804


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Monte Albán was built on a hill 400m above the valley floor and a number of other settlements were located on hilltops. [1] [2]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1976). "Formative Oaxaca and Zapotec Cosmos." American Scientist 64(4): 374-383.

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feiman, G.M., Finsten, L., Blanton, R. E. and Nicholas, L. M. Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: the prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacoula, Etla and Ocotlán, the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor


Modern Fortification:
absent

Gunpowder not yet invented.


Monte Albán’s fortifications are relatively well understood, but no source mentions the existence of a moat. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.



Earth Rampart:
present

The defensive wall around Monte Alban was made of earth and stone. [1] [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p150

[2]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (2003). "The origin of war: New C-14 dates from ancient Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(20): 11801-11805, p11804


Monte Albán’s fortifications are relatively well understood, but no source mentions the existence of a ditch. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Complex Fortification:
absent

Monte Albán was built with a 3km defensive wall along the shallower slopes of the hill. [1] Another wall was constructed along the northern boundary of Monte Albán, but not until the Late I or II periods. [2]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (2003). "The origin of war: New C-14 dates from ancient Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(20): 11801-11805, p11804

[2]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p151



Military use of Metals

Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Projectiles


Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include slings. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias. Moreover, Spanish documents record the use of slings at the end of the Monte Alban V period. [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People. New York. p217-8


Self Bow:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include bows of any kind. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias. Moreover, Spanish documents record the use of bows and arrows at the end of the Monte Alban V period. [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People. New York. p217-8


Javelin:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include javelins. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Gunpowder not yet invented.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Gunpowder not yet invented.


Crossbow:
absent

Hassig lists crossbows among the new military technologies the Spanish introduced to the region in the sixteenth century [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992, 143) Hassig, Robert. 1992. War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. London; Berkeley: University of California Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/F76EVNU3/itemKey/E9VHCKDG


Composite Bow:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include bows of any kind. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias. Moreover, Spanish documents record the use of bows and arrows at the end of the Monte Alban V period. [2]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.

[2]: Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People. New York. p217-8


Atlatl:
present

Present in the valley of Oaxaca since preceramic times (the Proto-Otomangueans) for hunting. [1] and, in previous periods, obsidian blades were found in Tomb 10 at San José Mogote which may have been hafted into atlatl darts. [2] In addition, glyphs depicting what may be atlatls or spearthrowers have been carved with the danzantes at San Jose Mogote. [3]

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p36

[2]: Marcus, J. and K. V. Flannery (1996). Zapotec civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, Thames and Hudson London, p133

[3]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. p153


Handheld weapons
War Club:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include clubs. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Obsidian-edged wooden swords and daggers are inferred present based the presence of obsidian blades in the valley. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Spear:
present

Present in the valley of Oaxaca since preceramic times (the Proto-Otomangueans) for hunting. [1] However, it does seem to be clear whether they were also used as weapons in warfare.

[1]: Flannery, K. V. and J. Marcus (1983). "The Cloud People." New York, p36


Polearm:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include polearms. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Dagger:
present

Obsidian-edged wooden swords and daggers are inferred present based the presence of obsidian blades in the valley. [1]

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Battle Axe:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for weaponry for this period, and this does not include axes. However, weapons made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Animals used in warfare

Hassig lists horses among the new military "technologies" the Spanish introduced to the region in the sixteenth century [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992, 143) Hassig, Robert. 1992. War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. London; Berkeley: University of California Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/F76EVNU3/itemKey/E9VHCKDG


Elephant:
absent

Not native to region.


Not native to region.


Hassig lists war dogs among the new military "technologies" the Spanish introduced to the region in the sixteenth century [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992, 143) Hassig, Robert. 1992. War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. London; Berkeley: University of California Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/F76EVNU3/itemKey/E9VHCKDG


Not native to region.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Shield:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Scaled Armor:
absent

Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Plate Armor:
absent

Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Limb Protection:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Leather Cloth:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Laminar Armor:
absent

Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Helmet:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Chainmail:
absent

Metalworking was not widely used in Mesoamerica, with metal products consisting mainly of small beads and ornaments. [1] [2]

[1]: Coe, M. D., Koontz, R. (2013) Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (7th ed.) Thames and Hudson, London, p157

[2]: Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. M., Finten, L., Blanton, R. E., Nicholas, L. M. (1989) Monte Albán’s Hinterland, Part II: Prehispanic settlement patterns in Tlacolula, Etla, and Ocotlan, The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, Volume II. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Number 23. Ann Arbor.


Breastplate:
unknown

Sources [1] only mention very little archaeological evidence for military technology for this period, and this does not include armour. However, armour made from wood and cloth have been documented for the later periods, so their absence in the archaeological record may be due to preservation bias.

[1]: Marcus and Flannery (1996) Zapotec Civilization: How urban society evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Flannery and Marcus (1983) The Cloud People: divergent evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Academic Press, New York.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

The Valley of Oaxaca is landlocked.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
absent

The Valley of Oaxaca is landlocked.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

The Valley of Oaxaca is landlocked.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.