F u n trio dating anthropology
Over the following two decades this project documented the development of socio-political complexity in the valley from the earliest Archaic period (ca.
8000-2000 BCE) to the Rosario phase (700-500 BCE) immediately preceding Monte Albán, thus setting the stage for an understanding of the latter's founding and developmental trajectory.
Among others, Guillermo Dupaix investigated the site in the early 19th century CE, J. García published a description of the site in 1859, and A. Bandelier visited and published further descriptions in the 1890s.
A first intensive archaeological exploration of the site was conducted in 1902 by Leopoldo Batres, then General Inspector of Monuments for the Mexican government under Porfirio Diaz.
Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán's importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years.
Founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period at around 500 BC, by the Terminal Formative (ca.100 BC-AD 200) Monte Albán had become the capital of a large-scale expansionist polity that dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and interacted with other Mesoamerican regional states such as Teotihuacan to the north (Paddock 1983; Marcus 1983).
This rapid shift in population and settlement, from dispersed localized settlements to a central urban site in a previously unsettled area, has been referred to as the “Monte Alban Synoikism” by Marcus and Flannery that a similar process of large-scale abandonment, and thus participation in the founding of Monte Albán, occurred at other major chiefly centers such as Yegüih and Tilcajete, at least in the latter's case this now appears to be unlikely.
AD 500-750) and soon thereafter was largely abandoned.As its political power grew, Monte Albán expanded militarily, through cooption, and via outright colonization into several areas outside the Valley of Oaxaca, including the Cañada de Cuicatlán to the north and the southern Ejutla and Sola de Vega valleys.(Feinman and Nicholas 1990) During this period and into the subsequent Early Classic (Monte Albán IIIA phase, ca.CE 200-500) Monte Albán was the capital of a major regional polity that exerted a dominating influence over the Valley of Oaxaca and across much of the Oaxacan highlands.In addition to the monumental core, the site is characterized by several hundred artificial terraces, and a dozen clusters of mounded architecture covering the entire ridgeline and surrounding flanks.
The archaeological ruins on the nearby Atzompa and El Gallo hills to the north are traditionally considered to be an integral part of the ancient city as well.
It is only with their intensive survey and mapping of the entire site that the real extension and size of Monte Albán beyond the limited area explored by Caso became known.