Monte Alban was only a short drive from the city and it was more than worth it. The stunning remnants of a civilization perched high in the mountains, a skeleton of what used to be. There is much mystery surrounding Monte Alban; only a handful of human remains have been found there (no big cemeteries that would be expected from a big city like this!), and it was already abandoned when both the Aztecs and the Spanish found the city.
We learned a lot about the site on our guided tour. He showed us some spots on the grounds where echoes were carried perfectly across the grounds, as if designed for speeches or announcements. Did a high priest speak to the people there? Was it a politician? Or did they use it for emergencies when they needed to spread news quickly? The answer is unknown. The thing that struck me the most was that ancient skulls were found there with evidence of brain surgery, something that has only been seen in skulls that old in Peru and Egypt. Were the three somehow connected? If people of that intelligence inhabited Monte Alban, where did they go? Why did they leave? The guide suggested that perhaps the people who lived in Monte Alban were actually from Egypt or Peru, and their disappearance from Oaxaca was on account of their simply returning to their home country. An interesting theory…
I wish we had had more time to explore! I highly recommend taking a guided tour of Monte Alban if you ever get the chance, it was really informative and got us thinking about what could have happened there. I love a good mystery, especially one so old! Just enough clues to come up with theories, but not enough for answers. Hmmm!
Have you ever visited the site of an ancient civilization?