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Visit the archaeological site of Mitla, the "place of the dead".

"Here no one will live forever. Even princes to die came, The funeral bundles are burned. Let your heart be straightened: Here no one shall live forever." -Nezahualcoyotl



Mitla, this archaeological site, is a must visit if you consider yourself a lover of archaeology, history or even to learn a little more about your country or Mexico if you visit us from abroad. Although it has a peculiar and somewhat gloomy name for some, it is important to know where it comes from and why it is so named. Let's get to know Mitla, which comes from the Nahuatl word Mictlán, which means "place of the dead", this was the name given by the Mexicas, on the other hand, in Zapotec it is known as Lyobáa "place of rest" or "place where corpses abound", it is located in the northern portion of the Tlacolula Valley in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mitla is important because it was one of the cities in which the political and religious power of the Zapotecs was concentrated, reaching up to 10 500 inhabitants, even made an alliance with the Mixtecs and later with the Mexica that lasted until the arrival of the Spaniards. It is known more than anything for the wonderful limestone fretwork that decorate some of its most beautiful buildings, however, we must be careful, as these characteristics are not Mixtec, although they influenced a large part, it is really a seal of the Zapotec lineage (People of the Zapotec), who inhabited it when Monte Alban fell.



Also, we must not forget, the cruciform tombs that have been found under the palaces, in which surely great personages and priests were buried. Mitla is a place of great inspiration and respect. Those who know it best are the artisans, who have been the guardians of the culture and knowledge of the ancient Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations, who lived there and who are present every time someone remembers their language, they do not forget it. It is so important to them, that in the fabrics they weave, they use either the fretwork of these archaeological sites as well as the representation of Mitla, as does the master craftsman Rodrigo in his workshop Cocijo, where we can see in this clothing, the black line means mourning because Mitla means place of the souls.




Traditional costume, worn by Rodrigo's wife Shirt with the fretwork that appears in Mitla Reyna,

Finally, if you are curious about visiting this archaeological site, it is important to do some research about the place and the cultures that inhabited it, and to go as early as possible to avoid the harsh afternoon sun and the crowds. To access, you can go from the capital of Oaxaca, through the Panamerican Highway, or using public transportation, access costs $85.


Sources:


https://arqueologiamexicana.mx/mexico-antiguo/mitla-oaxaca https://www.inah.gob.mx/zonas/87-zona-arqueologica-de-mitla












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