San José Mogote

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Early farming village and ceremonial centre of the Formative (Pre‐Classic) Stage situated in the Valley of Oaxaca. Investigated by Kent Flannery in the 1970s, the site appears to have developed after 1300 bc. Evidence of Olmec influence becomes apparent after c.900 bc, when the settlement had grown to cover 20 ha or more and probably served as the ceremonial centre for up to twenty surrounding villages. A carved stone monument of this period depicts a sacrificed captive whose heart seems to have been torn out. Finds suggest that the occupants were involved in the manufacture and exchange of magnetite mirrors and shell ornaments. By about 400 bc, San José Mogoté seems to have been overshadowed by the new ceremonial centre of Monte Albán.


J. Marcus and K. Flannery, 1996, Zapotec civilization: how urban society evolved in Mexico's Oaxaca Valley. London: Thames & Hudson

Subjects: Archaeology.

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