December 7, 2019

A Day of Archaeology. Part !

The previous day our group visited several of the local villages where a variety of craft items were being produced.  These included black pottery, woven goods, and some very expensive hand carved and painted wooden animals. The one at the top of the page was priced at around $10,000!  We were also privileged to visit the in-town hacienda of the famous Mexican artist Rudolfo Morales.  He died in 2002, and we were allowed to go into his bedroom/studio which had not been changed since the day he died. 

Now, we were packing 4 very interesting archaeological sites into one day.  That was not hard to do since they were not too far apart.   One interesting feature of some of the sites was that there was an underground tomb right in the middle of the living space.  Most likely, the king or ruler and his female consort were buried there, and worshiped as deities.  I did not find this kind of feature in all of the other Mayan sites that I have visited in the past.  In addition, all of the sites we looked at here had at least one ball court.

The first site of the day was Dainzu, which was a Zapotec city founded in 350 BC.  It sits at the foot of a large hill.  The community buildings and the ball court were at the bottom, the palace a bit higher up slope, and the sacred areas continued on up to the top of the hill.  Our guide had helped excavate this site in the past, and told us that all of the rock art and altars were located further up the hill.  I would have loved to go up there, but we didn’t have enough time, and the trails were steep and dangerous. 
 Ball court.


Next, we traveled to Lambityeco.  This site had a totally different feel to it.  The property itself was quite extensive, but only the main building had been excavated.  Here, we also saw the extensive use of stucco, which has a tendency to melt away over time.   

Note the unique use of pottery shards in the mortar of the wall. This is unique to this site.
Because of our guide’s connection with the caretakers here, we were allowed to go into the center of the palace to see the friezes and the entrance to the tombs. 





Of course, all of these tombs had been excavated in the past, so there was no creepy energy left from the burials.  I will continue with this day of archaeology in the next post. 

December 5, 2019

Monte Alban

One of the advertised highlights of the trip was a visit to the ancient site of Monte Alban, where we went on our second day.  It is located on a high hill in the middle of the Oaxaca Valley, and was occupied by the Mixtecs and the Zapotecs between 500 BC and 850 AD.   It was also heavily influenced by the Teotihuacan culture which was north of this area. 

This is a massive site with large buildings and a lot of open space.  Right away I noticed the stark contrast between the highly decorated Mayan ruins I visited 2 years ago versus the mostly plain facades here.  Below are some photos.




 When our group got to Monte Alban, and since this was an archaeological tour, our resident archaeologist proceeded to give us a lecture.  I only stayed through part of it, since I was itching to get around the site.  My mission, as usual, was to find the high energy sacred places there.  It didn’t take long.  I got the biggest hit at the altar in the center of a sunken plaza.  I took out my small crystal skull to get imprinted with that energy. 

Building J was the other place here that fascinated me.  It was clearly built with archeoastronomy alignments in mind, but to date, no one has been able to figure out what they were exactly.  It's oddly angled walls and fortress like structure is unique in all of mezzo America. 
Here is what remains of a doorway that hints of something megalithic.  
That afternoon, we took a walking tour of the area around the hotel.   The architecture is fabulous, and there are many old churches and haciendas that have been converted into small hotels, museums and galleries.  Hidden treasures were around every corner.   




December 4, 2019

The Market


Things have slowed down here a bit with the move, so I finally have a chance to write about my October/November trip to Oaxaca, Mexico.  This was not a spiritually oriented trip per se, although I always felt into the energy of every location that we visited.  Especially at the archaeological ruins in the Oaxaca Valley. 

Our hotel was right in the center of the old part of town, which was also the center of the “Day of the Dead” action.  Between shopping at the street vendors during the day, and experiencing the party atmosphere at night, there was a lot to do and see.  I also have to mention that the Archaeological Conservancy put on a really nice trip.  Of course, as with any trip, there are some odd personalities and wacky behavior, but this was at a minimum on this trip.  As I have mentioned regarding other trips I have taken, especially the spiritual, sacred site and megalithic trips, for some reason, people feel entitled to act up and act out whenever they feel like it.  Not so here. 

On our first full day, we walked over to the local market to have a look around.  As it is with many third world countries, there are no shopping malls, so all the goods are sold in stores up and down the street in addition to stalls set up on the street.  These are set up in common areas according to the service or goods being sold.  There are areas where every store sells shoes, or household goods, food or clothing, etc, and areas where all of the beauty salons or barber shops are located.  Fruit and vegetable markets abound, and street food is being cooked out in the open.  Must be the Mexican version of fast food! 

We passed all of this on our way to the main market, where everything under the sun was sold.  Below are some photos. 




 Deep fried crickets of all sizes.
 Bread.
 Belts and hats.
 Nuts and snack food.
 Dried chilies.
 Meats, above and below photos.
 Fried shrimp and fish.

 Copal for burning on all of the Day of the Dead altars.

 Ice for ?????