Mexican Architecture

Mexican Architecture

The presence of man in the Mexican territory has left important archaeological finds of great importance for the explanation of the habitat of early man and modern man. Mesoamerican civilizations have achieved great stylistic development and proportion in human and urban scale, the form evolved from simplicity to complexity aesthetic; in the north it manifests architecture of adobe and stone, the multifamily housing as it see in Paquimé, and the cave dwelling in caves of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Monte Albán was for long the seat of the dominant power in the region of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, from the decline of San José Mogote until the sundown of the city, occurred around the 9th century. The old name of this city founded by the Zapotecs in late Preclassic is the subject of discussion. According to some sources, the original name was Dani Baá. It is known, however, that the Mixtec known the city as Yuku kúi (Mixtec language: Yúku kúi, "Green Hill").

Like most of the great Mesoamerican cities, Monte Albán was a city with a multiethnic population. Throughout its history, the city maintained strong ties to other major peoples in Mesoamerica, especially with the Teotihuacans during the Early Classic. The city was abandoned by the elite and much of its population at the end of Phase Xoo. However, the ceremonial enclosure that constitute the complex of archeological site of Monte Albán was reused for the Mixtec during the Postclassic period. By this time, the Zapotec people's political power was divided among various city-states, as Zaachila, Yagul, Lambityeco and Tehuantepec.

It is believed that the Maya founded Lakam Ha during the Formative period (2500 B.C. - 300 A.D.), about 100 B.C., predominantly as a farmer village, and favored by numerous springs and streams in the region.

The population grew during the Early Classic period (200-600), to be a city, becoming the capital of the region of B'akaal (bone), comprised in the area of Chiapas and Tabasco, in the Late Classic period (600-900). The oldest of the structures that have been discovered was built around the year 600.

B'akaal was an important center of Mayan civilization between the 5th and 9th centuries, during which alternated times of glory and disaster, alliances and wars. On more than one occasion made alliances with Tikal, the other great Mayan city of the time, especially to contain the spread of militant Calakmul, also called "Kingdom of the Serpent". Calakmul was victorious twice, in 599 and 611.

B'akaal rulers claimed that the origin of their lineage came from the distant past, some even boasting come from prehistoric times, leading to the creation of the world, which in Mayan mythology, was in the year 3114 B.C. Modern archaeological theories speculate that the first dynasty of their rulers was probably Olmec.

During the Phase Tollan, the city had reached its greatest extent and population. Some authors estimate urban surface Tollan-Xicocotitlan between 5 and 16 km² for the time, with a population of between 16,000 and 55,000 peoples. During this phase should consolidate monumental space that constitutes the current archaeological zone of Tula, consistent into two pyramidal bases, two courts for the ballgame and several palaces that could be occupied by the Toltec elite. By this time, Tollan-Xicocotitlan became not only the heart of the Mesoamerican commercial networks. Also hosted a military-theocratic elite who imposed their dominance in various parts of Mesoamerica, were by military conquest, or political alliance or by establishing colonies in strategic places.

Teotihuacan was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987. Despite what might be assumed given the large number of monuments, the Teotihuacan archaeological excavations continue to this day, and have resulted in a gradual increase in the quality and quantity of knowledge it have about this city, which, incidentally, are unknown issues as important as its original name and the ethnic affiliation of its founders. It is known, however, that was a cosmopolitan place, by the documented presence of groups from the Gulf Coast or the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.

Located in the town of Tzintzuntzan in the municipality of the same name. The settlement is located on the Yahuarato hillside, where it became an esplanade, the location allowed have visual domain of Lake Pátzcuaro, in addition to providing protection. The zone is formed by 5 pyramids called "Yácatas" that having rectangular shape and semicircle since its staggered basis, besides other architectural. The yácatas were the main ceremonial center. The site was the last capital of the Purepecha empire. It has a small archaeological museum.

Read more about Mexican Architecture:  Colonial Period, 19th and Early 20th Century Architecture, Modern and Contemporary Architecture

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