Monte Alban

Fifteen structures within Monte Albán and the northern section of Atzompa were affected by a devastating September 2017 earthquake, with five showing severe damage that required emergency structural shoring to prevent collapse. The site was included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch as part of the Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico, with the goal of mobilizing heritage conservation efforts in the aftermath of a string of hurricanes and earthquakes.

Monte Albán, the most significant archeological site in the Oaxaca Valley, is one of the most important archaeological zones in Mesoamerica. An ancient Zapotec metropolis, Monte Albán was founded in the sixth century B.C. on a low mountainous range overlooking the city of Oaxaca and functioned as their capital 13 centuries between 500 B.C. and 800 A.D. Its impressive architectural remains—terraces, pyramids, and canals—extend over some four miles (6.5 square kilometers), including structures built around the Great Plaza, the north and south ends of which are anchored by massive platform mounds. As the Zapotec culture declined in the fourteenth century, areas of Monte Albán were occupied by Mixtec peoples.WMF will launch a partnership with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to address the long-term stability of Monte Albán, including physical conservation, documentation, and geological assessment. The program will also emphasize training and capacity building, giving local technicians the skills they need to effectively repair and prepare Monte Albán for future natural disasters. Local architecture and engineering students in their last semester will carry out research and documentation in the first phase of work.The ancient Zapotec metropolis of Monte Albán was founded in the sixth century B.C. and became a World Heritage Site in 1987. Its impressive architectural remains—terraces, pyramids, and canals—extend over some four miles, and include hieroglyphic inscriptions that provide insight into the ancient Zapotec civilization.

Project Details


Location: Oaxaca, Mexico, Central America, Americas Organiser(s): World Monuments Fund Project partner(s): Roberto Hernández Ramírez and Claudia Madrazo de Hernández, The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, Charities Aid Foundation of Canada and Fundación Mary Street Jenkins Funder(s): American Express Funding received: $225,000 Commencement Date: 01/2018 Project Status: Active
Project owner? Update this project



Related Projects

Pingyao Credit Xiaodang Wang 1

Pingyao, China

Nominated in 1997 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Pingyao has over 4,000 Ming and Qing era courtyards all surrounded by brick-and-stone walls that are over six kilometers …

Explore project
Maijishan Credit Maijishan Grotto Art Institute 1

Maijishan, China

The goals of the Maijishan Grottoes project is to Develop a visitor management plan and establish relevant training, document the traditional conservation practices and develo…

Explore project
Dali Credit ATLAS Studio

Guizhou, Dali Village, China

Guizhou, is a perfect example of a cultural landscape which combines the tangible and intangible heritages harmoniously. GHF’s work in Guizhou focuses on helping preserve the …

Explore project