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The Zapotec People
Transcript of The Zapotec People
Had one god, Coquixilla, who was worshiped by the Zapotec
Zapotec also worshiped gods which were aspects of nature that stemmed from Coquixilla, like rain or lightning
Coquixilla was main god that created everything, including the other gods
The Zapotec economy relied on the Zapotec population
Trade with neighboring societies was rare
Lower class citizens grew food for the entire population
Households would make useful trinkets to trade
Economy had no money system
Based on the barter system
Rise of the Zapotecs
The big impact was moving into the mountains overlooking the Oaxaca Valley, and building Monte Alban
It provided a tactical view of the valley below, and provided a huge defensive valley being a half mile above valley
From there the Zapotecs were able to conquer the neighboring tribes, acquiring better farmland and more land in general, in the process
While this went on, the population increased, increasing the workforce, in turn allowing the Zapotecs to build its impressive structures
Fall of the Zapotecs
Three factors contributed to the fall of the Zapotecs.
Monte Alban Pyramids
First Mesoamerican group to build flat topped pyramids
Built for sacrifices, and rituals
The Aztecs, With A Bit More Zap
Farmers that eventually became the ancestors to the Zapotec people emerged in the Oaxaca Valley
Zapotec people become a united society
Leadership passed down through family heritage
Capital city, Monte Alban, built on a mountain overlooking the Oaxaca Valley
Zapotec reached it peak, having a counting system, calendar, artistic abilities, and jewelry craftsmanship
Monte Alban falls, and the Zapotec move back down into the Oaxaca Valley and build Zaachila
Zapotec people fall
Zapotecs had one of the earliest forms of writing in Mesoamerica
Most forms are found on stone slabs
Most are found at Monte Alban
Usually depict slain captives, record important conquests on neighboring societies
Can depict diplomatic meetings or the current leader of the Zapotecs with his prisoners
Building in Zaachila
Current Zapotec decendents
Map of Zapotec Area
Monte Alban is the Zapotecs biggest accomplishment
It is raised a half mile from the ground
It sustained up to 30,000 people at one point
Fitted with spiritual worship areas, and living accomidations
Housing at Monte Alban
Lead by one king
Sons of king became prince's
The prince that showed the best leadership qualities was chosen
King controls where the people would farm, who they should conquer in order to obtain better land, and where to establish the main cultural center
Figure on the right is the Zapotec leader
of that time
Maize, a Zapotec staple
View of the valley
Mixtec people marrying into the Zapotec royalty weakened the Zapotec political strength.
The ongoing battle with the Aztecs, weakened the military strength which eventually lead to...
the Zapotec people being conquered by the Spanish conquistadors.