Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2008:
Ronald Faulseit

Cerro Danush: An Exploration of the Late Classic Transition in the Tlacolula Valley, Oaxaca

Image of Cerro Danush
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Research Year:  2007
Culture:  Zapotec
Chronology:  Late Classic
Location:  Oaxaca Valley, México
Site:  Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl

Table of Contents

Notes on Dating and Ceramic Phase for the Valley of Oaxaca
Project Goals and Theoretical Approach
Field Opperations 2007 – 2008
Site Mapping Procedures
Discussion of Features Mapped on Cerro Danush
Rock Paintings
Natural Springs
Man-Made Terraces
Surface Collection Procedures
Artifact Analysis Procedures
Initial Conclusions and Interpretations
Cerro Danush in the Late Postclassic Period, A.D. 1200-1521
Cerro Danush: Ritual Landscape and the Festival of the Cross
Cerro Danush in the Ealry Postcalssic Period, A.D. 900 – 1200
The Oaxaca Valley in the Late Classic Period, A.D. 500 – 900
Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl in the Late Classic Period, A.D. 500 – 900
Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl as a District Center
List of Figures
Sources Cited


This report describes and provides preliminary interpretations for the 2007-2008 field season of mapping and surface collection conducted on Cerro Danush at the site of Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl in Oaxaca, Mexico. Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl is an expansive settlement that was an important part of the Prehispanic Zapotec tradition. Over 130 man-made terraces were mapped, all dating to the Late Classic period (500-900 A.D.), and a large terrace complex found at the summit of Cerro Danush is interpreted as the civic-ceremonial center of the site during that time. I argue that the Late Classic shift in civic-ceremonial focus away from Cerro Dainzú to Cerro Danush implies direct involvement at the site from the nearby urban center of Monte Albán.


Este informe describe y proporciona las interpretaciones preliminares para la temporada del campo 2007-2008 de traz y de la recolección superficial conducidos en Cerro Danush en el sitio de Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl en Oaxaca, México. Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl es un establecimiento expansivo que tenía una parte importante de la tradición zapoteca prehispanica. Sobre 130 terrazas artificiales se trazó, todo fechando al período Clásico Tardío (500-900 A.D.), y un complejo grande de terrazas encontrado en la cumbre de Cerro Danush se interpreta como el centro civico-ceremonial del sitio durante ese tiempo. Discuto que la transición del período Clásico Tadío en foco de centro civico-ceremonial lejos de Cerro Dainzú hacía Cerro Danush implique la intervención directa en el sitio del centro urbano próximo de Monte Albán.

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Cerro Danush: An Exploration of the Late Classic Transition in the Tlacolula Valley, Oaxaca  (1.91 MB)

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Submitted 03/25/2008 by:
Ronald Faulseit
Tulane University

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