Pilar. The theme here was to shoot in Indigenous clothing at a Zapotec Site, Mogote
Pilar’s photo shoot is based on a theme, that is, she is Oaxacan, and with her stunning looks and traje, we decided we’d do a local location, San Jose del Mogote (the mounds), a three-thousand plus year old Zapotec Archeologtical Site near Etla.

Looking norte, the land where the Aztec come from.

If there were cameras in 500 AD, you may have seen this same photo.


Much of the information used below is from a site, SAN JOSE DEL MOGOTE

http://www.turimexico.com/oaxaca/mogote.php>.  I don’t see a copyright so I have cited the source.

While some say Mogote predates Monte Alban, some say it's Olmeca

Known as San Jose or San José Mogote Mogote, this archaeological data from the historical period known as the Preclassic, and is considered to have been inhabited around 1500 BC, making it one of the oldest towns of Oaxaca.

San Jose Mogote is located in the Etla Valley, northwest of Monte Alban, and according to studies that have been done on site, its inhabitants were skilled astronomers dedicated to the calendrical calculations. Over time, San Jose became the political center of the area during the Stage Urbana, when he began building settlements to officers in the Valley of Oaxaca, in turn establishing itself as a major point of contact between cultures Zapotec and Olmec, as well evidenced by the pottery remains found at the site. And speaking of ceramics, we know that San Jose was an important craft center, specializing in the production of pyrite and magnetite mirrors, highly appreciated by the Olmecs of the Gulf Coast.

With Villa Etla in the Foreground

The great development that San Jose had during the period between 850 and 500 BC, saw the light turn off when Monte Albán began to be present to achieve complete mastery of the region, hence, the hegemony of San Jose Mogote formally ended about 400 BC, leaving only specimens of this period of transition and readjustment cultural, architectural style remains Monte Alban, for example, in the main square, monumental structures include a temple on a hill top with basement block of stone, likewise, there is a figure similar to the famous dancers Monte Alban, Which belongs to an older stage (Monte Alban I), which lies in a corridor between two platforms.

Here, too, can be seen a series of terraces that are distributed on the remains of temples and stairways, of which some are partially restored and little explored.


  1. San José el Mogote is a great location for such lovely pictures. Thanks also for the summary about the historic importance of El Mogote for the ulterior development of urbanism, not only in Oaxaca, but in the whole Mesoamerican Area and even in the Americas, i could add. It’s a pity that we, Oaxacans, have abandoned this lovely site. Located near the Atoyac River and enjoying an astonishing view of the North Sierra and the Atzompa and Monte Alban ranges to the South, it should be the Crown Jewel of Oaxaca City. Few cities can boast a 3000 years old city in its environs! I hope some day soon, the rich and powerful Oaxacans with a heart, like maestro Toledo or Mr. Harp, will put all their strenght to restore El Mogote and at the same time, create a wonderful zoo garden with American species, including the Atoyac, to enjoy ourselves, gain identity, become better cloud people and share this marvel with our visitors!

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