Zapotec Monuments and Political History

Joyce Marcus

Of the four major hieroglyphic writing systems of ancient Mesoamerica (Zapotec, Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec), the Zapotec is widely considered to be one of the oldest and least studied. This volume assesses an array of topics, including (1) the origins of Zapotec writing; (2) the spread of writing following the formation of the Monte Albán state; (3) the use of Zapotec writing to commemorate inaugurations, building dedications, apical ancestors, founding couples, and noble genealogies; (4) the role of Zapotec writing in the changing political agendas of the region; and (5) the decline of hieroglyphic writing in the Valley of Oaxaca. Lavishly illustrated with maps, photographs, and original artwork, including pen and ink drawings.

Order from the University of Michigan Press.

Read more about the Oaxaca Project at Archaeological Research in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Explore the other volumes in the Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca series here.

Publisher: Museum of Anthropology

Year of Publication: 2020

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Pages: 470

Price: $45

Print ISBN: 978-0-915703-93-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-915703-96-8

Series / Number: Memoir No. 61

Tables / Illustrations: 350+ b&w drawings, maps and photographs and 10 color plates


By Elizabeth Noll

Editor at University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology