Oaxaca the Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca, is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, make up the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided into 570 municipalities, of which 418 are governed by the system of usos y costumbres with recognized local forms of self-governance, its capital city is Oaxaca de Juárez. Oaxaca is located in Southeastern Mexico, it is bordered by the states of Guerrero to the west, Puebla to the northwest, Veracruz to the north, Chiapas to the east. To the south, Oaxaca has a significant coastline on the Pacific Ocean; the state is best known for its indigenous cultures. The most numerous and best known are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, but there are sixteen that are recognized; these cultures have survived better than most others in Mexico due to the state's rugged and isolating terrain. Most live in the Central Valleys region, an economically important area for tourism, with people attracted for its archeological sites such as Monte Albán, Mitla, its various native cultures and crafts.
Another important tourist area is the coast, which has the major resort of Huatulco and sandy beaches of Puerto Escondido, Puerto Ángel, Bahia de Tembo, Mazunte. Oaxaca is one of the most biologically diverse states in Mexico, ranking in the top three, along with Chiapas and Veracruz, for numbers of reptiles, amphibians and plants; the name of the state comes from the name of Oaxaca. This name comes from the Nahuatl word "Huaxyacac", which refers to a tree called a "guaje" found around the capital city; the name was applied to the Valley of Oaxaca by Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs and passed on to the Spanish during the conquest of the Oaxaca region. The modern state was created in 1824, the state seal was designed by Alfredo Canseco Feraud and approved by the government of Eduardo Vasconcelos. Nahuatl word "Huaxyacac" was transliterated as "Oaxaca" using Medieval Spanish orthography, in which the x represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative, making "Oaxaca" pronounced as. However, during the sixteenth century the voiceless fricative sound evolved into a voiceless velar fricative, Oaxaca began to be pronounced.
In present-day Spanish, Oaxaca is pronounced or, the latter pronunciation used in dialects of southern Mexico, the Caribbean, much of Central America, some places in South America, the Canary Islands and western Andalusia in Spain where has become a voiceless glottal fricative. Most of what is known about prehistoric Oaxaca comes from work in the Central Valleys region. Evidence of human habitation dating back to about 11,000 years BC has been found in the Guilá Naquitz cave near the town of Mitla; this area was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010 in recognition for the "earliest known evidence of domesticated plants in the continent, while corn cob fragments from the same cave are said to be the earliest documented evidence for the domestication of maize." More finds of nomadic peoples date back to about 5000 BC, with some evidence of the beginning of agriculture. By 2000 BC, agriculture had been established in the Central Valleys region of the state, with sedentary villages.
The diet developed around this time would remain until the Spanish Conquest, consisting of harvested corn, chocolate, chili peppers and gourds. Meat was hunted and included tepescuintle, deer, peccary and iguana; the oldest known major settlements, such as Yanhuitlán and Laguna Zope are located in this area as well. The latter settlement is known for its small figures called "pretty women" or "baby face." Between 1200 and 900 BC, pottery was being produced in the area as well. This pottery has been linked with similar work done in Guatemala. Other important settlements from the same time period include Tierras Largas, San José Mogote and Guadalupe, whose ceramics show Olmec influence; the major native language family, Oto-Manguean, is thought to have been spoken in northern Oaxaca around 4400 BC and to have evolved into nine distinct branches by 1500 BC. Historic events in Oaxaca as far back as the 12th century are described in pictographic codices painted by Zapotecs and Mixtecs in the beginning of the colonial period, but outside of the information that can be obtained through their study, little historical information from pre-colonial Oaxaca exist, our knowledge of this period relies on archaeological remains.
By 500 BC, the central valleys of Oaxaca were inhabited by the Zapotecs, with the Mixtecs on the western side. These two groups were in conflict throughout the pre-Hispanic period. Archeological evidence indicates that between 750 and 1521, there may have been population peaks of as high as 2.5 million. The Zapotecs were the earliest to gain dominance over the Central Valleys region; the first major dominion was centered in Monte Albán, which flourished from 500 BC until AD 750. At its height, Monte Albán was home to some 25,000 people and was the capital city of the Zapotec nation, it remained a secondary center of power for the Zapotecs until the Mixtecs overran it in 1325. The site contains a number of notable features including the Danzantes, a set of stone reliefs and the finding of fine quality ceramics. Starting from AD 750 previous large urban centers such as Monte Alban fell across the Oaxaca area and smaller dominions grew and evolved unti
Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The city serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipio, known as the Mazatlán Municipality, it is located at 23°13′N 106°25′W on the Pacific coast, across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of deer." The city was founded in 1531 by an army of Spaniards and indigenous settlers. By the mid-19th century, a large group of immigrants arrived from Germany. Together, with the hard work of the Natives, they were able to develop Mazatlán into a thriving commercial seaport, importing equipment for the nearby gold and silver mines, it served as the capital of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873. The German settlers influenced the local music, with some genres being an alteration of Bavarian folk music; the settlers established the Pacifico Brewery on March 14, 1900. With a population of 438,434 and 489,987 as of the 2010 census, Mazatlán is the second-largest city in the state, it is a popular tourist destination, with its beaches lined with resort hotels.
A car ferry crosses the Gulf of California, from Mazatlán to Baja California Sur. The municipality has a land area of 3,068.48 km² and includes smaller outlying communities such as Villa Unión, La Noria, El Quelite, El Habal. Mazatlán is served by General Rafael Buelna International Airport. Mazatlán is known for being the hometown and center of Banda sinaloense, a musical genre which began to develop in the XIX century and is now one of the most popular music genres in Mexico. According to historians, Indigenous groups were in the region of Mazatlán prior to the arrival of the Spanish; these groups included the Totorames, who lived from the south bank of the River Piaxtla, to the Río de las Cañas, as well as the Xiximes, who lived in the mountains in the bordering state of Durango. Until the early 19th century, Mazatlán was a collection of huts inhabited by indigenous people whose major occupation was fishing, according to Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars, a French explorer. In 1829, a Filipino banker named Juan Nepomuceno Machado arrived and established commercial relations with vessels coming to Mazatlán from far off places such as Chile, the United States and Asia Pacific.
By 1836, the city had a population of between 4,000 and 5,000. During the early years of the Spanish conquest in Sinaloa, the region occupied by the municipality of Mazatlán remained uninhabited; the nearest town was Chametla, occupied by the Spanish in 1531, lent its name to the province, despite being abandoned shortly afterward. In 1534, the Valley of Mazatlán was divided into 25 Castellanos by an unknown person who did not stay for long. In 1576, Don Hernando de Bazán, Governor and Captain General of Nueva Vizcaya, sent Captain Martin Hernandez with his father and soldiers to occupy the site of Mazatlán, granting them land and titles in return; the Captain's claims were ratified in the City of Durango in 1639, endorsed in the same city in 1650. Nuño de Guzman's entry to Sinaloa in 1531, the appointment of the conquered lands as provinces, prompted the internal territorial division of the State. Chametla was occupied by the Spanish, listed the province extending from the Rio Cañas Elota to the boundary with the province of Culiacan.
Both provinces belonged to the kingdom of New Galicia. In 1565, the town of Chametla was diminished by ongoing Indian raids; that year, Captain Francisco de Ibarra recovered the territory south of the state, rebuilt Chametla, founded the Villa de San Sebastián, awarded the region to New Vizcaya. The provinces under his jurisdiction included the villages of San Sebastián, Mazatlán and its port, Charcas Copala Royals, Finance Panuco. During the last years of the seventeenth century and early eighteenth century, the territory within Sinaloa remained unchanged, until 1732, when the provinces of Sonora and Ostimuri were united, as were the provinces of Sinaloa and Rosario, with San Felipe and Santiago being the principal cities. In 1749, Sinaloa was divided into five provinces with their mayors and lieutenancy: Maloya, with jurisdiction over Chametla and San Jose. In 1786, the intendant system was implemented due to the need to establish a provincial government. Arizpe Municipality was formed out of the territories of Sinaloa.
That year, the first mayor, Garrido Durán, established eleven subdelegations, eight of them in Sinaloa, with Mazatlán being within the subdelegation of Copala, called San Sebastián. Among the first decrees that the legislature enacted was that the addition of each of the eleven districts, this union, corresponding to the Union Villa Mariano Balleza, be given the name of one of the leading insurgents, parish priest Dolores Hidalgo, on the night of September 15, 1810. In 1813, the Cadiz constitution came into effect. Article 310 of that constitution provided for the installation of local councils in towns that had more than 1,000 inhabitants. In 1814, Fernando VII repealed that constitution but it was reinstated in 1820, the first municipalities in Sinaloa were founded. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Mazatlán was a native fishing village located north of Cerro de la Aduana. In 1821, it was declared the first port of Mazatlán on Mexico's Pacific coast. Jurisdictionally, Mazatlán remained dependent on the sub-delegation of San Sebastian, unaffected by the divisions between the states of Sonora and Sinaloa.
In 1824, they got together to form the
This article is about the archeological site in Mexico. For the fossil site in Colombia, see La Venta. La Venta is a pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization located in the present-day Mexican state of Tabasco; some of the artifacts have been moved to the museum "Parque - Museo de La Venta", in nearby Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco. The Olmec were one of the first civilizations to develop in the Americas. Chronologically, the history of the Olmecs can be divided into the Early Formative, Middle Formative and Late Formative; the Olmecs are known as the "mother culture" of Mesoamerica, meaning that the Olmec civilization was the first culture that spread and influenced Mesoamerica. The spread of Olmec culture became the cultural features found throughout all Mesoamerican societies. Rising from the sedentary agriculturalists of the Gulf Lowlands as early as 1600 BCE in the Early Formative period, the Olmecs held sway in the Olmec heartland, an area on the southern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain, in Veracruz and Tabasco.
Prior to the site of La Venta, the first Olmec site of San Lorenzo dominated the modern day state of Veracruz. 200 kilometres long and 80 kilometres wide, with the Coatzalcoalcos River system running through the middle, the heartland is home to the major Olmec sites of La Venta, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, Laguna de los Cerros, Tres Zapotes. By no than 1200 BCE, San Lorenzo had emerged as the most prominent Olmec center. While a layer of occupation at La Venta dates to 1200 BCE, La Venta did not reach its apogee until the decline of San Lorenzo, after 900 BCE. After 500 years of pre-eminence, La Venta was all but abandoned by the beginning of the fourth century BCE. Located on an island in a coastal swamp overlooking the then-active Río Palma, La Venta controlled a region between the Mezcalapa and Coatzacoalcos rivers; the site itself is about 16 kilometres inland at an elevation of less than 10 meters above sea level with the island consisting of more than 2 square miles of dry land, resting on the largest alluvial plane in Mexico.
The humid tropical climate of La Venta has an average annual temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and an average annual rainfall of 2,000 millimeters. La Venta is located at the nexus of four different ecosystems: marshes, mangrove swamps, tropical forest, the Gulf of Mexico. "There was a large resident population at the site, a number of specialists not dedicated to food production, political, economic, and/or military relations with other sites within its area of influence." Few, if any, of the residential structures surrounding the large centers of the city have survived. The main part of the site is a complex of clay constructions stretched out for 20 kilometres in a north-south direction, although the site is oriented 8° west of north; the urbanized zone may have covered an area as large of 2 km2. This particular site layout is the way the city was from 600 – 400 BCE, when the final Olmec occupation occurred; this site is fascinating because of its layout—not only does Complex A face within 8 degrees of true North, but the east and west sides of the site are identical, showing bilateral symmetry.
This is related to religion but it shows a high level of sophistication and city-planning. Unlike Maya or Aztec cities, La Venta was built from earth and clay—there was little locally abundant stone for the construction. Large basalt stones were brought in from the Tuxtla Mountains, but these were used nearly for monuments including the colossal heads, the "altars", various stelae. For example, the basalt columns that surround Complex A were quarried from Punta Roca Partida, on the Gulf coast north of the San Andres Tuxtla volcano. “Little more than half of the ancient city survived modern disturbances enough to map accurately.” Today, the entire southern end of the site is covered by a petroleum refinery and has been demolished, making excavations difficult or impossible. Many of the site's monuments are now on display in the archaeological museum and park in the city of Villahermosa, Tabasco. La Venta was a ceremonial center. While it may have included as-yet-undiscovered regal residences, habitation for the non-regal elite and the commoners were located at outlying sites such as San Andrés.
Instead of dwellings, La Venta is dominated by a restricted sacred area, the Great Pyramid, the large plaza to their south. As a ceremonial center, La Venta contains an elaborate series of buried offerings and tombs, as well as monumental sculptures; these stone monuments, "altars" were distributed amongst the mounds and platforms. The mounds and platforms were built from local sands and clays, it is assumed that many of these platforms were once topped with wooden structures, which have long since disappeared. Complex C, “The Great Pyramid,” is the central building in the city layout, is constructed entirely out of clay, is seen from far away; the structure is built on top of a closed-in platform—this is where Blom and La Farge discovered Altars 2 and 3, thereby discovering La Venta and the Olmec civilization. A carbon sample from a burned area of the Structure C-1’s surface resulted in the date of 394 ± 30 BCE. One of the earliest pyramids known in Mesoamerica, the Great Pyramid is 110 ft high and contains an estimated 100,000 cubic meters of earth fill.
The current conical shape of the pyramid was once thought to represent nearby volcanoes or mountains, but recent work by Rebecca Gonzalez Lauck
Zihuatanejo, or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Politically the city belongs to the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the western part of Guerrero, but both are referred to as Zihuatanejo, it is on the Pacific Coast, about 240 km northwest of Acapulco, belongs to a section of the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. This town has been developed as a tourist attraction along with the modern tourist resort of Ixtapa, 5 km away. However, Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional town feel; the town is located on a well-protected bay, popular with private boat owners during the winter months. There are two possible origins for the name Zihuatanejo. One origin might be from the Purépecha language meaning “water of the yellow mountain. Cihuatlán, or "place of women," refers to the western paradise of the Nahuatl universe, the home of the “goddess women.” According to tradition, these women arose in the afternoon to lead the sun at dusk to the realm of the dead, Mictlan, to give a dim light to the dead.
"De Azueta" is in honor of José Azueta, who died fighting a U. S. incursion into the country in Veracruz in 1914. Zihuatanejo spent most of its history until as a sleepy fishing village; the federal government's decision to develop the nearby resort in the 1970s has had major implications for both the city and municipality of Zihuatanejo. The area is now the third most-visited area in Mexico, after Cancún and Puerto Vallarta, the most popular for sports fishermen. Zihuatanejo's population jumped from 6,887 to 37,328 by the early 1990s. A new highway called the "Maxipista Siglo XXI" was built to connect Zihuatanejo with Morelia, cutting the travel time from Mexico City to about six hours; the first human inhabitants of the region were nomadic tribes with a gathering culture. By the 15th century, the area was inhabited by groups called the Chumbia, the Panteca, the Coixcas; these groups mined salt in. The two main settlements in the area were Cihuatlán, near the modern Zihuatanejo, Petatlán; these two settlements along with much of the surrounding area was part of a pre-Hispanic dominion called Cuitlatepan.
It extended from the Atoyac River along the coast and inland to the borders of what are now the states of Michoacán and Mexico State. Little remains of these two settlements because they were abandoned by most of the local inhabitants after being conquered by the Aztecs; the area had always been sparsely populated before the colonial era. There are some legends related to the place. There is a story that states that Zihuatanejo was a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Cihuatéotl, of Olmec origin, she was considered to be the mother of the human race and the goddess of women who died in childbirth and of warriors who died in battle. In modern Zihuatanejo, there is an area called "La Madera" to the east of the port that may have been a shrine or sanctuary due to the significant number of pre-Hispanic clay figures that have been found, it is thought. The area appears to have been a sanctuary for the burial of important persons. In pre-Hispanic times, Purépecha kings used this area as a recreational area.
Just south of the Zihuatanejo Airport there is a large archeological site at La Soledad De Maciel and the small town of La Chole. While artifacts have been found there since the 1930s, excavations were only started between 2000 and 2010; the site was occupied from 3000 BCE to the early 600s CE. It was occupied by three different cultures and was an important trading city for both Teotihuacan and the Olmec. At its height, it had a large population with the site covering a 10 km2 area. Only a small part of the site has been excavated because most of it is owned by the local farmers who grow fruit trees, coconuts for copra, tobacco that they roll into cigars; the Mexican government is in the process of buying back the site. Cuitlatepan was conquered by the Aztecs under Ahuizotl in 1497, it was turned into a tributary province. The Spanish arrived in the 1520s; the first Spaniard to arrive here is said to have been Gonzalo de Umbria, sent by Hernán Cortés to explore the area to see if there was any gold.
The conquest caused the native peoples to abandon the area, it is not known where they went. Those left to provide tribute were known in the Mexican highlands for their cotton shawls and decorated conch shells; the oldest document with Zihuatanejo’s name is called the Matricula de Tributos. Today the local dialect has been lost and the only trace of the native population is a small archaeological site, explored by INAH in the 1990s; the Spanish used the bay as a point of departure to explore the Pacific coast as well as a port for the first ships to sail to the Philippines, the Florida, the Espiritu Santo and the Santiago. These ships were ordered built by Hernán Cortés and offered to the Spanish king Carlos V. According to the chronicles written by Bernal Díaz del Castillo, the ships were constructed here using Spanish carpenters and local wood, they left Zihuatanejo Bay on 31 October 1527 with Captain Alvaro de Saavedra y Cerón. Only the Florida made it to the Asian islands, neither the captain nor crew returned to Mexico.
The Ixtapa area was given to Anton Sanchez as an encomienda, with nearby Pochutla and Tamaloca as part of this arrangement. With the disappearance of the native population and forests were worked by Spaniards, leaving little in the way of the colonial system which