Zona Arqueológica Dainzú
Carretera a Tlacolula 190 Km 17, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 568 0316
Photo by Suzanne Barbezat
Sun - Sat 8am - 5pm
Dainzu Archaeological SiteThis small archaeological site is situated on a hillside about 12 miles east of Oaxaca city. The name "Dainzú" means "hill of the organ cactus" in Zapotec, although that most certainly was not the original name. The site was occupied in very early times, but its apogee was roughly at the same time as Monte Alban (200 B.C.E. to 350 C.E.). It was excavated in 1965 by Mexican archaeologist Ignacio Bernal.
This is one of Oaxaca's less visited sites, so you're likely to have the place to yourself. It is quite a nice site, however, and worth a visit for a few special features. The site has a ball court, as well as a gallery of bas-reliefs depicting ball players, so undoubtedly the game was very important to the inhabitants. Another must-see is a tomb that has a jaguar carved into the entrance; the face is carved in the lintel, and the animal's forearms are on either side.