Monday 3 December 2012

Virtually Stunning: Monte Alban on the Cheap!

The ball court and the main "street" at Monte Albán (Thanks Google!)
Some time ago the world was invited to take a stroll around Tulu'um, the Post-Classic Maya stronghold on the Yucatan Peninsula's Honduras Gulf coast. For those of us without the resources to get to such places, Google Earth provided an unprecedented view through its Street View function, and the labour of Googlers pedalling around on tricycles. At the time they promised more to come.

     A couple of days ago I saw a piece on Diario Oaxaca that it was now possible to visit [IMHO] the world's ultimate "Acropolis" Monte Albán, in Mexico's Valley of Oaxaca. [For those who weren't aware, Google Earth is a cross-platform free application downloadable at] 
     Go on! Take a spin. I know I was never gonna get as close as this. And I have to say that I wish I had these resources when I was still teaching the archaeology of the "Americas." I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this Google Earth tour of Monte Albán is every bit as riveting and visually informative as any walking tour could be, especially for undergraduates. Hell, it's good enough for anyone wanting to "see" the remains of an ancient civilization up close. And besides, you don't have to put on sunscreen, wear a hat, or carry around a big jug of water.
     And just in case you've forgotten where these places are, I've circled them on this groovy map.

"Borrowed" from the UC Irvine library (Source)

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