Oaxaca's Tourist Guide
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Archaeological Sites

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Archaeological site
Ball game
Building
Building
Dainz

Dainz

Description
This site's name comes from the Zapotec words "danni", meaning mount or hill and "zu", which is Zapotec for Cactus. Therefore, Dainz means "Hill of the Cactus". The site was explored for the first time in 1965 by Mexican Archaeologist Ignacio Bernal, who found evidence of occupation from 750 BC until 1,000 AD. The most interesting point is a stone bas-relief gallery portraying ball players dressed in Pre-Hispanic garments, involved in violent activity. Four figures that are probably the Gods of Fire are another sight worth seeing.

This site was built on artificial terraces, slanting from the lower side of the valley and extending over the western end of the hill to which it owes its name. This explains the name of the site. Three buildings that communicate by means of staircases, terraces, courtyards and chambers form the main construction. The architectural style and organisation of these structures define them as the administrative civil control centre for this ancient Pre-Hispanic village, whose traces extend as far as the town of Macuilxochitl.

These structures have been named: Building A, Building G and Ball Playing Court.

Building A: This is formed by a four-bodied pyramidal base with rounded corners and a central staircase. At the top is a series of walls belonging to the living quarters, and stairways that once served as an access. The most important feature of the zone is on the southern side of the lower part of the building: a series of stone bas-relief, representing ball players. They are wearing gloves, feline masks and holding a small ball in their hands. Stone engravings of other ball player masks and heads are at the top of the hill.

Building G: This construction is a huge platform, with staircases, courtyards and chambers, divided by stone walls. The most outstanding sight here is a stone pillar representing an important person and a tomb. The lintel and sides of this stone form the figure of a jaguar.

Ball Court: This ball playing court has a double 'T' shape, and has been partially rebuilt. It features two lateral platforms, with a stone wall sloping towards the court. Chronologically, it dates to 1000 AD. Due to the court's construction date, it is not possible to relate it to the ball players' in the main building.


Location
Dainz: Is located 12 miles (20 kilometres) Southeast of City of Oaxaca via highway 190 to the Isthmus. The archaeological site is approximately half a mile to the right of highway 190 on an unpaved detour close to the roads 20 km. sign. Approximate travel time: [0:30]



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