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By Lynn V. Foster

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C. The origin of the calendar, however, may very well have been in the Olmec lowlands because some of the days are named after tropical creatures such as crocodiles, jaguars, and monkeys. ” In the sacred round, numbers 1 through 13 rotate consecutively with 20 day names, then begin at 1 again with a new order of the same day names so that there is an unrepeating cycle of 260 numbered days. Calendar Round Throughout Mesoamerica, religious festivals and dynastic events were dated by the sacred round combined with the solar calendar.

As a result, the variety in Mesoamerican art and architecture is extremely rich. Archaeologists have identified these different cultural and temporal horizons. C. D. 250 many cities first made their appearance throughout Mesoamerica, from the great city of Teotihuacán near modern Mexico City to the many southern cities, such as Izapa near the Guatemalan border, Monte Albán in Oaxaca, and the earliest Maya sites. D. 250 to 900 many of the Protoclassic cities achieved their greatest heights, from Teotihuacán and Monte Albán to Maya cities like Palenque in Chiapas and Uxmal in Yucatán.

Throughout the Classic period, the Zapotec followed the Maya practices of erecting sculptures carved with hieroglyphic texts extolling the military exploits of their rulers, and building stone ball courts in their most sacred centers. Great tombs were built for their rulers and the nobility, and there is evidence of ancestor worship, just as there is in the Maya region. But Monte Albán’s most important contact during the Classic period was with Teotihuacán. Whether that contact was always peaceful is unclear, given the defensive position of Monte Albán.

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