Zapotec Civilization


The Zapotecs, known as the 'Cloud People', dwelt in the southern highlands of central Mesoamerica, specifically, in the Valley of Oaxaca, which they inhabited from the late Preclassic period to the end of the Classic period (500 BCE - 900 CE). Their capital was first at Monte Albán and then at Mitla, they dominated the southern highlands, spoke a variation of the Oto-Zapotecan language, and profited from trade and cultural links with the Olmec, Teotihuacan and Maya civilizations.

More about: Zapotec Civilization


  • 500 BCE - 900 CE
    The Zapotec Civilization flourishes in Mesoamerica.
  • 500 BCE - 450 BCE
    Monte Alban becomes the capital of the Zapotec in the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico.
  • c. 500 BCE
    San Jose Mogote is the capital of the Zapotec civilization.
  • 150 BCE - 150 CE
    The Zapotec capital of Monte Alban is further developed (Monte Alban II).
  • c. 900 CE
    The Zapotec abandon Monte Alban and establish a new centre at Mitla.
  • c. 1450 CE
    The Aztecs establish a garrison at Mitla in the Oaxaca Valley.