PHOTOS: Lost Treasures of the Zapotec Civilization

PHOTOS: Lost Treasures of the Zapotec Civilization
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A figure with an elaborate headdress appears on an urn found in the palace tomb at El Palmillo.

The finds from this palace highlight a sequence of events when local rulers appear to have gained power but slowly lost it.

In the end, El Palmillo and other large Zapotec settlements in the Oaxaca Valley were almost entirely abandoned. No one is sure exactly why, though experts suspect environmental and economic causes led to the collapse.

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—Photograph by Jesus Eduardo Lopez Reyes
 
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