Yagul is another archaeological site in the Valley of Oaxaca. Situated on a hill about 45km. east of Oaxaca city on the road to Mitla, Yagul was occupied for over a thousand years. It was most prominent during the City-State stage of A.D. 800-1100 and the ruins now visible date to this era. Yagul means old  tree in Zapotec. 


This rather confusing site plan (Patio 4 is numbered 2, Patio 1 is numbered 4) shows:

  • the typical I-shaped ballcourt (#3);
  • to the north The Palace of the Six Patios (or Labyrinth) (#6);
  • to the southeast of the ballcourt is Patio 4 (#2) with a tomb in the centre (#1): this is probably a temple compound but the surrounding mounds are unexcavated;
  • to the west of the ballcourt is Patio 1 (#4) which was probably an administrative area with the Administrative Centre (#5) on one side.

To the east of the site is a defensible hilltop fortress which gives a great view of the whole site. There is also a PreColumbian stone bridge that leads to the lookout point while the hilltop fortress itself provides some magnificent vistas of the surrounding countryside.This is, incidenally, an excellent site for amateur and professional bird watchers. Worked stone was an important device both decorative and functional at this site

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