Monte Albán

A new model for heritage management for World Heritage Sites in Latin America

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Presented by Dr. Nelly Robles

Dr. Robles is an archaeologist and researcher for the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) –Oaxaca

Located in southwestern Mexico, Monte Albán Archaeological Site is an ancient metropolis founded by the Zapotec culture in the sixth century B.C., and later occupied by the Mixtecs. Monte Albán was included on the 2008 World Monuments Watch and received support from the Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve Our Heritage from WMF for the conservation, documentation, and interpretation of its carved stones, which provide insight into the ancient Zapotec civilization. Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1987, the site is known for its unique hieroglyphic inscriptions, which have been eroding rapidly from exposure to the elements.

The management plan for Monte Albán is the first of its kind to be implemented at an archaeological site in Mexico, and represents an innovative approach in institutional strategies toward conducting comprehensive projects. The plan successfully balances the theoretical and methodological aspects of archaeology, conservation, and social management.