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Mitla: View of one of the palace structures
One of three main palace groups (Church Group, Column Group and Arroyo Group) showing the low, extremely wide, but shallow buildings which would have had flat roofs.
Site of a Pre-Columbian Zapotec and Mixtec city in the eastern arm of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Excavations have revealed that Mitla was a small Zapotec town around AD 400. Mixtec rule began c. AD 1000, when the city became a royal burial centre, but even then most of the population was still probably Zapotec. Mitla (Nahuatl: 'Arrow place', a corruption of 'Miquitla', 'Death place', which was a rough translation of Zapotec 'Lyobaa', 'Inside-tomb') comprises groups of surviving palaces and platforms that are a late part of the ancient community, most of which lies under the modern town. The palaces for which it is known were probably built during the 14th century AD, when Mixtec rulers dominated the Valley of Oaxaca and many Zapotecs had migrated east to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.