El sitio arqueológico de Monte Alban ubicado sobre la configuración de una montaña espectacular a unos 16 km (diez millas) al oeste de la ciudad de Oaxaca fue la capital de la civilización zapoteca desde 500 aC a 800 A.D.
The archaeological zone of Monte Alban, belonging to the Zapotec culture, is one of the most important in the area of Oaxaca. Its cultural development and monumental architecture has become representative of the region, and the Mesoamerican culture area. The prehispanic capital is located at the summit of a hill that rises in the southwest of Oaxaca City. It is located at 1948 meters above sea level (400 more than the level of the valley of Oaxaca).
The prehispanic name of Monte Alban has not been identified with precision. The most closely related descendants of the Zapotecs mention a hill that was known as Dhauya quch o Dauyacach, or the “Cerro de las Piedras Sagradas”. On the other hand, the Mixtecs know it as Yucucui, or “Colina verde”. At the beginning of the 17th century, this spot came to be known as Monte Alban, owing to the fact that at that time, the lands belonged to a Spaniard with the surname of Monte Alban or Montalban.