The UMMAA’s newest book, Zapotec Monuments and Political History, by Joyce Marcus, the Museum’s curator of Latin American archaeology, will be published in early spring of this year.

Marcus excavated in Mexico’s Valley of Oaxaca for decades, and is the author of many books on the archaeology of the region. Here she draws on her own work and that of other scholars to create an encyclopedic work on the origins and use of Zapotec writing.

Of the four major hieroglyphic writing systems of ancient Mesoamerica (Zapotec, Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec), the Zapotec is widely considered to be one of the oldest and least studied. This volume assesses an array of topics, including (1) the origins of Zapotec writing; (2) the spread of writing following the formation of the Monte Albán state; (3) the use of Zapotec writing to commemorate inaugurations, building dedications, apical ancestors, founding couples, and noble genealogies; (4) the role of Zapotec writing in the changing political agendas of the region; and (5) the decline of hieroglyphic writing in the Valley of Oaxaca. Lavishly illustrated with more than 330 photographs, maps, and original artwork.


Print ISBN: 978-0-915703-93-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-915703-96-8