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August 8, 2022
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Equality was key to ancient Mexican city’s success, study suggests

At its peak Monte Albán was home to 17,000 people, despite a lack of water supplies or fertile land

Greater equality than that experienced in other Mesoamerican cities may have been key to the successes of an ancient Zapotec community in Mexico which survived far longer than any contemporaneous metropolis, a new study suggests.

The ruins of Monte Albán – which include pyramids, canals and a ballgame court – sit on a semi-arid hilltop above the city of Oaxaca. At its peak the city, founded in 500BC, was the administrative and religious capital for the Zapotec people, and home to 17,000 people, despite a lack of water supplies or fertile land.

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