Zapotec State

Thousands of years before the Aztecs, a native people called the Zapotec founded one of Mexico's earliest civilizations in the Valley of Oaxaca (wa-HA-ka). The "golden age" of the Zapotec state was from A.D. 200-700. They were the first Central Americans to build a state ruled by nobles. Zapotec nobles also filled the highest levels of the priesthood and the highest ranks of the army.

Image credits: main image, AMNH Charles Spencer.