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Monte Alban Archaeological Site Gets Greener
Areas where archaeological exploration confirmed there are no vestiges are planted during this rainy season to become green spots. Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH.
MEXICO CITY.- Five hectares of green areas are being reforested at Monte Alban Archaeological Zone, in Oaxaca, with native species cultivated in its own green houses. The Prehispanic city was declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cultural Heritage Site in 1987.

The yearly activity conducted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) is framed within environmental actions part of the archaeological zone Management Plan with support of several institutions and nearby communities.

Until now, 3,500 living plants have been planted in Valles Centrales de Oaxaca region, with 10,000 native specimens from species known as Zopilote, Cazahuate, Pochote, Jarilla, Guaje and Palo Negro yet to be sowed, informed Aciel Sanchez Flores, director if Monte Alban Site Museum.

The Flora and Fauna Protection Program uses trees cultivated at the green house and is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).

“Areas where archaeological exploration confirmed there are no vestiges are planted during this rainy season to become green spots. 5 hectares of Polygonal Protection Area are being reforested to reinforce limits”, declared Sanchez Flores.

“Green house was implemented at the archaeological zone 10 years ago to grow native species and reforest the area with plants adapted to weather, with better chances to survive” declared the Site Museum’s director, adding that Mexican Army reforested the site in 1970’s and 1980’s decades. Later, SAGARPA advised and trained archaeological site staff.

“Collaboration with SAGARPA consists in exchanging seeds, which we provide, for grown trees used to reforest several areas in Oaxaca”, explained Sanchez.

This green house collaborated with Oaxaca Technological Institute in the inventory of flora species in the 1078 hectares that integrate the Polygonal Area. This work was published in 2007 in the book written by Enrique Martinez y Ojeda “Natural Resources of Monte Alban”.

Finally, Sanchez Flores commented that INAH staff imparts workshops to inhabitants regarding environment and archaeological heritage protection.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Zopilote | Cazahuate | Pochote | Jarilla | Guaje | Palo Negro |

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