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Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca
- Oaxacan Green Pottery

Located 5 kilometers northwest of the city of Oaxaca on the Libertad A. Atzompa

GPS: 17°6.1'N 96°46.3'W

to the north
to the southeast
Oaxaca, Oaxaca
to the south
Monte Albán
San Bartolo Coyotepec
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Atzompa is just northwest of Oaxaca City
Pottery-making has always been an important activity in Santa María Atzompa since it was founded between the 7th and 9th centuries just north of the Zapotec city of Monte Albán. The name Atzompa means high water mark in the Nahuatl language. The first pottery produced was of the gray type typical of the region. Lead glazing was introduced in the 16th century and Atzompa became an important producer of ceramics shipping to other parts of Mexico and the United States. Concerns about lead poisoning caused interest to drop off. A lead-free glaze was introduced in the 1990s. Today most of the population is involved in pottery-making and most of the pottery is sold in Oaxaca.

Beginning in 2009, excavation has been underway on an archaeological site just south of the center of town. Several structures have been unearthed including 3 ball courts. One 45-meter ball court is the largest in the area. The site is planned to be open to the public in 2012.

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The Pacific Coast of Mexico www.tomzap.com Tom Penick:  tom@tomzap.com