View to the southeast of the Valles Centrales from the summit of Mount Albán
The Valles Centrales (English: Central Valleys) is a region in the heart of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. It includes the districts of Etla, Centro, Zaachila, Zimatlán, Ocotlán, Tlacolula and Ejutla
Often called simply "Los Valles" by the people of Oaxaca, it is a geographical and cultural region consisting of three river valleys between the Nudo Mixteco, the Sierra Juárez and the Sierra Madre del Sur. The valleys form a kind of Y. The northwest arm is the Etla Valley, on the east is the Tlacolula Valley and to the south the Ocotlán Zimatlán or Grande Valley. The largest community in the region, and the largest in the state, is the city of Oaxaca.
The fertile valley has been settled since prehistoric times, with stone ruins dating back to 600BC. Archaeological sites include Dainzú, Lambityeco, Mitla, Monte Albán (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), San José Mogote, Yagul and Zaachila. The region was the cradle of the Zapotec culture, with its main urban center at Monte Alban. After this city was abandoned by the Zapotecs, a constellation of small city-states flourished in the area. Towards the end of the pre-Columbian era, the region was influenced by the Mixtecs and later came under the dominion of the Aztecs.
- "Región Valles Centrales". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- Adams, Richard E.W. (1991). Prehistoric Mesoamerica (Revised ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2304-4. OCLC 22593466. Invalid
- Quintanar Hinojosa, Beatriz (August 2007). "Oaxaca: jubilo de los sentidos". Guía México Desconocido: Oaxaca 137: 10–22.
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