• Registration Year

    2010

  • Registered Sector

    Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca

  • Historical Function

    Agriculture

  • Administrative Status

    City in the Oaxaca Province of Mexico

Location and site

This property lies on the northern slopes of the Tlacolula valley in subtropical central Oaxaca and consists of two pre-Hispanic archaeological complexes and a series of pre-historic caves and rock shelters. Some of these shelters provide archaeological and rock-art evidence for the progress of nomadic hunter-gathers to incipient farmers. Ten thousand-year-old Cucurbitaceae seeds in one cave, Guilá Naquitz, are considered to be the earliest known evidence of domesticated plants in the continent, while corn cob fragments from the same cave are said to be the earliest documented evidence for the domestication of maize. The cultural landscape of the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla demonstrates the link between man and nature that gave origin to the domestication of plants in North America, thus allowing the rise of Mesoamerican civilizations.

Urban Morphology

The Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the central valley of Oaxaca is an extensive cultural landscape that includes caves and shelters, one of which, the Guilá Naquitz cave has provided extraordinarily well preserved botanical evidence of bottle gourds, beans and squash and the earliest known maize cobs, and two others, Cueva Blanca and Gheo Shih sites have provided evidence of Pleistocene animals and stone tools and the seasonal use of the abundant summer resources of fruit and small mammals.

Registration Criteria

Criterion (iii): The botanical evidence from Guilá Naquitz cave related to the domestication of other plants, squash, gourds and beans, linked with the archaeological evidence from Cueva Blanca and Gheo Shih, can together be seen to be an exceptional testimony to the evolution from hunter-gathering to more settled communities in this area of central America.

Historical Reference

The gradual shift from social groups based primarily on hunting to ones that were primarily based on settled agriculture took place in multiple areas at the same time across the Mesoamerican region. The property is an exceptional reflection of the evolution from hunter-gathering to more settled communities in this area of the Oaxaca valley.

Sr. Abelardo Ruiz Acevedo

Mayor of San Pablo Villa de Mitla

Sr. Abelardo Ruiz Acevedo
Alcalde Municipal
Ayuntamiento Municipal de San Pablo Villa de Mitla
Palacio Municipal SN, Centro
San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, México
70430
Tel:
+52 1 (222) 2387391
Fax:
+52 1 (951) 56 80016
Email:
presidenciamitla2017@hotmail.com
Sra. Rubí Verónica Juárez García
Regidora de Educación, cultura, turismo, ecología y deportes
Ayuntamiento Municipal de San Pablo Villa de Mitla
Palacio Municipal SN, Centro
San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, México
70430
Tel:
+52 1 (951) 1559468
Fax:

Email:
rubivero@yahoo.com.mx
Sr. Antolín Sosa Hernández
Regidor de Turismo
Ayuntamiento Municipal de San Pablo Villa de Mitla
Palacio Municipal SN, Centro
San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, México
70430
Tel:
+52 1 (951) 2240218
Fax:

Email:
ant_1214@hotmail.com
Sra. Mayra Elvira Antonio Santiago
Directora de Cultura
Ayuntamiento Municipal de San Pablo Villa de Mitla
Palacio Municipal SN, Centro
San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, México
70430
Tel:
+52 1 (951) 1139218
Fax:

Email:
mayra.antonio@hotmail.com