Atzompa is a remarkable archaeological site located ca. 4 km north of the Zapotec center of Monte Albán. Occupation of Atzompa dates to the period AD 650-900 (Monte Albán IIIB and IV).
The excavated area includes two large residences with adjacent service areas (East House and House of the Altars), three ball courts (including one that is 45 m long, i..e, 5 m longer than that of Monte Albán), and four monumental plazas around which we situated monumental pyramidal constructions.
The site was investigated in the 1930s by Alfonso Caso, in the 1970s by Richard Blanton and Steve Kowalewski. In the 2000s, INAH, under the direction of Nelly M. Robles Garcia, excavated and restored the site, which was officially opened to the public by President Felipe Calderon on September 18, 2012.

About  the  project

The Atzompa Project is a collaboration between INAH and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory (VWHL).

The primary focus of the project is the creation of 3d models at various scales of significant cultural heritage artifacts, monuments, and the entire site. INAH plans to use these models as aids to the scientific analysis of the site and as assets for public outreach and education.

The Virtual World Heritage Laboratory is using the project to experiment with new workflows for the photogrammetric digitization of cultural heritage at all scales.


This website constitutes the portfolio of work created for the Atzompa Project by the VWHL. 
We are delighted to express our thanks here to the following persons and institutions that made our contribution to the project possible:

Nelly Robles, Jaime Alberto Vera Estrada, Leobardo Daniel Pacheco Arias, Ernesto Miranda, INAH, and the School of Informatics, Indiana University.

Contact and credits

The Virtual World Heritage Laboratory

Bernard Frischer, Director /  bernard.d.frischer [at]

Matthew Brennan / matthew.r.brennan [at]


Matthew Brennan / Aerial and terrestrial photography, video, photogrammetric modeling, website design

Bernard Frischer / Terrestrial photography, project co-director

Nelly M. Robles / project co-director


Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

Indiana University - School of Informatics and Computing


Blanton, R.E. Monte Alban. Settlement Patterns at the Ancient Zapotec Capital. Academic Press, New York, 1978.

Caso, Alfonso. Obras 2: El México antiguo (mixtecas y zapotecas). El Colegio Nacional, México, 2003.

Kowalewski, S. Population and Agricultural Potential: Early I through V. In Monte Albán's Hinterland, Part I: The Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Central and Southern Parts of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, by Richard E. Blanton, Stephen A. Kowalewski, Gary Feinman, and Jill Appel, pp. 149-180. Memoir No. 15. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1982. 

Robles Garcia, N.M., "Atzompa y la expansión urbana de Monte Albán," Arqueología Mexicana 21, nr. 126 (2014) 28-35.