Monte Alban is one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica. Its ruins are located in the southern part of the 瓦哈卡州, Mexico within the municipality of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlan. 瓦哈卡市, the state capital, is approximately 6 miles east of Monte Alban. The ancient city had been the political and economic center for almost a thousand years. Founded about 500 B.C. it dominated much of Oaxacan highlands until it lost its power and was abandoned around 500 A.D.