Monte Alban is a hill-top site, centrally located within the valley of Oaxaca. From about 500 B.C. through 800 A.D it controlled much of the modern state of Oaxaca during the Mexico Classic Period of Mesoamerican prehistory as the capital of the Zapotecs. Its great structures, formed of irregular stones and mud faced with cut stone and sometimes stucco, many decorated with elaborate reliefs, overlook the surrounding valleys. .