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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2019, Article ID 5438381, 14 pages
Research Article

The Mitla Landslide, an Event That Changed the Fate of a Mixteco/Zapoteco Civilization in Mesoamerica

1UMSNH-INICIT-MGPT, Edificio U Ciudad Universitaria, Morelia, Mich., Mexico
2CONACyT-Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra, UMSNH, Mexico
3GEMEX, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to V. H. Garduño-Monroy; moc.liamg@monudraghv

Received 26 November 2018; Revised 6 February 2019; Accepted 24 March 2019; Published 2 May 2019

Academic Editor: Marek Grad

Copyright © 2019 V. H. Garduño-Monroy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Mitla was the second most important city in the valleys of Oaxaca, México. However, the ruins that are visible today do not seem to match the size of a city of more than 10,000 inhabitants. Geological and geophysical studies suggest that part of the city was covered by the deposits of a dry landslide likely to have been caused by an earthquake with a magnitude that could vary between 6 and 7. This landslide is monolithological, which is why two geophysical methods were used in order to evaluate its geometrical characteristics and to suggest the possible existence of archeological remains under the landslide.