Museo Antropologia

I’ve been settled in Xalapa going on three and a half months but it was today I visited one of the city’s foremost attractions, it’s Museo Antropologia and its outstanding collection of artifacts from the pre-Hispanic, Mesoamerican civilizations of, primarily, what are now the states of Veracruz and Tabasco.

The term Mesoamerican refers not only to a geographic region which includes parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; but refers also to Precolumbian peoples who lived in discrete regional communities, but who shared cultural and religious beliefs and practices, a common 260 day calendar, cultivation of maize, a ball game, architecture that included pyramids and plazas, and cultural and commercial interactions.

The museum’s collection is organized based upon regional communities and epochs referred to as Preclassic, Early Classic, Middle Classic, and Late Classic. The Preclassic period is further subdivided into the Early, Middle, and Late Preclassic periods. The admittance fee is $40. pesos and hand held recorders describing the exhibits, in English and Spanish, may be rented for an additional $20. pesos. I opted to practice my Spanish by reading the descriptions.

The collection opens at the entrance with a carved stone Cabeza Colosal (Colossal Head), which evokes thoughts of the stone carvings of Easter Island, and closes with intricate ceramic sculptures of entire human forms. The collection documents the development of artistic techniques from stone carving to the use of ceramics, creation of jewelry, tools, and weapons and development of pigments used in detailed wall murals and in ceramics.


The museum building cascades, level-to-level, as it descends the slope upon which it is constructed. Flanking the museum building is a cascading patio which, as you can see in the photo lends a perspective to the nature of the building. Each display room opens into a atrium room, containing displays, which in turn opens to the cascading patio. The museum building, adjoining patio, and sprawling, meticulously landscaped grounds provide a stunningly beautiful setting for the magnificent display of well preserved artifacts. If you visit Xalapa you must spend a few hours touring the museum.

I will post more pictures in the next day or two. MegaCabl
e staff has informed me that me internet service will be installed tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath. I was told it would be 10 – 15 days and it has now been almost a month. Last Friday I was told it would be installed last Monday. I am patiently waiting.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Museo Antropologia

  1. El Macho Grande

    Nice shot of the terrace. For some reason I failed to get a photo there that shows the effect.

  2. Marie McC

    It looks fascinating. I think I read that this museum has maybe seven giant Olmec heads.

  3. You Know Me

    El Macho,

    I had intended for the shot of the terrace to illustrate the perspective of the building. Perhaps I used the wrong word.

    The terrace cascades in sync with the building. So there is a display room in the building, an atrium room, and a terrace on each of the levels.

  4. You Know Me

    Marie,

    I didn’t count them but there are quite a few. There are also lots of full body sculptures, none of which I photographed, wouldn’t you know it?

  5. El Macho Grande

    When we visited they had an amazing big show of students’ orchids in the first exhibit room (the one with the largest Olmec head).

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