Thursday, April 18, 2024

Anthropology Museum of Xalapa Collection

The collection housed by the Museum of Anthropology of Xalapa is composed of antiquities belonging to cultures that settled in what is now the State of Veracruz in the Prehispanic period.

This collection began with a few dozen pieces, gathered around the 1940's, and it has been enriched thanks mainly to field work and spontaneous donations, making it the largest and most important in terms to the cultures of Veracruz.

For 1951, defined the mission of Veracruz Museum of Anthropology then "space that would protect the art treasures, aimed at education, and strengthening of nationality." The collection then in the custody of the Directorate General of Education of state government.

Discovery of the colosal head 7 (1969)

Before 1957, the material obtained from excavations of sites in central Veracruz as Remojadas, Nopiloa and Loma de los Carmona was at number 37 of Xalapa Zamora Street. The stock experienced a major boost with the establishment in 1957, a Museum, an Institute of Anthropology and School within the University of Veracruz, and the arrival of the Olmec monoliths San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. For the creation of the Universidad Veracruzana museum had signed an agreement with the National Institute of Anthropology and History, to incorporate in the materials found in research promoted by UV and collected by the INAH.

Discovery of the lord of las limas (1965)

For 1959 were registered and about 10 000 pieces, so they built a circular building of 1500 m2 of exhibition in the land donated by the ejido of San Roque Mill, exactly where the current museum. The establishment of a enclosure for the museum itself allowed the researchers' findings were channeled to a safe place and activated in early 1960, individual contributions.

The group joined the first Olmec colossal heads, found by Matthew Stirling in the 1930 and 1940. Then came the contribution of field seasons by archaeologists Michael D. Coe and Francisco Beverido in areas such as Tres Zapotes and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. Although one of the Olmec pieces emblematic of MAX, the Lord of Las Limas, is due to an incidental finding at the hands of two children, dating from 1965.

To the Center of Veracruz, one of the first to contribute was Jose Garcia Payon, who collected and inventoried the parts obtained in several field seasons, mainly in El Tajin and Cempoala. He followed Alfonso Medellín Zenil archaeologists, who in the sixties he worked in more than 24 sites, among which Quiahuixtlan, Isle of Sacrifices, Remojadas, where we recognize the pots, statues and so-called "long-nosed gods" and Nopiloa and That Eye, from which the symbolic "smiley." It is also mentioned the contribution of the archaeologist Manuel Torres to bring shelter Cihuatetéotl representations from the archaeological site of El Zapotal.

The collection of northern parts of the state had a significant growth in the 1960's by some researchers as Alfonso Medellín Zenil, Melgarejo and Robert Williams. Most of the figurines Huaxteca ceramics exhibit today were collected by Manuel Torres, Jorge and Robert Williams. Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos and Lourdes Aquino, a decade later, ceramic figurines contributed to the site The hovel. The collection of Huasteca sculpture in sandstone is made up of parts of the Late Postclassic, most were purchased by donations. A second building was not circular enough to accommodate the growing collection and the 1980 redesign of the museum was considered.

When the current building of MAX was built in 1986, moved major pieces found in previous years, including the colossal head number 8, which is at the entrance of the premises as well as the Mojarra Stela, which was located in rooms only until 1995.

The research project and rescue of the temple of Las Higueras, led by Ramon Arellano Melgarejo archaeologist, was the basis for the reconstitution of that precious ceremony inside the museum grounds, as can be seen now.

In the eighties large donations increased the wealth of this museum that is the case of donations made by Kurt Stavenhagen, Benito Coquet and Fernando Benitez.

In 2000 he moved to the MAX Azuzul Olmec sculpture. In this period there was also a group of celt from southern Veracruz donated by former Governor Agustín Acosta Lagunes, architect of the new construction.

In total, the museum has a collection of 25,000 archaeological pieces of which about 1500 are on permanent display and the remainder are in the holds of these facilities for shelter, restoration and research.

For an easy acces to this collection for researches and general public, this electronic catalog has been developed with the support of the Fundación Tamsa A.C., through the Centro Industrial TenarisTamsa (

Excavation in the Zapotal archeologic site (1970)
Anthropology Museum of Xalapa
Av. Xalapa s/n, Xalapa, Veracruz - México
Tel: (228) 8 15-0920 y 8 15-4952