|Tres Zapotes Museum
Tres Zapotes, Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz
|The archaeological zone of Tres Zapotes is famous for the find of the first colossal Olmec head in 1862.
In 1939, famous archaeologist Matthew Sterling discovered and deciphered Stela C and established the antiquity of the Olmec
culture with a Mayan date of 31 AD. Further digs revealed occupation of the site for more than 3000 years.
After the decline of other Olmec ceremonial centers, Tres Zapotes reached its zenith as the presumed Olmec capital, 400BC -
The museum was first built in 1975 and recently underwent major restoration (2007). Archaeological field studies of the zone are
still in progress.
Worth visiting? Yes.
If you like history, country driving or are a headhunter.
|Tres Zapotes Museo
Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz
|Wikipedia - Tres Zapotes
CONACULTA - Tres Zapotes (Spanish)
Smithsonian - Tres Zapotes
Facebook Perfil - Tres Zapotes (abierto), source of some fotos
|From Santiago Tuxla, south of bridge, take highway 179 west towards Isla, then app. 8 km later, at an
unmarked paved turnoff, proceed north onto the potholed road to Tres Zapotes (Aug 2010).
Nice waterfall on south side just before turnoff.
Open to the public
Monday to Saturday, 9 to 6 pm
Sunday from 9 to 3 pm
Entrance: 27 pesos
Sundays free for Mexicans and foreign residents
Zona Arqueológica Tres Zapotes
CP 95835, Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz
Tels.: (294) 947 0196
|The town of Tres Zapotes had a moderately growing population of 3464 in 2010. It sits at 20 m above sea
level at the foot of Cerro Vigia, crossed by a small creek (Arroyo Hueyapan), at the edge of a small lake
Olmecs occupied the area between app. 1200 BC to 400 AD. The Hacienda de Hueyapan de Mimendi,
founded in the 17th century, covered most of the area until the arrival of squatters in the 1860's led to the
formation of an ejido in 1932.
The economy depends principally on cattle ranching, and some small scale agriculture.
Annually, the village celebrates rite of spring on the first Friday of March, principally by holding ceremonies on
the 12 m tall Loma Comilla hill. Tourism is minimal and is catered to by several small restaurants, but no hotel.
|The central plaza
|A fake head on a village street
|The paved road entering the village
|Luscious vegetation of the village
|Loma Comilla covered with celebrants
|The first professional archaeologists arriving in 1938
|Excavating a giant head
|The museum before 2007
|The new museum
|Loma Comilla Hill (dirt pyramid)