40,000 BC - First Eurasians cross the Bering land bridge to North America.
20,000 BC - First Northern Americans arrive in Mexico.
8,000 BC - First agriculture in Mexico.
5,000 BC - First agriculture record in Los Tuxtlas.

1,400 BC or later - Olmecs occupy area around Tres Zapotes, which stays occupied till around 1,000 AD.
400 BC - 300AD - Olmec culture flowers at Tres Zapotes.
900 BC - 400 BC Unkown culture occpies various sites around Los Tuxtlas
400 AD - 1000 AD - Teotihuacan influenced peoples occupy a massive community 10 miles from Catemaco.
1465? - Aztec emperor Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina (1440-1469) conquers the southern Veracruz area.
1867 - First Olmec head mentioned, from near Santiago Tuxtla
1938 - Mathew Stirling first excavation of Tres Zapotes
Isla Agaltepec - in Laguna Catemaco
FAMSI - Isla Agaltepec: Postclassic Occupation in the Tuxtla Mountains, Veracruz, México

Tres Zapotes  near Santiago Tuxtla
catemaco.info - Tres Zapotes

Totogal - near Santiago
FAMSI - Totógal: Investigations of Postclassic Occupation and the Aztec Frontier in the Tuxtla Mountains,
Veracruz, México

La Mojarra - near Angel R Cabada
UTexas - La Mojarra Stela 1

El Meson - near Angel R Cabada
FAMSI - Recorrido Arqueológico El Mesón

El Salado
abstract - Prehistoric Salt Production at El Salado

Ranchoapan - near San Andres Tuxtla
UNM - Ranchoapan: The "new obsidian" city of los Tuxtlas?

El Tecolote & Cinco Cerros, Hueyapan de Ocampo
FAMSI - The Chacalapan Geophysical Survey, Veracruz, México

Laguna de los Cerros, near Acayayucan
FAMSI - Laguna de Los Cerros, Una capital del periodo Clásico Terminal en la costa sur del Golfo de México.

Matacapan - between Catemaco & San Andres Tuxtla
Matacanela, south of Catemaco, near Zapoapan
Teotepec  - northwestt shore of Laguna Catemaco
El Chininal - Las Margaritas -northeast  shore of Laguna Catemaco

Piedra Labrada - Pajapan
Bezuapan - San Andres Tuxtla
Llano de Jicaro,  near Corral Nuevo, Acayucann

Death Gods, Smiling Faces and Colossal Heads: Archaeology of the Mexican Gulf Lowlands
by Richard Diehl - Very good overview

My Photos from the Tabasco Museums 2008

El “Rub Al-Kahli” prehispánico de Los Tuxtlas: Una interpretacion del Paisaje
I'm fascinated by this article, but it keeps disappearing, so I saved it.

Materiales y sistemas constructivos empleados por las culturas del Golfo de Mexico,
Functional overview of Veracruz archaeology, in Spanish.

Famsi - Bibliography (24 listings 2009)

Some Books

Los Tuxtlas : nombres geográficos pipil, nahuatl, taíno y popoluca
Antonio Francisco Rodríguez Alvarado
Boca del Río, Veracruz : Ediciones Culturales Exclusivas, 2007,
was for sale in Catemaco.

The prehistory of the Tuxtlas
Robert S. Santley,
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2007,
the current gold standard of Tuxtlas archaeology,
available on Amazon, you can also read most of it in
Google books.

Ranchoapan : the "New Obsidian" city of the Tuxtlas?
Robert S Santley,;
Albuquerque, NM : University of New Mexico, 2004.

The Olmecs: America's First Civilization,
Richard A. Diehl,
Thames & Hudson, London  2004.

Ceramic production and consumption in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico
Philip J Arnold;
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico, Latin American Institute, 1988

Estudio sobre la antigüedad y el origen de la cabeza colosal ... del canton de los Tuxtlas
José M Melgar
Editorial: Veracruz, Imp. del "Progreso", 1871.
local museums
Punta Tepeyaga, Laguna Catemaco
edge of laguna and on the point (punta)
undated rock drawings pieces
Angel R Cabada
central plaza of city
stela found at El Meson
El Chinal, Las Margaritas
private ranch above Las Margaritas
archaeological ruins of possibly a ball court, and small pyramid
in front of ayuntamiento (city hall)
post-olmec pieces, collected near Zapoapan de Cabañas
San Andrés Tuxtla
around central plaza
post-olmec pieces, collected near San Andrés, now housed in the
Regional Museum of Los Tuxtlas
some local views
Casa de Cultura, San Andres Tuxtla
8 miles from Catemaco,
selection of locally found artifacts
Tres Zapotes Museum and archaeological zone
Santiago Tuxtla
31 miles from Catemaco
Museo Tuxteco, Santiago Tuxtla
17 miles from Catemaco
home of both the largest and smallest Olmec heads ever found
Museo Regional Comunidad Indigena General Emiliano Zapata
Santa Rosa Loma Larga, Hueyapan de Ocampo
about 16 miles south of Catemaco
Regional Museum of San Andres Tuxtla
The newest museum in Los Tuxtlas, opening early 2008
8 miles from Catemaco
local museums
local museums
gone - but not forgotten
Museum of Anthropology, Xalapa
Collection of pieces removed from Los Tuxtlas

This fascinating map extrapolated data from aerial reconnaissance and
surveys and hypothesized dozens of potential archaeological sites in
the Sierra Santa Marta, that, as of now are totally unexplored.
It is difficult to dig most anywhere in Los Tuxtlas and not find some remnants of previous cultures.

Although Los Tuxtlas are famous for their Olmec heritage, much more pervasive was the presence of later
people identified as being influenced by the Teotihuacan empire. They also brought their Nahuatl language
which still resonates in hundreds of local place names.

Whether this culture was the mother of Mesoamerican development, African illegal immigration or just some
stoned heads is for someone else to decide.

There are enough sites on the web to describe the Olmecs.
Check out  Wikipedia -
Los Tuxtlas Archaeology