OR, FABULOUS ART AND HISTORY ACROSS MEXICO.
I wanted to do a speedy summary of Mexico’s art and history thus far. These links will help you locate stuff you’re more interested in
I’m feeling remiss to have not finished my 2019 trip to MC. The museum of Anthropology houses most of the treasures discovered at the many archaeological sites I’ve been to, and it’s vital to put them all in their designated places mentally. There are some on site museums but you can bet your bottom dollar that MC will have nicked a few fine examples. Here are a few other must see places for art and history.
Where I stayed was a serviced apartment right by the Central Park that houses a whole load of museums and art galleries so it’s very easy to visit them all and avoiding MC hideous traffic jams. The walk in the park is lovely too and the buzz of having all this great art at ones fingertips is fabulous. I would have gone back but it was locked down for a patch and so wasn’t worth visiting. I also visited Teotihuacan while there that is so massive, it was at the time of the broken foot. If you ever go, go to the hidden away mural museum which is mind-blowingly fabulous, competing with Pompeii’s fine collection and yet never heard about.
VIDEO OF MITLA NEAR MERIDA
MURAL MUSEUM TEOTIHUACA. MEXICO CITY.
I missed other places due to running out of time and want to just hi-light a few of the good bits. You are treated to massive Olmec heads very different in a museum environment for some reason than in the Villahermosa park where I saw a fine collection. The massive collection starts with their earliest finds obviously and it was brilliant because going through all chronologically let me sort out the total muddling in my brain from seeing different sites from different eras. This is what well curated museums should do especially when it’s a country with such a complex history.
There are other excellent museums such as in Oaxaca, Merida and Campeche (and nearby Edzna) that are very helpful to this end and also house excellent art galleries and site museums such as the lesser known one north of Villahermosa called Comacalco which is a real cracker having some very unusual pieces unique to this place. (The pyramids on this barely excavated site are made of mud brick which is also unique.) Palenque has a fabulous museum which was closed at the time I visited but I looked at its website and it has all the fabulous things I had read about.
Campeche should be mentioned for the jade masks especially but also a very fine collection of other objects including obsidian cutting tools and shell necklaces very similar to the beautiful ones in Trujillo Peru. These Spondylus shells were of high value and on many trade routes. Also incredible ceramics comparable to the museum in Mexico City.
The archaeological sites and ruins that I loved:
- Tulum on the Mayan Riviera
- Chichen Itza (to be posted)
- Palenque (when the whole site and museum are re-opened!)
- Balamku and Kohunlich
- Teotihuaca (to be posted)
If I missed any let me know! Thought I’d written about Chichen Itza but I can’t see it so i’d better crack on with it!
I have of course visited Tikal and Yaxja and others in Guatemala which is great because it ties all the major trade routes together in Mesoamerica. Then you can see the logic of its influence as their culture and art spread down to Colombia and Peru (pyramids of sand), and a summary of Mesoamerica to put all this in perspective as a group.