The Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City houses a prodigious collection of Mexican artifacts, and is one of the finest anthropology museums in the world. It is located just outside the gates to Chapultepec Park in Mexico city.
There are two floors enclosing an impressive 4 square kilometres of space. The lower floor houses the archeological collection in 23 separate exhibition halls, each dedicated to a period or culture from Mexico’s history. The upper floor tells the story of the surviving descendants of these cultures in Mexico today.
The halls on the lower floor are arranged in chronological order and there are extensive exhibits from the worlds of the Aztecs, Mayans, Oaxaca, Teotihuacans and many others. Some of the halls include exhibits whihc have recreated the surrounding of the pieces as they were found giving context and added meaning to the artefacts there. This includes a replica of the 8th century Mayan tomb of the ruler Pacal and includes his perfectly preserved skeleton which lies in a stone chamber.
One of the most famous pieces held here is the Aztec Sun Stone which is an enourmous and intricately carved block of basalt which describes many aspects of Aztec life. It has become a symbol of Mexico and included at it’s centre a carving of the Sun God Tonatiuh. Other highlights include a replica of Moctezuma’s feather headdress and a rather unassuming carved cup known as the Monkey Cup. It is made of incredibly hard black obsidian stone and is thought to have taken generations to produce with the tools available at the time.
In the centre of the exhibition halls is a large courtyard where visitors can take a break from exploring the collections. There are some great local performers that regularly put on a show of folk dancing in the park nearby. Some tasty treats are also usually available from vendors as well.
If you want to explore the museum fully it will take many hours so be sure to schedule enough time, it could take more than a full day.