A walk through the museums of the Olmec route can begin at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, followed by the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, where pieces from archaeological sites such as San Lorenzo, Laguna de Los Cerros, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes, among others. Then stop at the Veracruz City Museum to appreciate additional sculptures from Laguna de Los Cerros.
In the city of Santiago Tuxtla, the colossal head of Cobata is exhibited in the main square and in the Museo Tuxteco select artifacts from El Manatí. Immediately the road takes us to the municipality of Texistepec, whose Tenochtitlán Community Museum offers an excellent sample of works by San Lorenzo and its satellite centers Loma del Zapote and Tenochtitlán.
Other smaller collections are found in the Community Museum of Potrero Nuevo, in the same municipality, and in the town of San Isidro, in the municipality of Sayula, which houses interesting works from Estero Rabón.
The route continues in the state of Tabasco to visit the site museum of La Venta, the La Venta Park-Museum, and the Carlos Pellicer Regional Museum of Anthropology in Villahermosa. In all these places you can appreciate and study the masterpieces of the first civilization of Mesoamerica, recovered in the course of a long history of archaeological research.
The Olmec sculpture is a great attraction that every year captivates thousands of national and international tourists of all ages. Among the largest sculptures, colossal heads have always attracted the attention of visitors, followed by thrones, human, zoomorphic, and transforming figures and multiple sculptures, as well as portable artifacts.
Undoubtedly, the largest sample of sculpture is found in the Anthropology Museum of Xalapa, which also houses other extraordinary Olmec pieces: ceramic and greenstone objects and the sculptures known as the Lords of Limas and San Martín Pajapan, and the Prince of Sayula.
The largest number of colossal heads from San Lorenzo is exhibited in the Anthropology Museum of Xalapa, Veracruz, where seven extraordinary works of art can be seen. Two magnificent heads are displayed in the Sala del Golfo in the National Museum of Anthropology. A single beautiful colossal head from that great capital, the tenth and last to be discovered, remains in the Olmec region: in the Community Museum of the tireless people of Tenochtitlán. Three colossal heads from La Venta are in the Parque-Museo La Venta and one in the Carlos Pellicer Regional Museum of Anthropology, in Villahermosa, Tabasco, and the two from Tres Zapotes are exhibited in the local community museum and in the Museo Tuxteco, respectively.
The thrones, formerly called “altars”, can be observed and studied in several museums: the largest table-type throne in the Olmec world that was found in San Lorenzo is now in the Xalapa Museum of Anthropology, along with the largest throne in the world. from the satellite center of Laguna de Los Cerros, and the splendid medium-sized throne with Atlantean dwarfs from the secondary center of
Sapote hill. The Community Museum of Tenochtitlán also houses a large throne in the process of being recycled and a small mutilated throne, with dwarfs. Seven extraordinary thrones of La Venta are located in the Parque-Museo La Venta.
Many multiple sculptures, anthropomorphic figures, and medium-sized zoomorphic representations that come from San Lorenzo are exhibited in the Tenochtitlán Community Museum; however, the Xalapa Museum of Anthropology also has pieces such as the extraordinary “twins”, the enormous seated male figure from Cuatotolapan, and the only human figure with an upright posture in the Olmec corpus that comes from Laguna de Los Cerros, among others.