San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan: ten miles by collective taxi or auto from Acayucan, south of Veracruz
Location: 19*26.60' N, 99*5.60' W Near Coatzacoalcos and Acayucan
Area: Spread over three small villages along the river estuary, 1200 acres
Date: Occupied from 1500 to 400 BC Peak occupation 1200BC - 900BC
Construction: artificial earthen plateaus and mounds
Museum: Small, with single stone Olmec remaining of the ten found at the site. sculptured head, other sculptures.
Hours: Museum 8:AM to 3: PM
Archaeological features will escape all but the trained eye. The museum, however, is worth the visit.
First excavated by Archaeologist Mathew Stirling in 1941 and later by Archaeologists Michael Coe and Richard Diehl in 1967, the site as mapped by the Coe expedition shows artificial enlargement and the building up of the earth to form plateaus beside the river. The settlement was once on an island in the Coatzacoalcos River drainage system.
An extensive system of basalt tiles, some of which are in the small museum at the site, show engineering prowess by the inhabitants of the Olmec settlement and have been proposed as aqueducts for carrying potable water.
At San Lorenzo, excavators found ten Colossal heads sculpted from blocks of basalt that had been hauled 60 miles from the Tuxtla mountains to the site which at the time was in the midst of the Coatzacoalcos River.
Head # 1 of 17 so far found in Mexico and numbered in the order of discovery, is at the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, (Jalapa) the capital of Veracruz State.
Unusual black stones with holes that could be fishing net weights have puzzled researcher and visitor alike. One theory proposed is that they are iron ore devices used to generate sound, others have them as fishing weights, others as body armor.
Archaeological features in the farming village of San Lorenzo are not evident; the museum, however, is worth the visit for devotees of the Olmec.
Sculptures found at the San Lorenzo and La Venta sites have been moved to the La Venta Museum in Villa Hermosa and the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa.
San Lorenzo, Olmec Homeland, Veracruz State, Mexico
San Lorenzo, Olmec Homeland
The large Olmec heads have been moved to the museum in Jalapa
The small Museum in the village of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan
To protect the Olmec Heads of San Lorenzo from farming activities and to preserve others at La Venta from oil development, the large Olmec heads have been moved to the museum in Jalapa Veracruz State and to the La Venta Museum in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco State
Reaching San Lorenzo and the Olmec Homeland:
Bus out of Mexico City Tapo or Norte for Veracruz. From Veracruz head to Coatzacoalcos or Minatitlan south east of Catemaco. Then head by local bus to Acayucan where you get a collective taxi for the ten miles to the small farming village of San Lorenzo. (San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. Just Tenochtitlan on some maps)
From Oaxaca , ADO first Class bus to Coatzacoalcos or Minatitlan bus to Acayucan, taxi to San Lorenzo.
Have lots of small change for taxis and water. (5 and 10 peso, 20 peso max.) Cash is scarce in remote areas of Mexico
San Lorenzo, the Olmec Homeland Veracruz State, Mexico produced large stone sculptured heads.
One remains in the museum at the village of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan in Veracruz near Coatzacoalcos. Other heads were moved to Jalapa.
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan as it is now called was the ancient Olmec Homeland in what is now Veracruz State, Mexico. The San Lorenzo Olmec culture produced large stone sculptured heads, many of which have been moved to the anthropology museum in Jalapa, Veracruz.
One remains in the museum at the village of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan in Veracruz near Acayucan and the Coatzacoalcos River.
This altar now thought to be a throne was found at the Olmec site of La Venta in Tabasco State and later move to the museum of La Venta in Villahermosa.