Reach San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan:
from Acayucan, south of Veracruz
Location: 19*26.60' N, 99*5.60' W
Near Coatzacoalcos and Acayucan.
This ruin was the home of the culture now called Olmec.
The settlement spread over three small villages along the river estuary and totaled 1200 acres. The Olmec occupied the area from 1500 to 400 BC, with a peak occupation from 1200BC to 900BC
Construction was of artificial earthen plateaus and mounds to bring the settlement above the flood plane of the Coatzacoalcos River
The settlement had a population or 15,000.
The site has a small museum with a single stone Olmec sculptured head at the entrance and other sculptures within and on the grounds.
Fee: 30 pesos
Hours: Museum 8:AM to 3: PM
Archaeological features will escape all but the trained eye. The museum, however, is worth the visit for devotees of the Olmec.
San Lorenzo, Olmec Homeland, Veracruz, Mexico
At San Lorenzo, 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 Tenochtitlan, excavators found ten Colossal heads sculpted from blocks of basalt as large as 20- tons that had been hauled 60 miles from the Tuxtla mountains to the site which at the time was an Island in the Coatzacoalcos River.
Head # 1 of 17 so far found and numbered in the order of discovery, is at the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, (Jalapa) the capitol 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.
Archaeological features 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 Tenochtitlan, The Olmec Homeland was 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 of plateaus to 150 feet in height on which the Olmecs built their settlement on what was once an island in the Coatzacoalcos River drainage system.
The sculpted heads were moved to the more secure and accessible Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa (Jalapa) in Veracruz State
Olmec Head at the Xalapa Museum
Olmec Head at the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan Museum
Sculptures were moved to from San Lorenzo and La Venta Olmec sites to the La Venta Museum in Villa Hermosa and to the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa.
Olmec sculptures from La Venta Ruin Site are displayed in 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 in Veracruz, Mexico is also called San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan and is a small, seldom visited ruin site with a museum near Coatzalcolcos.