Residents of the town of Castillo de Teayo have been finding stone sculptures while working on the land or carrying out municipal works ever since 1877. A few statues were gathered at La Cruz, en route to Ixhuacán. The larger pieces were placed around the pyramid, while yet others were set into the walls and floors of people’s houses. That is how they remained for years until Eduard Seler (amongst other investigators) came to the site in 1902, and found just over 40 mainly sandstone sculptures. He identified them as Mexica deities including Tlaloc, the rain god, Xipe Totec “our lord of the flayed skin” and Macuilxochitl, goddess of the flowers. Seler published his research and photographic records in 1908.
Other travelers such as Juan Rulfo visited the site and made their own photographic records. In the 1940s the archeologist José García Payón took over the management of the site and began work to conserve the pyramid, and above all to deal with the effects of hurricanes Hilda and Janet in 1955. He also rescued a stone plaque which became separated by the action of drainage water. This stone features carvings of Tlaloc and Xilonen, the goddess of the tender corn. The archeologist Felipe Roberto Solís Olguín came to the site in the 1980s to carry out research on the iconography and published a book including all of the site’s sculptures.
The sculpture collection remained exposed to the elements for more than 100 year until 1984, when the archeologists Daniel Molina Feal and Carmen Rodríguez Martínez moved them to one side of the pyramid under a metal roof protected by wire mesh. The collection was kept in this space until 1999.
In 1999 INAH Veracruz and the municipality made an agreement to take over a nineteenth-century building for use as the museum. It had previously been the Town Hall, a military barracks, a cinema, a sewing workshop, a distance education center, high school and the municipal family welfare institution (DIF). It is a building made from the region’s yellow stone dating to 1896, the same stone as the pyramid. The blocks are mortared with adobe and the doors and the window frames are made from wood. The museum officially opened its doors in 2000.
Centro, C.P. 92940,
Castillo de Teayo, Veracruz, México.
Take the Poza Rica-Alamo Federal Highway and turn left at the entrance to the town of Castillo de Teayo
+52 (229) 939 13 30