• INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
    INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
  • INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
    INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
  • INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
    INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
  • INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
    INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
  • INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
    INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
Museo de Sitio de Cempoala
The city of the "Fat Cacique" was allied with the Spaniards against the Mexica. This small museum, surrounded by abundant coastal flora and fauna, displays the Totonac culture, including the remains of defensive walls, the gods of the underworld, mural painting, everyday utensils and figurines and statues of men and animals.

Archeological site
About the museum
The museum preserves locally found archeological objects, principally ceramics, stone and bone items, stucco and mural fragments as well as figurines. The archeological site of Cempoala is near the towns of La Antigua and Cardel, 27 miles north of the port of Veracruz. The site museum is in a small space surrounded by dense vegetation at the entrance to the pre-Hispanic walled city. Cempoala was inhabited by the Totonacs until the arrival of the Spanish, who recorded the event in their earliest chronicles. The museum has four galleries and it displays archeological material found over various digging seasons on the site such as anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, smiling faces, a vessel with ritual and domestic articles, architectural elements such as battlements and mural paintings, sculptures of men and animals, ritual objects such as yokes and axes, domestic utensils including grinding stones, sieves, spindle whorls (malacates) and basalt axes, and representations of deities linked to the worship of death. Objects influenced by the Mexica stand out, and these speak of the economic ties and exchanges that Cempoala had with other groups. While we are looking at the permanent display on the ancient inhabitants of pre-Hispanic Cempoala, the site's flora and fauna is in the background, and we can appreciate how this was represented by the ancient artisans.

Cempoala, the “place of the twenty waters,” was the first pre-Hispanic city of the Mexica empire encountered by the Spanish. It was visited by Hernán Cortés in 1519, who came to interview the “Fat Cacique,” the place’s governor and future ally. The archeological site was discovered in 1890 during the expeditions of Francisco del Paso y Troncoso, who was the director of the National Museum at the time, and a participant in the Fourth Centenary Exhibition of the Discovery of America held in Madrid. The exploratory works uncovered several mounds, including the circular building dedicated to Ehecatl inside the walled city, and a clay Chac Mool with a stucco covering. The next important development took place in the 1940s when the archeologist José García Payón worked on the site, and thirty years later a small site museum was built to display the material he found. The museum reopened after the conservation of the collections and renovation of the building in 2001.
December 1968
December 2001
Practical information
Tuesday to Sunday from 08:00 to 17:00 hrs. Last entry 16:00 hrs.

Included in the entrance to the Archeological Site

  • Sundays free for Mexican citizens
  • Free entrance for Mexicans under 13 years old
  • Free entrance for Mexican students and teachers
  • Free entrance for Mexican senior citizens
Francisco del Paso y Troncoso No. 38,
C.P. 91667, Úrsulo Galván,
Veracruz, México.

Take the Veracruz - Poza Rica highway and, where it passes under the bridge (left turn) towards the city of Cempoala de Xalapa, follow the highway to Veracruz that connects with the Veracruz - Poza Rica highway.

  • Guardarropa
  • Sanitarios
  • Visitas guiadas
  • +52 (229) 939 13 30
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mario Alberto Aguilar Pérez
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (229) 939 13 30
INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
INAH-Centro INAH Veracruz
Texto © CONACULTA.INAH.Museo de Sitio de Cempoala CNME
Centro INAH Veracruz


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