Mexico City: Museo Nacional de Antropología國立人類學博物館 2013/09/17

清晨抵達墨西哥,旋即投入每日約有五百萬車流量的入城之列—所有行前的想像與忠告都與眼見不符:這是一個相當乾淨且現代化的都市,除了舊車多、語言不通外。                         辦妥旅館入住,貼心的私人管家建議我們用完早餐、稍事休息後,即可徒步至離飯店不遠的「國立人類學博物館」參觀,藉以認識墨西哥文化,作為揭開墨西哥之旅的序幕—哈!跟我的計劃一樣。So, let’s do some study, shall we?Mexico 033從博物館中庭即可看到下榻的旅館—Hyatt Regency

Mexico 073          Mexico 072

Mexico 001          Mexico 006跟台北街頭一樣有「微笑小紅」租借                     裝置藝術處處可見

Mexico 009The Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA or National Museum of Anthropology) is located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Mahatma Gandhi within Chapultepec Park. The museum offers the single best introduction to the culture of Mexico, tells the story of Mexico from before the Mayan civilization to the Spanish conquest. (http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/index.html)

Mexico 007At the entrance stands a huge monolithic figure hitherto identified as the Rain god Tláloc but in fact, according to the latest theories, more probably his sister, the water-goddess Chalchiuhtlicue (Náhuatl, “she of the jade-rock"). This colossal unfinished figure, weighing 167 tons (height 8.5 meters), was found near San Miguel Coatlinchán and transported to its present site with the greatest difficulty.

Mexico 015          Mexico 010Fountain in front of the Museum

Mexico 014                                                                                                        The Museum was designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and built in 1963, opened in 1964 by President Adolfo López Mateos. It covers an area of 79,700 square meters.

Mexico 017The Museum is built around a large courtyard and divided into two completely separate sections dealing with different aspects: 12 Archaeology rooms on the lower floor and 11 Ethnology rooms above. Each room is devoted to one centre of culture or group of people.

Mexico 049The exhibition halls surround the large central patio, which is partly covered by a striking umbrella roof. This square concrete umbrella known as “el paraguas" .

Mexico 021A notable feature is the Central Patio, part of which is roofed over by a kind of gigantic stone umbrella, sculpted by José Chávez Morado and borne on a column 11 m (36 ft) high.

mcmuseofountain(via Wikipedia)                                                         From the top a continuous curtain of water falls into the basin below, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life.

What to See: National Museum of Anthropology Highlights

Introduction to Anthropology                                                                                                  This room is devoted to the basic aim of anthropology: to illustrate at the same time the unity and diversity of man and his culture, through the different disciplines of physical anthropology, archaeology show the evolution of life on earth, from the first creatures living in the sea to modern man with all his physical characteristics.

Cultures of Meso-America                                                                                                           The indigenous groups that lived in Mexico fell into two different cultural categories: the hunter-gatherers of northern Mexico and the agricultural peoples of Mesoamerica who developed an advanced civilization. This room summarizes the cultural, archaeological and artistic characteristics of Mesoamerica.

map1

Sala de Prehistoria                                                                                                                        The early history of human settlement in America begins with the arrival of Asiatic tribes by way of the Bering Strait. Other subjects covered include the development of the hunting and collecting cultures, with fossils of humans and animals, and the first attempts at agriculture on the Anáhuac plateau.

Sala del Periodo Preclasico                                                                                                       After the long period of time when the people of ancient Mexico domesticated corn and other food plants and so ceased to depend exclusively on hunting and gathering, the first settlements and flourishing of agricultural societies on the Central Plateau of Mexico with material from the first ceremonial centers and ancient religious cults of Mesoamerica. Archaeologists name this period pre-Classic (2500-100 B.C.). In the late pre-Classic period, from 600 B.C. on, the first pyramidal bases appear where Huehuetéotl, the god of Fire and the Rain god Tláloc were worshiped.

Sala de Teotihuacán                                                                                                                     This room contains the most important objects discovered in archaeological digs in the city of Teotihuacán which demonstrate the extraordinary development of this pre-Hispanic city, the oldest in Mesoamerica. Its presence and dominance define the Classic era on the Central Plateau (100 B.C.-700 A.D.). The inhabitants of Teotihuacán were skilled builders and splendid craftsmen, using chisels, floor polishers and polished axes. They created remarkable objects of obsidian, the material which brought the city wealth and power.

Mexico 060The majestic monumental statue of the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue is one of the most ousting exhibits in the Teotihuacán Hall.

Mexico 031Stone funerary mask of the Teotihuacán era. This extraordinary piece is decorated with turquoise, shell and obsidian mosaic.

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The Teotihuacán Hall contains a reproduction of the façade of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpents (Quetzalcoátl Temple) with its original colors.

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Mexico 059          Mexico 036羽蛇神像(Serpiente Emplumada)—中美洲文明中最重要的神,被描繪成頭部頂著羽毛的蛇的形象,主宰星辰、知識、曆法、農作物,還代表著死亡與重生,是祭司的保護神。羽蛇神像最早出現在古老的奧爾梅克文明,馬雅人稱作Kukulcan,阿茲特克人稱為Quetzalcoátl。

Mexico 053From the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán. Disk related to the death of the Sun decorated with a skull.

Sala de Tula                                                                                                                                      The Toltec era on the Central Plateau occurred during the Early post-Classic (750-1200 A.D.) and belongs to the Epiclassic (end of Teotihuacán) when Xochicalco, Cacaxtla and Xochitecatl flourished and Tula and other neighboring cultures later rose to dominance. This room houses archaeological and artistic vestige of these peoples enabling visitors to appreciate ancient’s cults such as that Quetzalcoátl, and the first use of metals.

Coatlicue,earth_goddess                                         Statue of Aztec goddess Coatlicue—A stone image of the Earth goddess with her head made up of two serpents and her necklace of severed hands and human hearts.

p.s. Coatlicue, also known as Teteoinan (also transcribed Teteo Inan), “The Mother of Gods", is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. She is also known as Toci (Tocî, “our grandmother") and Cihuacoatl (Cihuācōhuātl, “the lady of the serpent"), the patron of women who die in childbirth.

Sala Mexica                                                                                                                                       The Mexico world was dominated by Mexico- Tenochtitlán, the city founded by Huitzilopochtli during the Late Post-Classic era (1300-1521 A.D.). The peoples who settled on the Mexican central plateau after the decline of Tula flourished politically and culturally towards the end of the 13th century, leaving a wealth of evidence of Pan-Mesoamerican ideas, essentially comprising shared myths, gods, and religious cults. One of its main features is the predominance of militarism in all aspects of life: the main gods were the patrons of military conquests; the most important ceremonies revolved around the capture of prisoners, and human sacrifice took on a central role in daily rituals. It is from here that the monumental sculptures of Coatlicue and the Sun Stone come that are displayed in this room, the largest in the entire Museum.

鎮館之寶太陽曆石(Piedra del Sol/Stone of the Sun)—The one sculpture which identifies the Mexicas above all others is the Stone of the Sun.

Mexico 045The stone is approximately 3.7 m across and weighs approximately 24 tons, carved basalt slab, dating to the late 1400s, was discovered buried beneath the Zócalo on December 17, 1790. It was discovered while Mexico City Cathedral was being repaired. Because of its symbolic content, with the names of the days and the cosmogony suns, it was incorrectly identified as the Aztec Calendar.                                                                                                        This is a large gladiatorial sacrificial altar, known as a temalacatl, which was not finished because of a deep crack that runs from one side to the center of the piece at the rear. Despite the fracture, it must have been used to stage the fights between warriors in the tlacaxipehualiztli ceremony.

Mexico 047In the design of the disk, the face of Xiuhtecuhtli-emerging from the earth hole, holding a pair of human hearts and showing his tongue transformed in a sacrificial knife can be recognized; he is surrounded by the four suns the preceded the Fifth Sun, in turn inscribed in the sequence of the 20 day signs, framed with the figure of the Sun with its four beams symmetrically accompanied by sacrificial sharp points. The star is surrounded by two Xiuhcoatl or “Fire Serpents”, which carry it across the heavens.

p.s. 這個巨型石塊亦是祭司用來推算三種曆法的依據:每當「二百六十天的神曆」、「三百六十五天的太陽曆」及「五百八十四天的金星曆」的周期重叠在一起時,便是一個世界終結,另一個世界的開始,而第五個週期便是2012年12月21日,這也是去年引起全球騷動,世界末日說的起源。

Mexico 054-2                                                 Xochipili (Náhuatl, “lord of the flowers"), the god of music, song and dance, seated on a throne decorated with flowers and butterflies.

monkey cup                                                                                                  Monkey Cup—Obsidian vessel representing a pregnant monkey whose symbolism is associated with the god of Wind. This obsidian vessel is the Museum’s most valuable object.

Sala de Oaxaca                                                                                                                                The Oaxaca region of pre-Hispanic times was where two important cultures flourished: the Zapotec and the Mixtec, who left behind the extraordinary archaeological and artistic relics displayed in this room. The development of these two civilizations stretched from before 1000 B.C. up to the European conquest of the territory in the early 16th century.

Sala de las Culturas del Golfo de Mexico                                                                             The geographical environment that typifies the coastal area of the Gulf of Mexico was conducive to the flourishing of various cultures which chose this region for its tropical climate, numerous rivers and the rich natural resources. The earliest culture was that of the Olmecs, who lived on the southern Gulf coast during the Middle pre-Classic (1200-600 B.C.). This people planned the first urban centers, such as La Venta in Tabasco and San Lorenzo in Veracruz.

Mexico 039San Lorenzo Colossal Head 6 (also known as San Lorenzo Monument 17) is one of the smaller examples of colossal heads, standing 1.67 metres (5.5 ft). It measures 1.41 metres (4.6 ft) wide by 1.26 metres (4.1 ft) deep and is estimated to weigh between 8 and 10 tons. The head was discovered by a local farm worker and was excavated in 1965 by Luis Aveleyra and Román Piña Chan. This head had collapsed into a ravine under its own weight and was found face down on its left hand side.                                                                    In 1970 it was transported to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the museum’s centenary exhibition. After its return to Mexico, it was placed in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City.                                                                                          The face is that of an aging male with the forehead creased in a frown, wrinkles under the eyes, sagging cheeks and deep creases on either side of the nose. The face is somewhat asymmetric, possibly due to errors in the execution of the monument.

Olmechead                                                         San Lorenzo Colossal Head 2 (also known as San Lorenzo Monument 2) was reworked from a monumental throne. The head stands 2.69 metres (8.8 ft) high and measures 1.83 metres (6.0 ft) wide by 1.05 metres (3.4 ft) deep; it weighs 20 tons.                                          Colossal Head 2 was discovered in 1945 when Matthew Stirling’s guide cleared away some of the vegetation and mud that covered it. The monument was found lying on its back, facing the sky, and was excavated in 1946 by Stirling and Philip Drucker. The lips are thick and slightly parted to reveal the teeth; the head has a pronounced chin.

p.s. 奧爾梅克(Olmec)巨石頭像,共十七個被確認,為奧爾梅克文化中最聞名於世的藝術品。這些頭像都是用整塊玄武岩雕成,構思完善,具有強烈的寫實性。有人認為,頭像可能與某種競賽或祭祀有關;也有人認為,頭像可能是當時奧爾梅克領袖的雕像,或者就是一種向死者表示致敬的紀念物。

Sala Maya                                                                                                                                          Maya culture developed over a period running from the pre-Classic to the post-Classic (1000 B.C.-1521 A.D.) and planned city-states that today are attractive archaeological sites. Due to its artistic and scientific creativity, it was one of the most outstanding and complex civilizations in the Mesoamerica world. The Mayas distinguished themselves in all Mesoamerica by their advanced knowledge, as they had a very accurate calendar and a system of writing, still being deciphered, which enabled them to record their history.             This hall displays an important collection of pieces from ancestral Maya Communities, which allows us to appreciate different stages and scenarios of their history and vision of the world.

Mexico 029          Mexico 035-1             The Maya Room

Sala de las Culturas del Norte                                                                                                  The “north” is identified with the region that the Mexico called chichimecatlalli, the “land of the Chichimecs”, located to the north of the River Lerma. Several cultures developed in the enormous spaces of northern Mexico which were different from the regions of meso-America. These arid regions were those preferred by hunter gatherers, who adapted to the harsh surroundings and lived in caves where they laid their dead together with their funerary offerings. The room displays cist tombs, sandals and textiles of vegetable fiber and hunting weapons.

Mexico 022          Mexico 024-1

Sala de las Culturas del Occidente                                                                                         The Western Mexico Room is devoted to the main cultures that grew up in this region of Mesoamerica. Dating from the pre-Classic era (800 B.C.-200 A.D.) are the Capacha and Chupicuaro cultures. These were agricultural societies, with a strong funerary tradition, as evidenced by pottery figurines and vessels, distinguished by their geometrical decoration.

Upper Floor                                                                                                                                       The ethnological collections on the Upper Floor are so arranged that the cultures of the descendants of various extinct peoples are positioned directly above those which they superseded. The collections include costumes, utensils and dwellings of the Indians still living in Mexico today.                                                                                                                         Commencing from the right, the room providing an Introduction to Ethnology is followed by the Sala Cora Huichel, Sala Purépecha, Sala Otomí-Pame and Sala de Puebla. Opposite these will be found the Sala de Oaxaca, Sala Totonaca y Huasteca, Sala Maya (Highlands), Sala Maya (Lowlands), Sala del Norte and “Indigenisimo" room.

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