By Helaine Silverman
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Extra info for Archaeological Site Museums in Latin America
1). The site museum of Teotihuacan is organized in seven sectors. Sector 1 is devoted to the natural environment (plants and animals) as represented in ceramic vessels, stone sculptures, and mural paintings. 1. Location of Teotihuacan’s two museums in the plan of the ancient urban center. 2. Teotihuacan’s site museum: the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture. Photograph by Linda Manzanilla. 3. Museum of Mural Painting at Teotihuacan. Photograph by Linda Manzanilla. The Site Museums at Teotihuacan, Mexico / 25 tence base, and so forth.
In central Mexico during the past three decades, site museums have been the locus of a battle between the view of the art historians and that of the archaeologists. A large Classic period metropolis such as Teotihuacan in central Mexico is difficult to characterize, owing to its complexity. Teotihuacan was a vast, planned urban settlement, the capital of a particular type of state, a sacred city, a multiethnic settlement, a crafts center, and a site that monopolized basic resources such as obsidian (see, for example, Manzanilla 1997; Millon 1973; Pasztory 1997; Spence 2000).
INAH, through budget negotiation with the federal government of Mexico and international agencies, could obtain the funds necessary to enact the suggestions I propose here. The investment would be well worthwhile because Teotihuacan’s proximity to Mexico City engenders the site’s inclusion in all day-trip tourist excursions from the capital. Entrance fees to the site and tourist purchases at a fine museum gift shop would eventually defray the cash outlay involved in construction of a new site museum.