Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology (NMA) is Mexico’s largest and most visited museum, with over 2 million visitors per year and 33,000 square feet of gallery space (Sistema Institucional, Vázquez). For comparison, Washington D.C.’s National Museum of Natural History has over 6.5 million visitors per year, and 325,000 square feet of exhibition space (Smithsonian). The NMA is located in Mexico City’s over 1600 acre Chapultepec Park (Rother), and it houses some of Mexico’s most important archaeological artifacts, including the Aztec Sun Stone, the Mayan ruler Pakal’s jade mask, and giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization (National Museum of Anthropology).
The museum has the following structure. The center of the museum is an open air courtyard, with an iconic piece of architecture in the center, El Paraguas, or, The Umbrella. This is one of the largest hanging decks in the world (Travel by Mexico). A large roof is supported by a singular central pillar. Around the top of the pillar is space for rain and water to pour through. The structure has a fountain built into it, as water can pour out of this central hole in the inwardly sloped roof.
Surrounding the courtyard are two levels of exhibition halls. The ground floor features 11 rooms of archaelogical exhibits, and the upper floor contains 10 rooms of ethnographic exhibits (Trip Advisor). Each room has a different theme. The ground floor features a room dedicated to Mayan objects and history, as well as a room dedicated to the Mexica group, which includes the Aztecs. Other rooms exhibit various cultures and parts of Mesoamerican history.
Sistema Institucional, Usage statistics of national museum of anthropology
National Museum of Anthropology
Travel by Mexico
I made this presentation for Reading Area Community College’s Elementary Spanish II course. Below is a similar syllabus from the community college where I took Elementary Spanish I.