At San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, the original Olmec Homeland, the Olmec builders incorporated stone drainage or water conduits constructed from basalt.
They erected ten sculptured heads of basalt weighing as much as 20 tons each. They hauled these stones 50 miles from the distant volcano of the Tuxtla mountains near present-day Catemaco.
At another site, Tres Zapotes, archaeologists discovered the first Olmec head and during a 1939 excavation archaeologist Mathew Sterling discovered a stela bearing a long count date of 32 BC.
San Lorenzo was first excavated by Archaeologist Mathew Stirling in 1941 and later by Archaeologists Michael Coe and Richard Diehl in 1967 the site as mapped by the Coe expedition shows artificial enlargement of plateaus to 150 feet in height on which the Olmecs built their ritual center and surrounding settlement
An extensive system of basalt tiles, some of which are in the small museum at the site, show engineering prowess by the inhabitants of the Olmec city and have been proposed as potable water carrying aqueducts.
At San Lorenzo, excavators found ten Colossal heads sculpted from blocks of basalt that had been hauled 60 miles from the Tuxtla mountains to the site which at the time was an Island in the Coatzacoalcos River. Head # 1 of 17 so far found and numbered in the order of discovery is at the Museum of Anthropology in Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz State.
Unusual black stones with holes that could be fishing net weights have puzzled researcher and visitor alike. One theory proposed is that they are iron ore devices used to generate sound, others propose a use as wearable armor.
Archaeological features will escape all but the trained eye. The museum, however, is worth the visit for devotees of the Olmec.
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Olmec Homeland, Olmec Ruin Site, Veracruz, Mexico
Colossal Olmec head # 10 sculpted from a 20- ton block of basalt brought 60 miles from the Tuxtla Mountains is now in the museum at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz State, Mexico.
The Olmec settlement on the site was active from 1200 BC to 900 BC on the Coatzacoalcos River drainage system. The ruin site was first excavated by Archaeologist Mathew Stirling in 1941 and later by Archaeologists Michael Coe and Richard Diehl in 1967,
Reaching San Lorenzo and the Olmec Homeland:
Bus out of Tapo or Norte for Veracruz. From Veracruz head to Coatzacoalcos or Minatitlan south east of Catemaco. Then head by local bus to Acayucan where you get a collective taxi for the ten miles to the small farming village of San Lorenzo. (San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. On some maps just Tenochtitlan)
From Oaxaca , ADO first Class bus to Acayucan, Coatzacoalcos or Minatitlan. Bus to Acayucan, taxi to San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, the original Olmec Homeland was first excavated by Archaeologist Mathew Stirling in 1941 and later in 1967.
The 67 Michael Coe expedition found artificial enlargement of plateaus near the Coatzacoalcos River to 150 feet in height.
Olmec Homeland, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan
is now a small farming village in the basin of the Coatzacoalcos River.
One of three villages in the area with Olmec sites, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan was home to the Olmecs from 1200 BC to 900BC. There they built a complex of artificial plateaus reaching 150 feet in height according to the mapping of Archaeologist Michael Coe.
("The Olmecs," Richard Diehl)
Olmec sculpture was moved to the Jalapa Museum of Anthropology in Jalapa (Xalapa) in the state of Vera Cruz