One of the items on display at an exhibition that is reopening in Oaxaca. One of the items on display at an exhibition that is reopening in Oaxaca.

INAH to reopen exhibition of artifacts found in Oaxaca tomb

The pieces were uncovered at the Monte Albán archaeological site in 1932

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) will reopen an exhibition in Oaxaca today that features more than 400 valuable artifacts found in a tomb at the Monte Albán archaeological site in 1932.

The pieces discovered by archaeologist Alfonso Caso in tomb seven of the Zapotec site and dubbed “The Treasure of Monte Albán” include objects made of gold, jade, rock crystal and jaguar bones, among other materials.

The exhibition, made up of a total of more than 600 artifacts, is housed in Room 3 of the Oaxaca Museum of Cultures and will be inaugurated at a ceremony at 7:00pm. The general public can visit starting tomorrow.

Curators have updated the exhibition by including plaques offering new interpretations of the pieces, while the integration of modern technology will also contribute to providing an enhanced experience for visitors.

The name of the exhibition is Tomb Seven: The Place of the Ancestors.

An artifact from tomb seven.
An artifact from tomb seven.

INAH archaeologist and exhibition curator Nelly Robles told the newspaper El Economista that as a result of new research it is now known that “tomb seven was an ossuary and not a tomb for a specific dignitary.”

She said that both Zapotec and Mixtec people used the tomb, the latter leaving human remains, jewels and precious materials that were “the relics of their ancestors.”

Robles added that the Mixtec people also held ceremonies at the tomb at which they asked for favors from their deities.

The presiding gods of the tomb were Mictlantecuhtli, Mesoamerican god of death and the underworld, and Xipe Tótec, a life-death-rebirth deity.

Both are represented in the different objects found by Caso in 1932, Robles said.

The archaeologist explained that the Mixtec people first started carrying out rituals at the tomb around 1350 AD and continued to do so until the early days of the Spanish colonial era.

The reopening of “The Treasure of Monte Albán” to the public is part of celebrations marking the 80th anniversary of the creation of INAH in 1939.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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