Elaborate murals once tattooed the walls of thousands of residential complexes across ancient Teotihuacán. Today, many of them live in an unassuming museum within the archaeological site: The Beatriz de la Fuente Teotihuacán Murals Museum. Named after Mexican art historian Beatriz Ramírez de la Fuente, the museum houses over fifty millennia-old murals along with several artifacts recovered from on-site temples and palaces.
The museum consists of nine main rooms, each with its own thematic focus, spanning space and time. Within the murals, the real and the fantastical merge; a feline donning a feathered headdress sticks out a forked tongue and magnificent birds release fountains of water from their beaks. Human-like figures appear throughout the museum, too, some mortal and others deities.
The passage of time, closely linked with astronomical observation, is a recurring theme across murals and artifacts throughout the museum. A small monolith believed to have been used to keep track of time and solstices can be found toward the center of the museum. Two ceramic jars, along with eighteen obsidian blades and a human femur, found in an astronomical observation cavern are also on display.
The pigments used to color Teotihuacán murals were sourced mostly from semi precious stones and earth; hematite produced a startlingly bright red, malachite an emerald green, and azurite a deep blue.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee for general admission, which includes entrance to the archaeological zone, is 80 pesos.