The Museo Arqueológico de Mazatlán -- Mazatlan's archaeology museum -- offers well-organized exhibits outlining pre-Columbian Sinaloan history and culture.
This great sightseeing stop is located just four blocks from the Plaza Machado in the Mazatlan Centro Historico within a beautifully restored buliding, the Mazatlan Archaeology Museum is directly across the street from the Museo De Arte.
Before the Spanish conquered Mexico, the area around Mazatlan was inhabited by a number of different indigenous peoples native to western coastal Mexico including the Acaxee, Cáhita, Pacaxee, Tahue, Xixime and Totorame.
Archeologists believe that these native cultures -- with the exception of the Cáhita, who were fearsome warriors -- were peaceful, and sustained themselves through hunting, fishing and agriculture.
The Totorames are believed to have lived in fixed communities that included the area occupied by Modern Mazatlan, feeding themselves primarily through fishing and agriculture, as well as collecting and trading salt with inland peoples.
History knows virtually nothing about Totorame spiritual practices, or political / societal organization.
Sadly -- and unlike their inland neighbors the Toltecs and Aztecs -- the Totorames left no pyramids, large scale earthworks or buildings left to be discovered by archeologists.
Totorame civilization largely vanished when the Spanish arrived with their brutality and, more importantly, their diseases, for which the indigenous people of Sinaloa had no immunity.
But In tangible ways the history and spirit of Totorame culture survives.
Skilled craftsmen, the Totorames made decorative objects with pearls, shells and feathers -- and were skilled potters and sculptors.
Exquisite Totorame pottery adorned with elaborate designs and pre-Columbian artwork indicative of an evolved and sophisticated culture can be viewed at the Museo Arqueologico.
An early expression of the Centro Historico Renaissance founded in 1989, the Mazatlan archaeology museum carefully preserves these artistic expressions of the Totorame soul -- archaeological finds that speak directly to contemporary viewers and are reminders that the history of Mazatlan did not begin with the arrival of the Spanish.
The Archaeology Museum displays include cases of human and animal figurines; pre-Columbian burial artifacts and tokens; and ancient polychrome pottery from pre-Colonial Sinaloa.
Museo Arqueologico Mazatlan is an INAH (Instituto Nacional De Anthropologia e Historia) facility.
This important and dynamic museum is a must-see on any Pearl of The Pacific Centro Historico cultural tour!
A Mazatlan City Guide favorite and a great stop when sightseeing in the Centro Historico, admission to the Museo Arqueologico is under 50 pesos -- and this great example off value-priced Mazatlan tourist attractions is free on Sundays!
Video of the Mazatlan Archaeology Museum by Noroeste TV