[Image: Mask, crown, and necklace of the Red Queen, Maya civilization (late 7th century) ©Secretaría de Cultura-INAH-MEX. Photo: Michel Zabé]

Ancient Mexico - Maya, Aztec, and Teotihuacan

Tokyo National Museum
Mexico is home to 35 World Heritage sites, the most popular of which are the ruins of ancient cities. For more than 3,000 years from the 15th century BCE to the Spanish invasion in the 16th century CE, a unique civilization blossomed, adapting to its diverse environment. This exhibition focuses on three representative civilizations: the Maya, the Aztecs, and Teotihuacan.

The Maya civilization flourished over a wide area from around 1200 BCE and was led by kings and aristocrats with advanced knowledge of calendars and writing, who engaged in trade and warfare; the Aztec civilization established its capital Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) in 1325 and enjoyed prosperity backed by military power and a tribute payment system; and the Teotihuacan civilization, which flourished in Mexico from the 1st to the 6th century BCE and built a huge planned city with the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.

Amidst a harsh natural environment of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and droughts, the people built magnificent monuments representing each civilization, such as the Tombs of the Kings and Queens, the Great Temple, and the Three Great Pyramids, with faith in and sometimes awe of the gods. This exhibition explores the depth and fascination of ancient Mexican civilizations through their prayers to universal deities and nature, as well as their unique worldview and the beauty of their formative arts created by their diverse environments.


Jun 16 (Fri) 2023-Sep 3 (Sun) 2023 

Opening Hours Information

Closed on July 18.
Open on July 17 and August 14.
FeeAdults ¥2200; University Students ¥1400; High School Students ¥1000; Junior High School Students, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion free.
VenueTokyo National Museum
Location13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8712
Access10 minute walk from the Koen exit of JR Ueno Station, 13 minute walk from the Main exit of Keisei Ueno Station on the Keisei line, 15 minute walk from exit 7 at Ueno Station on the Ginza and Hibiya lines.
Phone050-5541-8600 (Hello Dial)

Traveling exhibition schedule