Explore the comprehensive arrays of Maya and Olmec artifacts that give evidence of the lives and rich history of the Cuscatlán region.
The National Museum of Anthropology Dr David J. Guzman (MUNA) is a fascinating institution harboring archaeological, ethnographical and historical objects. Its displays cover the region’s history from the pre-Hispanic era up to present day. Piece together the intricate past of the Cuscatlán Department and the rest of El Salvador through its various exhibits.
Admire the display of traditional crafts for an insight into the artistic minds of the area’s indigenous groups. Wander through several permanent exhibition rooms, which cover topics such as Migration and Roots, Agriculture and Religion. The Entierros Prehispánicos exhibit has over 170 artifacts related to death and burials. The complex also contains temporary exhibits that relate more information about modern, colonial and pre-Hispanic times in the region.
Admire some of the museum’s highlights, such as the Little Dog with Wheels from Cihuatán. This ceramic work of art was discovered in the 1950s and dates back to the post-classic period. Marvel at the Xipe Tótec from the same era, which portrays a deity of agriculture. See the Pedernal Excéntrico that shows the profile of a seated man with his lips in a kissing expression.
Join a guided tour and chat with docents for a greater understanding of the diverse exhibits. Leaf through the intriguing tomes of the specialized library. The museum contains a bistro, where you can pause and enjoy a meal.
Note that the complex takes its name from David Joaquín Guzmán, a 19th-century scientist and intellectual who founded the museum. There is a fee to enter the museum. It opens Tuesday through Sunday from morning until late afternoon. Children and seniors can enter for free.
The National Museum of Anthropology Dr David J. Guzman is in the Palermo Community in the western outskirts of San Salvador. Drive west for about 10 minutes from the city center to get to this complex and leave your car in one of the public parking lots. See nearby sights, such as the Plaza of the Flags, the Plaza Italia and the Museum of Art of El Salvador.