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Possibly one of the most recognizable artifacts of early Mesoamerican civilization, Olmec Head Number 8 stands proud as a symbol of the great societies of North America’s past. The original statue stands outside a museum in Veracruz, Mexico. In 2000, this replica was installed on the east side of the Field Museum of Natural History to demonstrate to all visitors the very large scale of these stone artifacts. Let the stylized face whisk you into a new world of understanding of human history.
Walk toward the head down Chicago’s lakeside promenade. It may surprise you the first time you spot its eyes gazing across the Field Museum’s lawn. As you approach, note the sheer size. It weighs 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms). Picture the incredibly massive block of stone that was used to make the sculpture and try to imagine how the Olmec transported that much stone without the use of the wheel from a basalt quarry to the place they were buried.
Examine the head’s iconic face, which is considered to be the most natural in appearance of all of the heads that have been found. Admire the helmet, believed to be a symbol of war, and the statue’s wide nose and full lips. Walk slowly around it, studying the detail, and pause to read the two plaques adorning the statue’s base.
Learn about the Olmec and about the statue itself and about the donation of this replica. Take yourself back to pre-Columbian Mexico and imagine the people who created this magnificent sculpture. Head into the Field Museum itself to learn even more.
Find Olmec Head Number 8 outside the Field Museum in the heart of Chicago’s Museum District, a 30-minute walk or 10-minute drive from Cloud Gate. Drive here in 35 minutes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport or take public transportation in about 1 hour. Metered parking is available in the museum’s parking structure or on nearby streets. The Olmec Head is always on display, with no admission required.
Located in The Loop, this hotel is steps from Columbia College Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and Auditorium Building and Theatre. Fine Arts Building and Buckingham Fountain are also within 5 minutes. Harrison Station and Chicago Van Buren Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in The Loop, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Lakefront Trail, State Street, and Columbia College Chicago. Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Harrison Station is 7 minutes by foot and Roosevelt Station is 8 minutes.
Located in The Loop, this hotel is steps from Lakefront Trail, Columbia College Chicago, and State Street. Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park are also within 10 minutes. Harrison Station and Chicago Van Buren Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in The Loop, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Chicago Riverwalk and Michigan Avenue Bridge. Chicago Theatre and Millennium Park are also within 15 minutes. State Station is 9 minutes by foot and Randolph-Wabash Station is 9 minutes.
Located in The Loop, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Columbia College Chicago and Grant Park. Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park are also within 15 minutes. Harrison Station is 5 minutes by foot and Roosevelt Station is 10 minutes.
Located in The Loop, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Chicago Board of Trade Building and State Street. Willis Tower and Skydeck Ledge are also within 10 minutes. Jackson Station (Blue Line) and Monroe Station (Blue Line) are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in The Loop, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Columbia College Chicago and Grant Park. Field Museum of Natural History and John G. Shedd Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Roosevelt Station and Chicago Museum Campus-11th Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in South Loop, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of McCormick Place and Wintrust Arena. Lakefront Trail and Soldier Field are also within 1 mi (2 km). Chicago McCormick Place Station is only a 4-minute walk and Cermak-Chinatown Station is 13 minutes.