Jade was the most valuable commodity among the pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico and Central America, worth more than gold. Located on the first floor of the INS (National Insurance Company) building, this popular museum houses a huge collection of jade artifacts dating from 500 B.C. to A.D. 800. Most are large pendants that were parts of necklaces and are primarily human and animal figures. A fascinating display illustrates how the primitive peoples of this region carved this extremely hard stone.
The museum also possesses an extensive collection of pre-Columbian polychrome terra-cotta vases, bowls, and figurines. Some of these pieces are amazingly modern in design and exhibit a surprisingly advanced technique. Particularly fascinating is a vase that incorporates real human teeth, and a display that shows how jade was embedded in human teeth merely for decorative reasons. All of the explanations are in English and Spanish. Allot at least an hour to tour this museum.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask San Jose Locals about Museo de Jade Marco Fidel Tristán (Jade Museum)
- Recommended 2010
- tel: 2287-6034
- Av. 7 between calles 9 and 9B
- INS Building
- San Jose
- Mon-Fri 8:30am-3:30pm; Sat 9am-1pm
- No Sweat
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