Ramón Mena Issasi was a lawyer, archaeologist, poet, historian, and also teacher. Issasi is one of the great referents of Mexican science. He was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, on August 31, 1847, and graduated in law from the University of Veracruz.
His knowledge in the aforementioned areas led him to refute investigations and theories of renowned researchers, especially his defense of the incursion of oriental peoples into the pre-Hispanic races.
Ramón Mena Issasi worked for many years at the National Museum of Archaeology and History, was a consultant at the Mexican Post Office, and a researcher at the General Archive of the Nation, some of his works are The indigenous problem in Chiapas (1902) and Intellectual and physical education among the Nahua and pre-Columbian Maya (1930).
The most important case was the opinion he led together with Alfonso Caso on the authenticity of the treasure of Monte Alban, publicly questioning the discovery of 121 gold objects from Tomb 7 since Ramon Mena Issasi argued that the jewels were made with techniques that did not coincide with their antiquity, a doubt that for some persist.
Ramón Mena Issasi works
He was co-author of the catalog of the collection of jade objects (1927) and author of El problema indígena de Chiapas (1902), ¿Cómo instruir a los indios? Método Pimentel (1903), Nueva orientación arqueológica e histórica y antigüedad del hombre en el Valle de México (1924), Catálogo Secreto. Culto al falo (1926), Filigranas o marcas transparentes en papeles de Nueva España del siglo XVI (1926) and Educación Intelectual y física entre los nahuas y mayas precolombinos (1930). see: Diccionario Enciclopédico de México, Ilustrado, by Humberto Mussachio, volume 3, p. 1200.
Ramón Mena Issasi received several awards both nationally and internationally, such as the Academic Palms in France (1914), as well as the author of several essays and books, and the rescue of the coat of arms of the city of Cordoba, which to date has been used by municipal administrations. In 1926 he won first place in the Congress of Americanists for his extensive knowledge of archaeology.
He was a member of several scientific societies, a journalist, and during the last years of his life chronicler of the City of Cordoba. In March 2016 a tribute was paid to him in his hometown at the conference "Legacy of Ramón Mena, historian and archaeologist from Córdoba", with the participation of his grandson Humberto Nicolini José. Currently, there is the Ramón Mena Isassi Circle which seeks to recover the historical memory, rescue and conserve the historical heritage, both material and immaterial: historical sites, traditional neighborhoods, and monuments, of the state of Veracruz.
A bust of the archaeologist rests in 21 de Mayo Park in the city of Córdoba. Ramón Mena Issasi died in his hometown in 1957.