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Alfredo Chavero (1841–1906) was a Mexican archaeologist, politician, poet, and dramatist. "Perhaps Chavero's most enduring claim to remembrance rests...on [his] completion and extension of Ramírez's plans to republish major native histories and his editorship of pictorial documents."[1]

Alfredo Chavero
Alfredo Chavero.jpg
President of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
16 September 1890 – 30 September 1890
Succeeded byFrancisco Mejía
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for San Luis Potosí′s 9th district
In office
16 September 1902 – 15 September 1904
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Zacatecas′s 9th district
In office
16 September 1888 – 15 September 1902
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for the Federal District′s 2nd district
In office
16 September 1878 – 15 September 1880
Personal details


He has made many investigations relative to Mexican antiquities, and written Historia Antigua de Mexico, also several works on Aztec archaeology, especially on ancient monuments. While making excavations in the pyramids of Cholula, he discovered some idols that are now in the National Museum of Mexico.

He became a member of the Mexican Congress in 1869, and supported Presidents Benito Juárez, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, Manuel González, and Porfirio Díaz in succession, notwithstanding their different policies. On 25 June 1879, the government of Diaz ordered the execution of nine citizens of Vera Cruz who were suspected of conspiracy. This act was severely criticised, and great indignation was shown against Mier y Terán, who had executed the order, and against Diaz. Chavero, then grand master of a masonic lodge, and expelled Mier y Terán from the brotherhood, and suspended Diaz from his masonic rights. This action gave Chavero great popularity. In congress Chavero also made a strong speech against Mier and Diaz, but afterward became one of his adherents. Chavero was elected senator in 1886, and was professor in the mining and law schools of Mexico.

He is the author of the dramas “La Reina Xochitl” and “La tempestad de un beso,” “Quetzalcoatl,” “Los amores de Alarcón,” “La hermana de los Ávilas,” “El mundo de ahora,” and others. His books relative to Father Sahagún and to the Sun Stone are often referred to.

Chavero was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1881.[2]

When the Mexican government proposed the Law of Monuments (1897), which passed overwhelmingly in the Mexican Congress, Chavero opposed the provision banned the export of Mexican artifacts, which in his view "hindered the flow of artifacts to museums abroad and thus obstructed the cause of science."[3] At the 1902 International Congress of Americanists in New York, Chavero gave some credit to the French project headed by the Duke of Loubat for major discoveries at Monte Albán. This public declaration before Americanist luminaries, such as Eduard Seler and Franz Boas was interrupted by Leopoldo Batres, inspector national monuments, Chavero's rival who had excavated at Monte Albán, who strenuously objected to Chavero's assertion, since the work was paid for by the Mexican government.[4]

He donated the Chavero Codex of Huexotzingo to the National Museum of Mexico in 1906.[5]


A selected list of Chavero's writings of ethnohistorial interest is published in the Handbook of Middle American Indians.[6]

  • Discurso pronunciado en los funerales del C. Benito Juarez presidente de los Estados-Unidos Mexicanos (1872).
  • Estudio sobre la Piedra del Sol (1875) y (1877-1903).
  • Calendario azteca: ensayo arqueológico por Alfredo Chavero (1876).
  • Biografía de Sahagún (1877).
  • Sahagun. Estudio por Alfredo Chavero (1877).
  • Bienaventurados los que esperan. Comedia en tres actos y en prosa (1878).
  • Quetzalcóatl. Ensayo trágico en tres actos y en verso (1878).
  • Los amores de Alarcon. Poema dramático en tres actos y en prosa (1879).
  • Xóchitl. Drama en tres actos y en verso" (1879).
  • ¡El huracán de un beso! Drama en dos actos y en prosa, precedido de una introducción, original de Alfredo Chavero (1886).
  • Explicaciones del Códice Aubin (1890).
  • Explicaciones sobre el Lienzo de Tlaxcala (1892).
  • Explicaciones sobre el Códice Borgia (1900).
  • Apuntes viejos de bibliografía mexicana (1903).
  • Obras del Lic. Don Alfredo Chavero, miembro de número de la Academia Mexicana de la Lengua y correspondiente de la Española. Tomo I: Escritos diversos (1904).
  • Discurso pronunciado el 24 de septiembre de 1904 en el Congreso de Artes y Ciencias de la Exposición Universal de San Luis Missouri" (1905).
  • Calendario de Palemke: signos cronográficos. Primera parte (1906).
  • Edición de Historia chichimeca de Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl (1891-1892).
  • Edición de Historia de Tlaxcala de Diego Muñoz Camargo (1892).


  1. ^ Howard F. Cline, "Selected Nineteenth-Century Mexican Writers on Ethnohistory", section "Alfredo Chavero, 1841-1906" in Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 13. Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources. Austin: University of Texas Press 1973 p. 388.
  2. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  3. ^ Christina Bueno, The Pursuit of Ruins: Archeology, History, and the Making of Modern Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 2016, p.84-85.
  4. ^ Bueno, The Pursuit of Ruins]], pp. 125-26
  5. ^ "Chavero Codex of Huexotzingo". World Digital Library. 1578. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  6. ^ Howard F. Cline, "Appendix E. Chavero, Selected writings of ethnohistorical interest," appendix to "Selected Nineteenth-Century Mexican Writers on Ethnohistory" in Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 13, Guide to Ethnhistorical Sources, Howard F. Cline, volume editor. Austin: University of Texas Press 1973, pp. 408-410.

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