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Encyclopedia > Olmec
Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. This one is nearly 3 metres (9 ft) tall.
Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. This one is nearly 3 metres (9 ft) tall.

The Olmec were an ancient Pre-Columbian people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Their immediate cultural influence, however, extends beyond this region (Olmec artwork has been documented as far as El Salvador). The Olmec flourished during the Formative (or Preclassic) era, dating from 1200 BCE to about 400 BCE, and are believed to have been the progenitor civilization of later Mesoamerican civilizations.[1] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the Americas continent. ... A tropic is either of two circles of latitude: Tropic of Cancer, at 23½°N Tropic of Capricorn, at 23½°S Tropic is also the name of a town in Utah, United States. ... The United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos or Mexico) comprises 31 states (estados) and one federal district (Distrito Federal), which contains the capital, Mexico City. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... Tabasco is a state in Mexico. ... The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is an isthmus in Mexico. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... “BCE” redirects here. ... This article is about the culture area. ...

Contents

Overview

The Olmec heartland.
The Olmec heartland.

The Olmec heartland is characterized by swampy lowlands punctuated by low hill ridges and volcanoes. The Tuxtlas Mountains rise sharply in the north, along the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Here the Olmecs constructed permanent city-temple complexes at several locations, among them San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, Tres Zapotes, and Laguna de los Cerros. In this heartland, the first Mesoamerican civilization would emerge and reign from 1200–400 BCE. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Sierra de Los Tuxtlas are a range of volcanic mountains lining the Gulf of Mexico coast of the southeastern part of the state of Veracruz in southcentral Mexico. ... Bay of Campeche The Bay of Campeche (Spanish: Bahía de Campeche or Sonda de Campeche) is the southern bight of the Gulf of Mexico. ... Front and side views of Colossal Head 1 now located at Museo de Antropología de Xalapa in Xalapa, Veracruz. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... Laguna de los Cerros and the other major Olmec sites. ...

History

Early history

Olmec history originated at its base within San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, where distinctively Olmec features begin to emerge before 1200 BCE. The rise of civilization here was probably assisted by the local ecology of well-watered rich alluvial soil, encouraging high maize production. This ecology may be compared to that of other ancient centers of civilization: Mesopotamia and the Nile, Indus, and Yellow River valleys. It is speculated that the dense population concentration at San Lorenzo encouraged the rise of an elite class that eventually ensured Olmec dominance and provided the social basis for the production of the symbolic and sophisticated luxury artifacts that define Olmec culture. Many of these luxury artifacts, such as jade, obsidian and magnetite, came from distant locations and suggest that early Olmec elites had access to an extensive trading network in Mesoamerica. The source of the most valued jade, for example, is found in the Motagua River valley in eastern Guatemala, and their obsidian is mainly from sources also in the Guatemala highlands, such as El Chayal and San Martín Jilotepeque. Alluvium is soil land deposited by a river or other running water. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... For other uses, see Mesopotamia (disambiguation). ... The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ... The Indus is a river; the Indus River. ... For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Elite (disambiguation). ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ... This article is about a type of volcanic glass. ... // Headline text Magnetite is a ferrimagnetic mineral form of iron(II,III) oxide, with chemical formula Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides and a member of the spinel group. ... Pectoral decoration from the Maya area (195mm high) Jade use in Mesoamerica was largely influenced by the conceptualization of the material as a rare and valued commodity among pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Olmec, the Maya, and the various groups in the Valley of Mexico. ... The Motagua River is a 400km long river in Guatemala. ... This article is about a type of volcanic glass. ...


La Venta

Monument 19 from La Venta is the earliest known representation of a feathered serpent in Mesoamerica.
© George & Audrey DeLange, used with permission.

The first Olmec center, San Lorenzo, was all but abandoned around 900 BCE at about the same time that La Venta rose to prominence. Environmental changes may have been responsible for this move, with certain important rivers changing course. A wholesale destruction of many San Lorenzo monuments also occurred around this time, circa 950 BCE, which may point to an internal uprising or, less likely, an invasion.[2] Following the decline of San Lorenzo, La Venta became the most prominent Olmec center, lasting from 900 BCE until its abandonment around 400 BCE. During this period, the Great Pyramid and various other ceremonial complexes were built at La Venta.[3] Image File history File linksMetadata La_Venta_Stele_19. ... Image File history File linksMetadata La_Venta_Stele_19. ... Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ...

Decline

It is not known with any clarity what happened to the Olmec culture. The Tres Zapotes site continued to be occupied well past 400 BCE, but without the hallmarks of the Olmec culture. This post-Olmec culture, often labeled the Epi-Olmec culture, has features similar to those found at Izapa, some distance to the southeast. // Overview Izapa was a very large pre-Columbian site located in Chiapas, Mexico, often placed in the Late Formative period. ...


Within a few hundred years of the abandonment of the last Olmec cities, successor cultures had become firmly established, most notably the Maya to the east and the Zapotec to the southwest. This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... The Zapotec are an indigenous people of Mexico. ...


Notable innovations

As the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the Olmecs are credited, or speculatively credited, with many "firsts", including the Mesoamerican ballgame, bloodletting and perhaps human sacrifice, writing and epigraphy, and the invention of zero and the Mesoamerican calendar. Their political arrangements of strongly hierarchical city-state kingdoms were repeated by nearly every other Mexican and Central American civilization that followed. Some researchers, including artist and art historian Miguel Covarrubias, even postulate that the Olmecs formulated the forerunners of many of the later Mesoamerican deities.[4] Ballcourt at Monte Alban Ballcourt at Uaxactun The Mesoamerican ballgame[1] was a sport with ritual associations played for over 3000 years by the peoples of Mesoamerica in Pre-Columbian times. ... This article is about the culture area. ... This article is about the culture area. ... “Write” redirects here. ... The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. ... For other senses of this word, see zero or 0. ... The Pre-Columbian people of Mesoamerica kept track of time with calendars which had ritual and religious meaning. ... A hierarchy (in Greek: , derived from — hieros, sacred, and — arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is a subordinate to a single other element. ... A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. ... In politics, a country (or in some cases, a group of countries) over which a king or queen reigns, is a kingdom, see: monarchy. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Art history usually refers to the history of the visual arts. ... Covarrubiass caricature of himself as an Olmec. ... This list of deities aims at giving information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ...

See also Olmec influences on Mesoamerican cultures for a discussion of the archaeological debate on this issue.

The major centers of the Olmec heartland (in yellow) as well as artifact finds unassociated with habitations (smaller circles, in red). ...

Mesoamerican ballgame

The Olmec, whose name means "rubber people" in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs (see below), were likely the originators of the Mesoamerican ballgame so prevalent among later cultures of the region and used for recreational and religious purposes.[5] A dozen rubber balls dating to 1600 BCE or earlier have been found in El Manatí, an Olmec sacrificial bog 10 kilometres east of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan.[6] These balls predate the earliest ballcourt yet discovered at Paso de la Amada, circa 1400 BCE. The fact that the balls were found with other sacrificial items, including pottery and jadeite celts indicates that even at this early date, the ballgame had religious and ritual connotations. Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... Ballcourt at Monte Alban Ballcourt at Uaxactun The Mesoamerican ballgame[1] was a sport with ritual associations played for over 3000 years by the peoples of Mesoamerica in Pre-Columbian times. ... El Manatí is an archaeological site in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... Lütt-Witt Moor, a bog in Henstedt-Ulzburg in northern Germany. ... Paso de la Amada and other Formative Period sites, as of approximately 900 BC. Paso de la Amada is located in Mexican state of Chiapas on the Gulf of Tehuantepec, in the Soconusco region of Mesoamerica. ... Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ... Jadeite is a pyroxene mineral with composition NaAlSi2O6. ... Celt (pron. ...

Altar 5 from La Venta. The inert were-jaguar baby held by the central figure is seen by some as an indication of child sacrifice. In contrast, its sides show bas-reliefs of humans holding quite lively were-jaguar babies.
Altar 5 from La Venta. The inert were-jaguar baby held by the central figure is seen by some as an indication of child sacrifice. In contrast, its sides show bas-reliefs of humans holding quite lively were-jaguar babies.

Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 582 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Olmec Child sacrifice in pre... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 582 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Olmec Child sacrifice in pre... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 593 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mesoamerica Olmec...

Bloodletting and sacrifice

There is a strong case that the Olmecs practiced bloodletting, or autosacrifice. Numerous natural and ceramic stingray spikes and maguey thorns have been found in the archaeological record of the Olmec heartland.[7] For other uses, see Stingray (disambiguation). ... ... Thorn, a sharp structure or growth on plants. ...


The argument that the Olmecs instituted human sacrifice is significantly more speculative. No Olmec or Olmec-influenced sacrificial artifacts have yet been discovered and there is no Olmec or Olmec-influenced artwork that unambiguously shows sacrificial victims (similar, for example, to the danzante figures of Monte Albán) or scenes of human sacrifice (such as can be seen in the Maya archaeological record). Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ...


However, at the El Manatí site, complete skeletons as well as disarticulated skulls and femurs of newborn or unborn children have been discovered amidst the other offerings, leading to speculation concerning infant sacrifice. It is not yet known, though, how the infants met their deaths.[8] Some authors have also associated infant sacrifice with Olmec ritual art showing limp "were-jaguar" babies, most famously in La Venta's Altar 5 (to the right) or Las Limas figure (see Religion below). Unfortunately, definitive answers will need to await further findings. El Manatí is an archaeological site in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... The jaguar played an important role in the culture and religion of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... Las Limas Monument 1. ...


Writing

The Olmec may have been the first civilization in the Western Hemisphere to develop a writing system. Symbols found in 2002 and 2006 date to 650 BCE[9] and 900 BCE[10] respectively, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing dated to about 500 BCE. The geographical western hemisphere of Earth, highlighted in yellow. ... The Zapotec are an indigenous people of Mexico. ...


The 2002 find at the San Andrés site shows a bird, speech scrolls, and glyphs that are similar to the later Mayan hieroglyphs showing "3 Ajaw", both a calendar day and a ruler's name.   Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only deciphered script of the Mesoamerican writing systems. ... AJAW is the title in the Mayan language of the King of a Precolumbian city state of the Maya people on the (now Mexican) Yucatan peninsula (explicitely attested in Palenque and in Tikal) and in neighbouring Central America, in Guatemala and Belize (the former British Honduras). ... Tzolkin (in the revised Guatemala Mayan languages Academy orthography which is now preferred, formerly and commonly tzolkin) is the name bestowed by Mayanist scholars upon the version of the 260-day Mesoamerican calendar which was used by the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ...


The 2006 find, known as the Cascajal block from a site near San Lorenzo, shows a set of 62 symbols, 28 of which are unique, carved on a serpentine block. A large number of prominent archaeologiests have hailed this find as the "earliest pre-Columbian writing".[11] Others are skeptical because of the stone's singularity, the fact that it had been removed from any archaeological context, and because it bears no apparent resemblance to any other Mesoamerican writing systems. Olmec hieroglyphs (or Olmec script) refers to the putative writing system associated with the Olmec archaeological culture which flourished in the Gulf Coast region of Mexico, ca. ... For other uses, see Serpentine (disambiguation). ... Mesoamerica is one of the relatively few places in the world where writing has developed independently throughout history. ...


There are also well-documented later hieroglyphs known as "Epi-Olmec", and while there are some who believe that Epi-Olmec may represent a transitional script between an earlier Olmec writing system and Maya writing, the matter remains unsettled. Epi-Olmec (after Olmec) is a Mesoamerican writing system in use in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from perhaps 500 BCE to 500 CE, although there is disagreement on these dates. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ...

The back of Stela C from Tres Zapotes
This is the second oldest Long Count date yet discovered. The numerals 7.16.6.16.18 translate to September 3, 32 BCE (Julian). The glyphs surrounding the date are what is thought to be one of the few surviving examples of Epi-Olmec script.

Image File history File links Tres_Zapotes_Stela. ... Image File history File links Tres_Zapotes_Stela. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... Epi-Olmec (after Olmec) is a Mesoamerican writing system in use in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from perhaps 500 BCE to 500 CE, although there is disagreement on these dates. ...

Compass

The find of an Olmec hematite artifact, fitted with a sighting mark and found in experiment as fully operational as a compass, has led the American astronomer John Carlson after radiocarbon dating to conclude that "the Olmec may have discovered and used the geomagnetic lodestone compass earlier than 1000 BC".[12] Carlson suggests that the Olmecs may have used such devices for directional orientation of the dwellings of the living and the interments of the dead.[12] Hematite, also spelled haematite, is the mineral form of Iron(III) oxide, (Fe2O3), one of several iron oxides. ... Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring isotope carbon-14 (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years. ...


Mesoamerican Long Count calendar & invention of the zero concept

The Long Count calendar used by many subsequent Mesoamerican civilizations, as well as the concept of zero, may have been devised by the Olmecs. Because the six artifacts with the earliest Long Count calendar dates were all discovered outside the immediate h Maya homeland, it is likely that this calendar predated the Maya and was possibly the invention of the Olmecs.[13] Indeed, many of these six artifacts were found within the Olmec heartland area. However, the fact that the Olmec civilization had come to an end by the 4th century BCE, several centuries before the earliest known Long Count date artifact, argue against an Olmec origin. Detail showing three columns of glyphs from 2nd century AD La Mojarra Stela 1. ...


The Long Count calendar required the use of zero as a place-holder within its vigesimal (base-20) positional numeral system. A shell glyph -- Image:MAYA-g-num-0-inc-v1.svg -- was used as a zero symbol for these Long Count dates, the second oldest of which, on Stela C at Tres Zapotes, has a date of 32 BCE. This is one of the earliest uses of the zero concept in history. The Monument 1 in the Maya site El Baul, Guatemala, bears a Long Count Date of 37 BCE The vigesimal or base-20 numeral system is based on twenty (in the same way in which the ordinary decimal numeral system is based on ten). ... Image File history File links MAYA-g-num-0-inc-v1. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... “BCE” redirects here. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ...

See also History of zero

For other senses of this word, see zero or 0. ...

Olmec art

Olmec artforms remain in works of both monumental statuary and small jadework. Much Olmec art is highly stylized and uses an iconography reflective of a religious meaning. Some Olmec art, however, is surprisingly naturalistic, displaying an accuracy of depiction of human anatomy perhaps equaled in the pre-Columbian New World only by the best Maya Classic era art. Common motifs include downturned mouths and slit-like slanting eyes, both of which can be seen as representations of "were-jaguars". Olmec figurines are also found abundantly in sites throughout the Formative Period. A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ... In art, a motif is a repeated idea, pattern, image, or theme. ... A stone Olmec face, showing common were-jaguar characteristics including the downturned mouth, fleshy lips, flaming eyebrows, and cleft head. ... The Wrestler, an Olmec era figurine, 1200 - 800 BCE. Copyright George and Audrey DeLange, used with permission. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ...

Fish Vessel, 12th–9th century BCE.Height: 6.5 inches (16.5 cm).
Fish Vessel, 12th–9th century BCE.
Height: 6.5 inches (16.5 cm).

In addition to human subjects, Olmec artisans were adept at animal portrayals, for example, the fish vessel to the right or the bird vessel in the gallery below. Ceramics are produced in kilns capable of exceeding approximately 900° C. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 496 × 599 pixels Full resolution (1585 × 1915 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 496 × 599 pixels Full resolution (1585 × 1915 pixel, file size: 1. ... Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. ... Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... Charcoal Kilns, California Gold Kiln, Victoria, Australia Hop kiln. ... Celsius is, or relates to, the Celsius temperature scale (previously known as the centigrade scale). ...

Olmec colossal heads

Perhaps the best-recognized Olmec art are the enormous helmeted heads. As no known pre-Columbian text explains these, these impressive monuments have been the subject of much speculation. Given the individuality of each, these heads seem to be portraits of famous ball players or perhaps kings rigged out in the accoutrements of the game.[14]


According to Grove,[15] the unique elements in the headgear can also be recognized in headdresses of human figures on other Gulf Coast monuments, suggesting that these are personal or group symbols.


The heads range in size from the Rancho La Cobata head, at 3.4 m high, to the pair at Tres Zapotes, at 1.47 m. Some sources estimate that the largest weighs as much as 40 tons, although most reports place the larger heads at 20 tons.


The heads were carved from single blocks or boulders of volcanic basalt, quarried in the Tuxtlas Mountains. The Tres Zapotes heads were sculpted from basalt found on San Martin Volcano. The lowland heads were possibly carved from the Cerro Cintepec. It is possible that the heads were carried on large balsa rafts from the Llano del Jicaro quarry to their final locations, or more likely dragged and rafted down rivers. To reach La Venta, roughly 80 km (50 miles) away, the rafts would have had to move out onto choppy waters of the Bay of Campeche. For the cities, see Basalt, Colorado and Basalt, Idaho. ... The Sierra de Los Tuxtlas are a range of volcanic mountains lining the Gulf of Mexico coast of the southeastern part of the state of Veracruz in southcentral Mexico. ... Binomial name Ochroma lagopus Sw. ... Bay of Campeche The Bay of Campeche (Spanish: Bahía de Campeche or Sonda de Campeche) is the southern bight of the Gulf of Mexico. ...


Some of the heads, and many other monuments, have been variously mutilated, buried and disinterred, reset in new locations and/or reburied. It is known that some monuments had been recycled or recarved, but it is not known whether this was simply due to the scarcity of stone or whether these actions had ritual or other connotations. It is also suspected that some mutilation had significance beyond mere destruction, but some scholars still do not rule out internal conflicts or, less likely, invasion as a factor.[16]


There have been 17 colossal heads unearthed to date.

Site Count Designations
San Lorenzo 10 Colossal Heads 1 through 10
La Venta 4 Monuments 1 through 4
Tres Zapotes 2 Monuments A & Q
Rancho la Cobata[17] 1 Monument 1

Beyond the heartland

The major Formative Period (Pre-Classic Era) sites in present-day Mexico which show Olmec influences in the archaeological record.
The major Formative Period (Pre-Classic Era) sites in present-day Mexico which show Olmec influences in the archaeological record.

Olmec-style artifacts, designs, figurines, monuments and iconography have been found in the archaeological records of sites hundreds of kilometres outside the Olmec heartland. These sites include: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The major centers of the Olmec heartland (in yellow) as well as artifact finds unassociated with habitations (smaller circles, in red). ...

Other sites showing probable Olmec influence include Abaj Takalik in Guatemala and Zazacatla in Morelos. The Juxtlahuaca and Oxtotitlan cave paintings are attributed by most researchers to the Olmecs.[18] A piece of ceramic art recovered from Tlatilco. ... Clay Bowl, pigmented, 1200–900 BC, from the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, Indiana University Art Museum. ... The Acrobat, ceramic art from Tlatilco. ... The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of Estado de Mexico. ... The Wrestler, an Olmec era figurine, 1200 - 800 BCE. Copyright George and Audrey DeLange, used with permission. ... // Overview Chalcatzingo was an Olmec culture center in the Valley of Morelos, which is in the southern portion of the Central Highlands of Mexico. ... Morelos is one of the constituent states of Mexico. ... // Teopantecuanitlan Teopantecuanitlan is a very important site illustrating the development of complex societies within the Mexican state of Guerrero. ... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ... Takalik Abaj is an archeological site, formerly a site of the Pre-Columbian Guatemala. ... Zazacatla, nearby Formative Era sites, and the Olmec heartland. ... Painting 1 from Juxtlahuaca. ... Oxtotitlan in relation to the major Formative Era sites showing Olmec influences in the archaeological record. ...


Many theories have been advanced to account for the occurrence of Olmec influence far outside the heartland, including long-range trade by Olmec merchants, Olmec colonization of other regions, Olmec artisans travelling to other cities, conscious imitation of Olmec artistical styles by developing towns -- some even suggest the prospect of Olmec military domination outside of their heartland or that the Olmec iconography was actually developed outside the heartland.[19]


The generally accepted, but by no means unanimous, interpretation is that the Olmec-style artifacts, in all sizes, became associated with elite status and were adopted by non-Olmec Formative Period chieftains in an effort to bolster their status.[20]


Daily life

Ethnicity and language

While the actual ethnicity of the Olmec remains unknown, various hypotheses have been put forward. In 1976 Lyle Campbell and Terrence Kaufman published a paper which argued that the existence of a number of loanwords form a semantically fundamental domain for Mesoamerican cultures[21] which have apparently spread from a Mixe-Zoquean language into many other Mesoamerican languages, can be seen as an indicator that the first "highly civilized society" of Mesoamerica spoke a language which is an ancestor of the Mixe-Zoquean languages, and that they spread their own vocabulary of terms particular for their culture to other peoples of Mesoamerica. Since the Mixe-Zoquean languages still are, and historically are known to have been, spoken in an area corresponding roughly to the "Olmec heartland", and since the Olmec culture is now generally regarded as the first "high culture" of Mesoamerica, it has generally been regarded as probable that the Olmec spoke a Mixe-Zoquean language.[22] Lyle Campbell is a linguist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the director of the universitys Center for American Indian Languages (CAIL). ... Genealogy Areal Uto-Aztecan —5000 BP* Soshonean (N Uto-Aztecan) —3500 BP Numic (Plateau group) —2000 BP C Plateau Soshoni [SHH] Comanche [COM] Paramint [PAR] S Plateau Ute-Chemehuevi (S Paiute) [UTE] Kawaiisu [KAW] W Plateau Mono [MON] Paiute (Northern Paiute) [PAO] Takic ( Southern Californian) —2400... The Mixe-Zoque languages are a language family spoken in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. ...


Religion and mythology

Las Limas Monument 1, considered an important realisation of Olmec mythology. The youth holds a were-jaguar infant, while four iconic supernaturals are incised on the youth's shoulders and knees.
Las Limas Monument 1, considered an important realisation of Olmec mythology. The youth holds a were-jaguar infant, while four iconic supernaturals are incised on the youth's shoulders and knees.
Main article: Olmec mythology

Olmec religious activities were performed by a combination of rulers, full-time priests, and shamans. The rulers were probably the most important religious figures, with their links to the Olmec deities or supernaturals providing legitimacy for their rule.[23] There is also considerable evidence for shamans in the Olmec archaeological record, particularly in the so-called "transformation figurines". Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixels Full resolution (960 × 1280 pixel, file size: 541 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From: Cadeva Subject: Re: Would like to use your El Señor de las Navajas in Wikipedia. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixels Full resolution (960 × 1280 pixel, file size: 541 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From: Cadeva Subject: Re: Would like to use your El Señor de las Navajas in Wikipedia. ... Las Limas Monument 1. ... The mythology of the Olmec people significantly influenced the social development and mythological world view of Mesoamerica. ... The shaman is an intellectual and spiritual figure who is regarded as possessing power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, primarily that of a healer ( medicine man). The shaman provides medical care, and serves other community needs during crisis times, via supernatural means (means... The Wrestler, an Olmec era figurine, 1200 - 800 BCE. Copyright George and Audrey DeLange, used with permission. ...


Olmec mythology has left no documents comparable to the Popul Vuh from Maya mythology, and therefore any exposition of Olmec mythology must rely on interpretations of surviving monumental and portable art (such as the Las Limas figure at right), and comparisons with other Mesoamerican mythologies. Olmec art shows that such deities as the Feathered Serpent and the Rain Spirit were already in the Mesoamerican pantheon in Olmec times. The Popol Vuh (Council Book or Book of the Community; Popol Wuj in modern Quiché spelling) is the book of scripture of the Quiché, a Kingdom of the Maya civilization in Guatemala. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Village life and diet

San Lorenzo and La Venta were largely ceremonial centers, where rulers and perhaps other members of the elite lived. The vast majority of the Olmec, however, lived in villages similar to present-day villages and hamlets in Tabasco and Veracruz.


These villages were located on higher ground and consisted of several scattered houses. A modest temple may have been associated with the larger villages. The individual dwellings would consist of a house, an associated lean-to, and one or more storage pits (similar in function to a root cellar). A nearby garden was used for medicinal and cooking herbs and for smaller crops such as the domesticated sunflower. Fruit trees, such as avocado or cacao, were likely available nearby.[24] Root cellar is an underground room suitable for storage of consumable goods. ... For other uses, see Sunflower (disambiguation). ...


Although the river banks were used to plant crops between flooding periods, the Olmecs also likely practiced swidden (or slash-and-burn) agriculture to clear the forests and shrubs, and to provide new fields once the old fields were exhausted.[25] Fields were located outside the village, and were used for maize, beans, squash, manioc, sweet potato, as well as cotton. Based on studies of two villages in the Los Tuxtlas Mountains, maize cultivation became increasingly important to the Olmec diet over time, although the diet remained fairly diverse.[26] Assarting in Finland in 1892 Slash and burn (a specific practice that may be part of shifting cultivation or swidden-fallow agriculture) is an agricultural procedure widely used in forested areas. ... Genera Abobra Acanthosicyos Actinostemma Alsomitra Ampelosycios Anacaona Apatzingania Apodanthera Bambekea Benincasa Biswarea Bolbostemma Brandegea Bryonia Calycophysum Cayaponia Cephalopentandra Ceratosanthes Chalema Cionosicyos Citrullus Coccinia Cogniauxia Corallocarpus Cremastopus Ctenolepis Cucumella Cucumeropsis Cucumis Cucurbita Cucurbitella Cyclanthera Dactyliandra Dendrosicyos Dicoelospermum Dieterlea Diplocyclos Doyerea Ecballium Echinocystis Echinopepon Edgaria Elateriopsis Eureiandra Fevillea Gerrardanthus Gomphogyne Gurania Guraniopsis... Binomial name Manihot esculenta Crantz Cassava or manioc (Manihot esculenta; also yuca in Spanish, and mandioca, aipim, or macaxera in Portuguese) is a woody perennial shrub of the spurge family, that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop for its edible starchy tuberous root. ...


The fruits and vegetables were supplemented with fish, turtle, snake, and mollusks from the nearby rivers, and crabs and shellfish in the coastal areas.


Birds were available, as were game including peccary, oppossum, raccoon, rabbit, and in particular deer.[27] Despite the wide range of hunting and fishing available, midden surveys in San Lorenzo have found that the domesticated dog was the single most plentiful source of animal protein.[28] Species Tayassu Tayassu tajacu Tayassu pecari Catagonus Catagonus wagneri The peccaries (also known by its Spanish name, javelina or pecarí) are medium-sized mammals of the family Tayassuidae. ... A midden, also known as kitchen middens, is a dump for domestic waste. ...

The jade Kunz Axe, first described by George Kunz in 1890. Although shaped like an axe head, with an edge along the bottom, it is unlikely that this artifact was used except in ritual settings. Height: 11 in (28 cm).
The jade Kunz Axe, first described by George Kunz in 1890. Although shaped like an axe head, with an edge along the bottom, it is unlikely that this artifact was used except in ritual settings.
Height: 11 in (28 cm).

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 371 × 600 pixels Full resolution (993 × 1605 pixel, file size: 220 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) The famous Kunz Axe, reportedly found in the hills of Oaxaca in 1890. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 371 × 600 pixels Full resolution (993 × 1605 pixel, file size: 220 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) The famous Kunz Axe, reportedly found in the hills of Oaxaca in 1890. ...

History of scholarly research on the Olmec

Olmec culture was unknown to historians until the mid-19th century. In 1862 the fortuitous discovery of a colossal head near Tres Zapotes, Veracruz by José Melgar y Serrano[29] marked the first significant rediscovery of Olmec artifacts. In the latter half of the 19th century, Olmec artifacts such as the Kunz Axe (right) came to light and were recognized as belonging to a unique artistic tradition. Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ...


Frans Blom and Oliver La Farge made the first detailed descriptions of La Venta and San Martin Pajanpan Monument 1 during their 1925 expedition. However, at this time, most archaeologists assumed the Olmec were contemporaneous with the Maya – even Blom and La Farge were, in their own words, "inclined to ascribe them to the Maya culture".[30]. Frans Blom wearing his characteristic hat with a rattlesnake tail Frans Blom (Frants Ferdinand Blom, August 9, 1893 in Copenhagen - June 23, 1963 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico) was a Danish explorer and archaeologist. ... Oliver Hazard Perry La Farge (19 December 1901, New York City - 2 August 1963, Albuquerque) was an American short-story writer and anthropologist, educated at Harvard University. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1200 × 1600 pixel, file size: 331 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Monument 1 from the flanks of the San Martin Pajapan volcano. ...


Matthew Stirling of the Smithsonian Institution conducted the first detailed scientific excavations of Olmec sites in the 1930s and 1940s. Stirling, along with art historian Miguel Covarrubias, became convinced that the Olmec predated most other known Mesoamerican civilizations. Matthew Stirling posing with the primary figure from Altar 5, La Venta. ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ... Covarrubiass caricature of himself as an Olmec. ...


In counterpoint to Stirling, Covarrubias, and Alfonso Caso, Mayanists Eric Thompson and Sylvanus Morley argued for Classic era dates for the Olmec artifacts. The question of Olmec chronology came to a head at a 1942 Tuxtla Gutierrez conference, where Alfonso Caso declared that the Olmecs were the "mother culture" ("cultura madre") of Mesoamerica.[31] Alfonso Caso y Andrade (Mexico City, 1896 -- Mexico City 30th november, 1970)was one of big props of the so called Mexican archaeology gold period. Between his discoveries are the prehispanic city of Monte Albán (which is now visited by lots of tourists and archaeologists), the famous Tomb Seven... Eric Thompson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Photograph taken c. ... Tuxtla Gutiérrez is the capital of the state of Chiapas in Mexico. ...


Shortly after the conference, radiocarbon dating proved the antiquity of the Olmec civilization, although the "mother culture" question generates much debate even 60 years later. Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring isotope carbon-14 (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years. ...


Etymology of the name "Olmec"

The name "Olmec" means "rubber people" in Nahuatl, the language of the Mexica ("Aztec") people. It was the Aztec name for the people who lived in this area at the much later time of Aztec dominance. Ancient Mesoamericans, spanning from ancient Olmecs to Aztecs, extracted latex from Castilla elastica, a type of rubber tree in the area. The juice of a local vine, Ipomoea alba, was then mixed with this latex to create rubber as early as 1600 BCE.[32] The word "Olmec" also refers to the rubber balls used for their ancient ball game. Early modern explorers applied the name "Olmec" to the rediscovered ruins and art from this area before it was understood that these had been already abandoned more than a thousand years before the time of the people the Aztecs knew as the "Olmec". It is not known what name the ancient Olmec used for themselves; some later Mesoamerican accounts seem to refer to the ancient Olmec as "Tamoanchan".[33] Some think that the word "Olmec" is derived from the Nahuatl words "olli" and "mecatl", meaning line or lineage. Another term sometimes used to describe these people is "tenocelome", meaning "mouth of the jaguar." Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... This article is about the culture area. ... This article is about the typesetting system. ... Latex being collected from a wounded rubber tree The Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... (Redirected from 1600 BC) Centuries: 18th century BC - 17th century BC - 16th century BC Decades: 1650s BC 1640s BC 1630s BC 1620s BC 1610s BC - 1600s BC - 1590s BC 1580s BC 1570s BC 1560s BC 1550s BC Events and trends Egypt: End of Fourteenth Dynasty The creation of one of... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... For other uses, see Jaguar (disambiguation). ...


Alternative origin speculations

In part because the Olmecs developed the first Mesoamerican civilization and in part because so little is known of the Olmecs (relative, for example, to the Maya or Aztec), a wide number of Olmec alternative origin speculations have been put forth. Although several of these speculations, particularly the theory that the Olmecs were of African origin, have become well-known within popular culture, popularized by Ivan van Sertima's book, They Came Before Columbus, they are not considered credible by the vast majority of Mesoamerican researchers.[citation needed] A jade Olmec mask. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... Pre-Columbian Africa-Americas contact theories propose direct contact or actual migrations by peoples from the continent of Africa with the indigenous peoples of the Americas at some stage during the pre-Columbian history of the Americas– that is, earlier than the late 15th century. ... Popular culture, sometimes abbreviated to pop culture, consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society. ... Ivan van Sertima is an American historian, linguist and anthropologist at Rutgers University. ...


Gallery

See also

One of the twins at El Azuzul. ... Olmec hieroglyphs (or Olmec script) refers to the putative writing system associated with the Olmec archaeological culture which flourished in the Gulf Coast region of Mexico, ca. ... Stela 6, from Cerro de las Mesas. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... This article is about the culture area. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... The Zapotec are an indigenous people of Mexico. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ See Olmec influences on Mesoamerican cultures for a more in depth treatment of the "mother/sister culture" question.
  2. ^ Coe (1967), p. 72. Alternatively, the mutilation of these monuments may be unrelated to the decline and abandonment of San Lorenzo. Some researchers believe that this mutilation had ritualistic aspects, particularly since most mutilated monuments were reburied in a row.
  3. ^ Diehl, p. 72-74.
  4. ^ Covarrubias, p. 27.
  5. ^ Pool, p. 295.
  6. ^ Ortiz C.
  7. ^ For example, see Joyce et al., "Olmec Bloodletting: An Iconographic Study".
  8. ^ Ortiz et al., p. 249.
  9. ^ Script Delivery: New World writing takes disputed turn
  10. ^ Writing May Be Oldest in Western Hemisphere
  11. ^ Skidmore. These prominent proponents include Michael D. Coe, Richard A. Diehl, Karl Taube, and Stephen D. Houston.
  12. ^ a b John B. Carlson, “Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy? Multidisciplinary Analysis of an Olmec Hematite Artifact from San Lorenzo, Veracruz, Mexico”, Science, New Series, Vol. 189, No. 4205 (Sep. 5, 1975), pp. 753-760 (753)
  13. ^ Diehl, p. 186.
  14. ^ Coe (2002), p. 69: "They wear headgear rather like American football helmets which probably served as protection in both war and in the ceremonial game played… throughout Mesoamerica".
  15. ^ Grove, p. 55.
  16. ^ Diehl, p. 119.
  17. ^ Rancho La Cobata is located near Tres Zapotes.
  18. ^ For example, Diehl, p. 170.
  19. ^ Flannery et al. (2005) hint that Olmec iconography was first developed in the Tlatilco culture.
  20. ^ See for example Reilly; Stevens (2007); Rose (2007). For a full discussion, see Olmec influences on Mesoamerican cultures.
  21. ^ For example the words for "incense", "cacao", "corn", manay names of fruits, "nagual/shaman", "tobacco", "adobe", "ladder", "rubber", "corn granary", "Squash/gourd", and "paper" seems to have been borrowed into many Mesoamerican languages from an ancient Mixe-Zoquean language.
  22. ^ Campbell & Kaufman (1976), pp. 80–9.
  23. ^ Diehl, p. 106. See also J. E. Clark, , p. 343, who says "much of the art of La Venta appears to have been dedicated to rulers who dressed as gods, or to the gods themselves".
  24. ^ This diet section is built from Diehl (2004), Davies, and Pope et al.
  25. ^ Pohl.
  26. ^ VanDerwarker, p. 195, and Lawler, Archaeology (2007), p. 23, quoting VanDerwarker.
  27. ^ VanDerwarker, p. 141-144. VanDerwarker notes that some bone types are better preserved than others: "large mammal bones more than small mammal bones, mammal bones more than bird bones, etc", p. 117, and therefore the samplings will likely be biased toward the larger mammals, with birds and fish underpresented.
  28. ^ Davies, p. 39.
  29. ^ Stirling, p. 8.
  30. ^ Quoted in Coe (1968), p. 40.
  31. ^ "Esta gran cultura, que encontramos en niveles antiguos, es sin duda madre de otras culturas, como la maya, la teotihuacana, la zapoteca, la de El Tajín, y otras” ("This great culture, which we encounter in ancient levels, is without a doubt mother of other cultures, like the Maya, the Teotihuacana, the Zapotec, that of El Tajin, and others".) Caso (1942), p. 46.
  32. ^ Rubber Processing, MIT.
  33. ^ Coe (2002) refers to an old Nahuatl poem cited by Miguel Leon-Portilla which itself refers to a land called "Tamoanchan":

    in a certain era
    which no one can reckon
    which no one can remember
    [where] there was a government for a long time". The major centers of the Olmec heartland (in yellow) as well as artifact finds unassociated with habitations (smaller circles, in red). ... I dont know anything! ... Karl Andreas Taube is an American Mayanist, anthropologist, epigrapher and ethnohistorian, known for his publications and research into the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest. ... Stephen D. Houston (1958—) is an American anthropologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar, who is particularly renowned for his research into the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica. ... The Acrobat, ceramic art from Tlatilco. ... The major centers of the Olmec heartland (in yellow) as well as artifact finds unassociated with habitations (smaller circles, in red). ... Miguel León-Portilla (born in Mexico City, 22 February 1926) is a Mexican anthropologist and historian, and the prime authority on Nahuatl thought and literature. ...

    Coe interprets Tamoanchan as a Mayan language word meaning 'Land of Rain or Mist' (p. 61).

References

  • Arnaiz-Villena A, Vargas-Alarcon G, Granados J, Gomez-Casado E, Longas J, Gonzales-Hevilla M, Zuniga J, Salgado N, Hernandez-Pacheco G, Guillen J, Martinez-Laso J.; HLA genes in Mexican Mazatecans, the peopling of the Americas and the uniqueness of Amerindians. - Bibliographic entry in PubMed.
  • Campbell, L., and T. Kaufman (1976), "A Linguistic Look at the Olmecs", American Antiquity, 41.
  • Clark, John E. (2000) "Gulf Lowlands: South Region", in Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: an Encyclopedia, ed. Evans, Susan; Routledge.
  • Coe, M.D. (1967); "San Lorenzo and the Olmec Civilization", in Dumbarton Oaks Conference on the Olmec, Dumbarton Oaks, Washingon, D.C.
  • Coe, M.D. (2002); Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs London: Thames and Hudson; pp. 64, 75-76.
  • Covarrubias, Miguel (1946) "Olmec Art or the Art of La Venta", trans. Robert Pirazzini, reprinted in Pre-Columbian Art History: Selected Readings", ed. A. Cordy-Collins, Jean Stern, 1977, pp. 1-34.
  • Davies, Nigel (1982) The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico, Penguin Books.
  • Diehl, Richard A. (2004) The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Fagan, Brian (1991), Kingdoms of Gold, Kingdoms of Jade, Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Flannery, Kent; Balkansky, A. K.; Feinman, Gary M.; Grove, David C.; Marcus, Joyce; Redmond, Elsa M.; Reynolds, Robert G.; Sharer, Robert J.; Spencer, Charles S.; Yaeger, Jason (2005) "Implications of new petrographic analysis for the Olmec "mother culture" model", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, accessed March 2007.
  • Grove, D. C. (1981), "Olmec monuments: Mutilation as a clue to meaning", in The Olmec and their Neighbors: Essays in Memory of Matthew W. Stirling. E. P. Benson, ed.; Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, pp. 49–68.
  • Guimaräes, A. P. (2004) "Mexico and the early history of magnetism", in Revista mexicana de Fisica, v 50 (1), June 2004, p 51 - 53.
  • Joyce, Rosemary; Edging, Richard; Lorenz, Karl; Gillespie, Susan, (1991) "Olmec Bloodletting: An Iconographic Study" in Sixth Palenque Roundtable, 1986, ed. V. Fields, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma.
  • Lawler, Andrew (2007) "Beyond the Family Feud", in Archaeology; Mar/Apr 2007, Vol. 60 Issue 2, pp. 20-25.
  • Magni, Caterina (2003), Les Olmèques. Des origines au mythe, Seuil, Paris.
  • Maldonado-Salazar, Carlos; Hector; Cesar; David; Olmec etymology source "Olmecs" (1999), ThinkQuest, accessed June 4, 2007.
  • National Science Foundation; Scientists Find Earliest "New World" Writings in Mexico, 2002.
  • Niederberger Betton, Christine (1987), Paléopaysages et archéologie pré-urbaine du bassin de México. Tomes I & II published by Centro Francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos, Mexico, D.F. (Resume)
  • Ortíz C., Ponciano; Rodríguez, María del Carmen (1999) "Olmec Ritual Behavior at El Manatí: A Sacred Space" in Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica, eds. Grove, D. C.; Joyce, R. A., Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., p. 225 - 254.
  • Pohl, Mary "Economic Foundations of Olmec Civilization in the Gulf Coast Lowlands of México", Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc., accessed March 2007.
  • Pool, Christopher (2007) Olmec Archaeology and Early Mesoamerica, Cambridge University Press.
  • Pope, Kevin; Pohl, Mary E. D.; Jones, John G.; Lentz, 3 David L.; von Nagy, Christopher; Vega, Francisco J.; Quitmyer Irvy R.; "Origin and Environmental Setting of Ancient Agriculture in the Lowlands of Mesoamerica", Science, 18 May 2001:Vol. 292. no. 5520, pp. 1370 - 1373.
  • Reilly III, F. Kent, “Art, Ritual, and Rulership in the Olmec World” in Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica: a Reader, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, p. 369-395.
  • Rose, Mark (2005) "Olmec People, Olmec Art", in Archaeology (online), the Archaeological Institute of America, accessed February 2007.
  • Skidmore, Joel (2006) "The Cascajal Block: The Earliest Precolumbian Writing", Mesoweb, accessed March 2007.
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  • Stirling, Matthew (1967) "Early History of the Olmec Problem", in Dumbarton Oaks Conference on the Olmec, E. Benson, ed., Dumbarton Oaks, Washingon, D.C.
  • Stoltman, J. B., Marcus, J., Flannery, K. V., Burton, J. H., Moyle, R. G., "Petrographic evidence shows that pottery exchange between the Olmec and their neighbors was two-way", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, August 9, 2005, v. 102, n. 32, pp. 11213-11218 .
  • Taube, Karl (2004), "The Origin and Development of Olmec Research", in Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
  • VanDerwarker, Amber (2006) Farming, Hunting, and Fishing in the Olmec World, University of Texas Press, ISBN 0292709803.
  • Wilford, John Noble; Mother Culture, or Only a Sister?, The New York Times, March 15, 2005.

Medline is a comprehensive literature database of life sciences and biomedical information. ... Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

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Pre-Columbian Civilizations and Cultures
North America Ancient Pueblo (Anasazi)FremontMississippian
Mesoamerica HuastecIzapaMixtecOlmecPipilTarascanTeotihuacánToltecTotonacZapotec
South America Norte ChicoChavínChibchaChimorChachapoyaHuariMocheNazcaTaironaTiwanaku
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The Aztec Empire The Maya civilization The Inca Empire
Language Nahuatl language Mayan languages Quechua
Writing Aztec writing Mayan writing
Religion Aztec religion Maya religion Inca religion
Mythology Aztec mythology Maya mythology Inca mythology
Calendar Aztec calendar Maya calendar
Society Aztec society Maya society Inca society
Infrastructure Chinampas Maya architecture Inca architecture (road system)
Incan agriculture
History Aztec history Inca history
People Moctezuma I
Moctezuma II
Cuitlahuac
Cuauhtémoc
Pacal the Great
Tecun Uman
Manco Capac
Pachacutec
Atahualpa
Conquest Spanish conquest of Mexico
(Hernán Cortés)
Spanish conquest of Yucatán
(Francisco de Montejo)
Spanish conquest of Guatemala
(Pedro de Alvarado)
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
(Francisco Pizarro)
See also
Indigenous peoples of the AmericasPopulation history of American indigenous peoples – Pre-Columbian art

  Results from FactBites:
 
Olmec Civilization, Crystalinks (7215 words)
The Olmec domain extended from the Tuxtlas mountains in the west to the lowlands of the Chontalpa in the east, a region with significant variations in geology and ecology.
The Olmec were perhaps the originators of the Mesoamerican ballgame, prevalent among later cultures of the region and used for recreational and religious purposes.
The Toltecs portrayed the plumed serpent as Quetzalcoatl, the rival of Tezcatlipoca.
Olmec Heads (0 words)
When Matthew Stirling began explorations at the Olmec site of La Venta, Tabasco, in 1942, almost nothing was known about the Olmec or their position in the sequence of Mexico's many Prehispanic cultures.
Many early scholars were reluctant to believe that a society as sophisticated as the Olmec could have developed in the tropical habitat of the Gulf coast, and some hypothesized that the Olmec had originally migrated from elsewhere.
We now know that the great Olmec centers that soon developed at La Venta, San Lorenzo, and Laguna de los Cerros, and the smaller centers such as Tres Zapotes, were not simply vacant religious sites, but dynamic settlements that included artisans and farmers, as well as religious specialists and the rulers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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