Olmec people

The role of the Olmec in Mesoamerican society is a issue of warm debate in between archaeologists and also anthropologists.

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Olmec Head Statue

The Olmec colossal heads are the many famous artifacts left behind through the Olmec civilization. The Olmec civilization are believed to have occupied a huge part of modern-day Southern Mexico. 

Photograph by DEA / M. SEEMULLER


The Olmec people is what is well-known as an historical culture. This method there is a arsenal of artifacts thought by excavators to stand for a particular society. What is known about archaeological societies is based on artifacts, fairly than texts. In the situation of the Olmec, excavators think artefacts found mostly on the northern half of the Isthmus the Tehuantepec in Mesoamerica indigenous 1200–500 C.E. Timeframe stand for the Olmec society. The surname Olmec to be actually created by scholars. Obtained from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word “Olmecatl”, which way “inhabitant of the rubber country”, Olmec is a reference to the rubber manufacturing in the area where numerous of the artefacts have been found.

There are several Olmec sites assumed to be necessary centers of activity, the which mountain Lorenzo and also La Venta space the many significant. San Lorenzo, around 56 kilometers (35 miles) southern of the Gulf of Mexico in the modern-day Mexican state of Veracruz, to be at that is height approximately 1150 come 900 C.E. La Venta, eastern of san Lorenzo and also closer to the Gulf coast (15 kilometers/9 miles) in the contemporary Mexican state the Tabasco, got to its elevation in about 900–500 C.E.

Research in ~ these and other sites has led come the adhering to insights. The Olmec diet initially contained foods native fishing and hunting. Maize and other plants were a later enhancement to their foodstuffs. The Olmec produced massive monuments, including colossal stone heads, thrones, stela (upright slabs), and statues. Castle may have been the originators of the Mesoamerican round game, a ceremonial team sports played throughout the an ar for centuries. They additionally built earthen mounds and pyramids, and also ceramics that several species that came to be common throughout a broad region influenced by the Olmec civilization.

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The Olmec people was one of the many influential old civilizations the the at an early stage Americas, and though its dominance of the region faded in the last centuries before the typical Era, the Olmec civilization is frequently thought to be the “mother culture” of countless other cultures that showed up in the region in later years. These cultures, such together the Maya, Zapotec, Totonac, and also Teotihuacán human beings have distinctive art, architecture, and cultures that separate them from every other, yet many chroniclers trace every one of these cultures earlier to their common Olmec heritage.