Which Statement About The Culture Of The Ancient Olmec Civilization Is Correct


what later cultures were influenced by the olmec civilization

Maya 200-900 C.E.
Inca 1200-1532
Aztec (Mexicas) 1345-1521

How did Olmec and Chavin cultures influence later Mesoamerican and Andes civilizations?

The Olmec would have an impact on other Mesoamerican and Andean societies through technology (a form of writing, astronomical observation), religious beliefs (polytheistic, observation of the heavens), political organization (The Elite combined religious and secular roles to consolidate power, controlling rural populations for a period of time), and religious beliefs (polytheistic, observation of the heavens).

In what ways were the Olmec influenced cultures of the Aztecs and Maya both similar and different from each other?

The Olmecs (and their successors) had a significant impact on the Maya and the Aztecs, particularly in terms of religion (complex polytheistic religion), art (pyramids, figures), and ritual practices (ball courts). Aside from that, the Olmec god of maize may be found in both the Maya and the Aztec civilizations as well.

What do Mayans and Olmecs have in common?

These two civilizations were comparable because they both resided in Mexico’s lowlands, were intensely religious, and built pyramids as well as played games with rubber balls and conducted “slash + burn farming.” Both civilizations eventually perished and left behind hieroglyphic texts.

What civilization came after the Olmecs?

La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán were among the places where the Olmec civilisation evolved and flourished. The Olmec civilization was subsequently superseded by the Epi-Olmec culture, which lasted between 300 and 250 BCE. The Zapotec civilisation emerged in the Valley of Oaxaca, while the Teotihuacan civilization arose in the Valley of Mexico, and both civilizations were associated with agriculture.

Where was the Olmec culture located?

Mexico’s southernmost region Historically, the Olmec people are thought to have inhabited a substantial portion of what is now southern Mexico. The Olmec civilisation is classified as an archaeological culture, which means it was discovered by archaeologists. This indicates the presence of a collection of artifacts that archaeologists believe to represent a certain civilisation. 11th of August, 2020

Which statement about the culture of the ancient Olmec civilization is correct?

Correctly identifies which of the following statements concerning the culture of the ancient Olmec civilization? The traditions and culture of the Zapotec people have survived to the present day. Was Monte Albán important in the formation of Mesoamerican towns, and how did this come about?

How did the physical environment influence the Olmec?

What role did the physical environment play in the lives of the Olmec? The cold and dry climate encouraged the development of specialized skills. The tropical environment was unsuitable for agricultural production. Terrace farming was possible due to the region’s position on the Central Mexican Plateau.

How did the Olmecs originate?

In spite of historical speculation that the facial features of some monumental carved heads indicate an African origin for these people, most scholars believe that they, like other native Americans, are descended from Asian ancestors who arrived in North America during the last glacial period, approximately 10,000 years ago.

What was one characteristic unique to Olmec culture?

What was one quality that distinguished Olmec culture from other cultures?

a hieroglyphic writing system and a calendar system based on the movement of the sun were both developed by the ancient Egyptians Additionally, they are regarded as America’s first city builders. What were some of the contributions made by the Zapotecs to later cultures?

What happened to the Olmec civilization?

The Civilization of the Olmecs has come to an end. La Venta began to deteriorate around 400 B.C. and was finally abandoned entirely. The collapse of La Venta signaled the end of traditional Olmec civilisation as we know it. Despite the fact that the Olmecs’ ancestors were still present in the region, the civilisation as a whole had perished.

Why are the Olmec known as the mother culture?

The Olmecs were interested in astronomy and mathematics, and they constructed a system of writing and mathematics. They were the first civilization in Mesoamerica to construct pyramids. Their calendar and religious ideas appear to have had an impact on subsequent civilizations. As a matter of fact, many researchers refer to the Olmecs as Mesoamerica’s “mother culture.”

How did the Olmec influence the Zapotec civilization?

What role did the Olmec play in the development of the Zapotec civilization?. Their art and mythology were spread through these routes, though it is unclear whether both the Olmec and Zapotec civilizations arose as a result of a common ancestor. Olmec influence can be seen in Zapotec stone carvings, plazas, temples, and pyramids, among other things.

In what ways was the Olmec culture the parent culture of Mesoamerica?

Their studies of astronomy led them to design a system of writing and mathematics that is being used today. They were the first civilization in Mesoamerica to construct pyramids. Their calendar and religious ideas appear to have had an impact on subsequent civilizations. As a matter of fact, many researchers refer to the Olmecs as Mesoamerica’s “mother culture.”

What aspect of Olmec architecture did the Mayans later adopt?

Monumental architecture was a component of Olmec architecture that the Mayans eventually incorporated as part of their own style.

How did Olmec trade affect other civilizations?

Their culture was the most evolved of its time, establishing an early writing system, advanced masonry techniques, and complex religious conceptions before any other current society could catch up with them. As a result, the Olmec had a significant impact on the development of other Mesoamerican cultures with whom they came into touch.

What civilization came before the Incas?

To provide one example, we know that a civilisation known as the Wari governed much of what is now Peru near the end of the first millennium (the exact dates vary), or perhaps 500 years before the advent of the Inca civilization. At its peak, the population of their capital, Hurai, was reported to be 40,000 people.

What culture flourished in South America before the Inca quizlet?

Pre-Olmec cultures had prospered in the area from around 2500 BCE, but by 1600-1500 BCE, an Early Olmec civilisation had arisen, focused on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site along the coast in southeast Veracruz and centered on the city of Tenochtitlán itself.

What were the five cultures that emerged in the Andean region?

Finally, dense populations and powerful political entities like as the Inca were established. It is noteworthy that the centers of Andean civilizations throughout history—Chavn, Huari (Wari), Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco), and Cuzco—have all been located on the high puna, including Chavn and Huari (Wari).

What do the Olmec and Chavin cultures have in common?

Both civilizations had a strong belief that their gods were superior to shamans and kings, and that their gods were the ultimate form of authority.

Why is it that the art of the Olmec and Chavin civilizations reveals so much about their prehistoric cultures? … They were polytheistic, and each of their gods represented a different part of the Earth’s environment.

How was the Chavin culture like the Olmec culture?

What similarities and differences did the Chavn civilisation have with the Olmec culture? Through the development of irrigation systems and subterranean waterways. The Nazca Lines are also thought to have been designed to deal with the arid climate of the region.

The History and Culture of Olmec Civilization

What was the extent to which the Olmecs influenced other civilizations? what happened at the end of the olmec civilisation and where did the olmec civilization exist Facts about the Olmec civilisation Medicine of the Olmec civilisation olmec’s accomplishments Olmec religion When did the olmec civilisation come into existence? See more entries in the FAQ category.

Olmec Civilization

Which other civilizations were influenced by the Olmecs? The end of the Olmec civilisation and the location of the Olmec civilization Information about the Olmec civilisation The medicine of the Olmec civilisation accomplishments of olmec when did the olmec civilisation begin? olmec religion Browse through our collection of articles in the FAQ category.

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Olmec Head Statue

The Olmec enormous heads are the most well-known of the artifacts that the Olmec civilisation left behind in their wake. Historically, the Olmec people are thought to have inhabited a substantial portion of what is now southern Mexico. DEA / M. SEEMULLER photographed this image. “>The Olmec civilisation is what is referred to as an archaeological culture in the scientific community. This indicates that there is a collection of artifacts that archaeologists believe to be representative of a certain culture.

  1. To date, archaeologists believe artifacts discovered predominantly on the northern half of Mesoamerica’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec during the period 1200–500 C.E.
  2. The nameOlmecwas really created by a group of academics.
  3. There are many Olmec sites that are regarded to have been key centers of activity, the most noteworthy of which are San Lorenzo and La Venta, both of which are located in southern Mexico.
  4. Approximately 900–500 C.E., the ancient city of La Venta, located east of San Lorenzo and closer to the Gulf Coast (15 kilometers/9 miles) in the present Mexican state of Tabasco, reached its zenith.
  5. Initially, the Olmec diet consisted of items obtained through fishing and hunting.
  6. Massive structures, including as huge stone heads, thrones, stela (upright slabs), and sculptures, were built by the Olmec civilization.
  7. They also constructed clay mounds and pyramids, as well as a variety of pottery vessels, which were prevalent over a wide territory impacted by the Olmec civilisation throughout time.

The Olmec civilization was one of the most influential ancient civilizations in the early Americas.

However, many historians believe that all of these civilizations can be traced back to their common Olmec ancestors.

Historically, the Olmec people are thought to have inhabited a substantial portion of what is now southern Mexico.

SEEMULLER, archaeologist Photograph by DEA A person who examines the artifacts and lives of ancient societies is known as an archaeologist.

ceramic Clay is used as an adjective.

prehistoric Before the development of written records, there was a period of time known as the prehistoric period.

society Nouna big group of people who are bound together by common characteristics or relationships. Stone slab or pillar that has been carved in honor of someone is known as a stela.

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Olmec Civilization

The Olmec civilisation, which flourished in ancient Mexico, existed from around 1200 BCE to approximately 400 BCE in Pre-Classical (Formative) Mesoamerica. Olmec culture was characterized by monumental religious complexes, gigantic stone sculptures, ball games, the use of chocolate, and the worship of animal gods, all of which were passed down to the peoples that followed this first major Mesoamerican civilisation. Olmec influence and commercial activity stretched from their heartlands in the Gulf of Mexico (now the states of Veracruz and Tabasco) as early as 1200 BCE, extending as far south as present-day Nicaragua and as far north as present-day Guatemala.

The Olmec Enigma

In fact, we don’t even know what they called themselves, asOlmecwas their Aztecname, which translated since ‘rubber people’, so we don’t even know what they called themselves. Because of a scarcity of archaeological evidence, it is impossible to determine their ethnic origins, as well as the location and breadth of many of their sites. The Olmecs, on the other hand, used symbolic representations to define and preserve their gods and religious ceremonies. Even though the precise meaning of this document is still up for question, the fact that it is so intricate suggests that it belonged to some form of organized religion that included a priesthood.

The Olmec religious practices of sacrifice, cave rituals, pilgrimages, offerings, ball-courts, pyramids, and a seeming awe of mirrors were also passed on to all subsequent civilizations in Mesoamerica.

After being established as the new capital in 900 BCE, La Venta grew in importance and eventually had a population of over 18,000.


It was the lush and well-watered coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico that helped the Olmecs to flourish at first, allowing them to cultivate crops such as maize and beans (which were typically harvested twice a year), resulting in an agricultural surplus that allowed them to prosper. They also, no sure, took use of the abundant local supply of plant food, palm nuts, and sea life, which included turtles and clams, among other things. In the first millennium BCE, large urban centers grew in San Lorenzo (the earliest), La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, Tres Zapotes, and Las Limas, among other places.

Trade products typical of the Olmec period included obsidian, jade, serpentine (a kind of jade), mica, rubber, ceramics, feathers, and polished mirrors made of ilmenite and magnetite (a type of magnetite).

Around 900 BCE, the site of San Lorenzo shows signs of deliberate devastation, whilst La Venta, on the other hand, began to grow, eventually becoming the new capital and supporting a population of over 18,000.

For example, in La Venta, the structures are arranged symmetrically along a north-south axis with four giant heads facing outwards at important locations, ostensibly acting as guards to the complex.

In addition to a massive ceremonial step pyramid (now a shapeless mound), a sunken plaza that was once lined with 2-metre-tall basalt columns, and two smaller pyramids/mounds, the site contains features that would be replicated time and time again at the major sites of later Mesoamerican cultures with whom equal attention was paid to the precise alignment of buildings.

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The Colossal Head of the Olmec In this photograph taken at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Mary Harrsch is depicted (CC BY-NC-SA)

Religious Beliefs

It was the lush and well-watered coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico that allowed the Olmecs to flourish at first, allowing them to cultivate crops like as maize and beans (which were typically harvested twice a year), resulting in an agricultural surplus. Additionally, they most likely took use of the abundant local supply of plant food, palm nuts, and marine life such as turtles and clams, among other resources. In the first millennium BCE, large urban centers grew in San Lorenzo (the earliest), La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, Tres Zapotes, and Las Limas, among other locations.

  1. Obsidian, jade, serpentine, mica, rubber, earthenware, feathers, and polished mirrors made of ilmenite and magnetite were some of the typical Olmec trade items.
  2. 2001 (Madman) is a fictional character created by the fictional character Madman (CC BY) It is possible that an early ball court was built on one of the man-made hills, and that carved basalt drains ran through one of those hills.
  3. Around 900 BCE, the site of San Lorenzo shows signs of deliberate devastation, whilst La Venta, on the other hand, began to thrive and eventually became the new capital, supporting a population of over 18,000.
  4. In these settlements, it is the pre-meditated architectural layout of their religious centers that is the most striking.

A massive ceremonial step pyramid (now a shapeless mound), a sunken plaza once lined with 2-metre-high basalt columns, and two smaller pyramids/mounds are among the features that would be replicated time and again at the major sites of later Mesoamerican cultures, with whom equal attention was paid to the precise alignment of buildings, such as the Maya.

Enjoy learning about the past? Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter today. Largest Head of the Olmec In this photograph taken at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Mary Harrsch is shown (CC BY-NC-SA)

Olmec Art

Large stone heads, which were manufactured by the Olmec culture, are unquestionably the civilization’s most stunning legacy. These were carved out of basalt and each one has a distinct set of facial characteristics, which allows them to be regarded portraits of genuine monarchs. There have been reports of the heads being about 3 meters high and weighing 8 tons, and that the stone from which they were carved had been brought 80 kilometers or more, most likely on giant balsa river rafts. There have been 17 discoveries, with ten of them coming from San Lorenzo.

  1. The reason that these massive sculptures solely portray the head may be explained by the idea held by Mesoamerican cultures that the head was the only part of the body that contained the soul.
  2. Many of these carvings are found near cave openings, and the majority of them represent sitting rulers, like at Oxtotitlan, where a figure wears a green bird costume, and Chalcatzingo, where another monarch sits on her throne among a maize field.
  3. Intriguingly, the Olmecs frequently buried their sculptures, including enormous works, maybe as part of a ceremonial act of remembrance and commemoration.
  4. Jade and ceramic were also popular materials for sculpture.
  5. He is one of the gods who was most frequently depicted in small sculpture, and he is one of the most popular (another feature seen in the gods of later cultures and representing the paper and rubber sap strips which were burnt during rites as the smoke was thought to propitiate rain).
  6. The jade has been crafted to portray a were-jaguar monster with just jade tools, and then polished, maybe with a jade abrasive, to get the desired appearance.

It was common to see animals depicted in paintings, especially the more formidable ones such as jaguars and eagles. Intriguingly, the Olmecs frequently buried their sculptures, including enormous works, maybe as part of a ceremonial act of remembrance and commemoration.

Legacy in Mesoamerica

The Olmecs had an impact on the civilizations they came into touch with across Mesoamerica, notably in pottery and jade sculpture. Objects with Olmec images have been discovered in Teopantecuanitlan, which is 650 kilometers away from the Olmec heartland, demonstrating this. Numerous deities portrayed in Olmec art and mythology, such as the sky-dragon (a kind of caiman monster with flame eyebrows) and the feathered serpent god, would return in subsequent faiths in a recognizable form. For the Maya and the Aztecs, the snake-god, in particular, would be turned into the main gods Kukulcan and Quetzalcoatl, respectively.

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Did you find this definition to be helpful?


Many of the essential patterns exhibited by subsequent American Indian civilizations of Mexico and Central America, particularly the Maya and the Aztec, are regarded to have been set by the Olmec, Mesoamerica’s earliest advanced pre-Columbian civilisation (c.1200–400bce). The Nahuatl (Aztec) name for these people, Olmecatl (also known as Olmec in contemporary corruption), translates as “rubber people” or “people of the rubber land” and meaning “people of the rubber country.” Those trees (Castilla elastica) were chosen because the Olmecs collected latex from them and blended it with the juice of a native vine (Ipomoea alba, moonflower) to produce rubber.

  • See Pre-Columbian Civilizations: A Comprehensive Overview for a more in-depth analysis.
  • Quiz on the Encyclopedia Britannica More Archaeological Discoveries: A Game of Chance What is the earliest known urban civilization on the Indian subcontinent, and how did it come to exist?
  • Put your knowledge to the test.
  • The most important Olmec sites are located in what is now southern Mexico at San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes.
  • A distinctive feature of the Olmecs is the presence of 17 enormous stone heads, ranging in height from 1.47 to 3.4 metres (4.82 to 11.15 feet), each with flat features and big lips and wearing helmet-like headgear.
  • Other Olmec artifacts include so-called baby-faced figures and figurines, as well as a variety of other objects.
  • The Olmecs were a people who lived in the hot, humid lowlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in what is now the southern states of Veracruz and Tabasco in Mexico.

This site is notable for the large number of stone monuments it contains, including several of the giant carved heads described above.

Robert Frerck and Odyssey Productions are responsible for this work.

The Cascajal stone, which dates back to roughly 900 BC, is thought to be the world’s oldest known example of written language from the Americas.

Even though many uncertainties remain about the epi-Olmec language, the final artefact, which exhibits 465 glyphs, has tremendously aided the understanding of the language.

The Olmecs’ buildings and monuments, as well as the intelligence and strength of their art, provide evidence that their society was complex and non-egalitarian, as evidenced by their architecture and monuments.

Katie Chao captured this image.

Rockefeller Memorial Collection, which was given to the museum by Nelson A.

Despite the fact that not all of the Olmec sites were abandoned, Olmec civilisation steadily altered and eventually faded away from Mesoamerica.

See also Mesoamerican civilisation for more information. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Adam Augustyn was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

Ancient Olmec Trade and Economy

In the wet lowlands of Mexico’s Gulf coast during the Early and Middle Formative eras of Mesoamerica’s history, between about 1200 and 400 BCE, the Olmec culture flourished. They were excellent painters and engineers, but they also had a profound religious and philosophical outlook. Despite the fact that much knowledge about the Olmecs has been lost to the passage of time, archaeologists have succeeded in learning a great deal about their culture via digs in and around the Olmec homeland. Among the fascinating things they have discovered is that the Olmec were tenacious traders who maintained extensive touch with modern Mesoamerican cultures throughout their history.

Mesoamerican Trade Before the Olmec

People in Mesoamerica (present-day Mexico and Central America) were creating a succession of sophisticated cultures by 1200 BCE, according to archaeologists. The exchange of goods and services with nearby clans and tribes was frequent, but these civilizations lacked long-distance trading routes, a merchant class, or a widely acknowledged form of currency, thus they were restricted to a down-the-line type of trade network. It is possible that highly prized goods, such as Guatemalan jadeite or a razor-sharp obsidian dagger, can end up far away from where they were mined or manufactured, but only after passing through the hands of multiple isolated societies and being exchanged from one to the next.

The Dawn of the Olmec

One of the triumphs of the Olmec civilisation was the utilization of commerce to enhance their society, which was one of their greatest achievements. It is believed that the greatOlmec metropolis of San Lorenzo (whose original name is unclear) began establishing long-distance trading networks with other sections of Mesoamerica around 1200 BCE. The Olmec were highly talented artists whose ceramics, stone tools, sculptures, and figurines were much sought after by merchants and collectors. The Olmecs, on the other hand, were fascinated by a wide range of items that were not indigenous to their region of the world.

When the city of San Lorenzo faded in significance about 900 BCE, it was replaced by the town of La Venta, whose merchants used many of the same trade routes as their predecessors.

Olmec Economy

In addition to necessities such as food and pottery, the Olmec need luxury commodities such as jadeite and feathers for use in ornamenting their rulers and performing religious ceremonies. It was in food production that the vast majority of Olmec “citizens” were engaged. They tended fields of staple crops like as maize (corn), beans (beans), and squash (squash), or fished the rivers that flowed through the Olmec homelands. No evidence has been found at Olmec sites suggesting the Olmecs traded for food, and no traces of foodstuffs that were not indigenous to the region have been discovered at Olmec sites.

But luxury products like as obsidian, serpentine, and animal skins appear to have had a lively trade throughout the period under consideration.

The Soconusco, the Basin of Mexico, the Copan Valley, and the Valley of Oaxaca were the most prominent of these “islands.” The Olmec trading habits, which may be traced back to the flow of items manufactured or mined in other parts of Mesoamerica, are critical to comprehending Mesoamerica’s Early and Middle Formative history.

The following are some of the characteristics of the Olmec commerce network:

  • Infantile figures (basically, miniature replicas of the Olmec stone heads)
  • Unusual white-rimmed blackware ceramics and Calzadas Carved goods
  • Abstract iconography, particularly that of the Olmec dragon
  • And El Chayal obsidian, a translucent to clear banded black volcanic stone.

Olmec Trading Partners

On the Pacific coast of present-day Mexico’s Chiapas state, the Mokaya culture was nearly as sophisticated as the Olmec civilization in terms of technology and sophistication. The Mokaya were responsible for the development of Mesoamerica’s first recognized chiefdoms and the establishment of Mesoamerica’s first permanent communities. They were natural trading partners since they were not physically separated by insurmountable difficulties (such as an extremely high mountain range), nor were they divided by insurmountable obstacles (such as a very high mountain range).

  • Mokaya communities were known for their use of Olmec decorations.
  • Because the Olmec traded extensively throughout Central America, there is evidence of communication between local communities in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and the Olmec civilization as a whole.
  • On one piece of pottery, there is an Olmec were-jaguar motif, which is rather rare.
  • In Honduras’ Copan valley, the initial residents of what would become the famous Maya city-state of Copán had indications of Olmec influence in their pottery, indicating that they were descended from the Olmecs.
  • According to archaeological evidence, the Olmec and Tlatilco civilizations came in touch with one another, most likely through some form of commerce, and the Tlatilco culture borrowed many features of Olmec art and culture for its own.
  • The ancient city of Chalcatzingo, which is located in present-day Morelos in central Mexico, had substantial interaction with the Olmecs during the La Venta period.
  • Chalcatzingo was a growing, influential civilisation that had contacts with various cultures from the Atlantic to the Pacific throughout the time period of 700–500 BCE, roughly.

The Olmec influence may be seen in the elevated mounds and platforms, but the most significant link is shown by the approximately 30 engravings that can be discovered on the cliffs that surround the city. In both style and substance, there is a clear impact of the Olmec civilization.

Importance of Olmec Trade

Their culture was the most evolved of its time, establishing an early writing system, advanced masonry techniques, and complex religious conceptions before any other current society could catch up with them. As a result, the Olmec had a significant impact on other Mesoamerican cultures that were growing at the time of their interaction with these nations. In addition to having extensive trade contact with other civilizations from the valley of Mexico all the way into Central America, the Olmec were also extremely powerful and influential.

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Because the Olmec cities of San Lorenzo and La Venta were the core of the commerce, it is important to note that items such as Guatemalan and Mexican obsidian were brought into the Olmec centers but were not transferred directly to other growing areas.

The interaction of the Olmecs with other people, even if they did not all adopt the Olmec culture, provided a shared cultural reference and a first taste of what sophisticated societies would have to offer to many varied and vast civilizations.


  • “Cultural Imperatives in Clay: Early Olmec Carved Pottery from San Lorenzo and Cantón Corralito,” by David Cheetham, is available online. Ancient Mesoamerica, 21.1 (2010), pp. 165–86 Coe, Michael D., and Rex Koontz, eds., print. “Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, 6th Edition. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, 6th Edition Diehl, Richard A., “The Olmecs: America’s First Civilization,” published by Thames & Hudson in New York in 2008 ” Rosenswig, Robert M. “Olmec Globalization: A Mesoamerican Archipelago of Complexity.” London: Thames and Hudson, 2004. Rosenswig, Robert M. “Olmec Globalization: A Mesoamerican Archipelago of Complexity.” The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization is a collection of essays on archaeology and globalization. TaylorFrancis, 2016, pp. 177–193. Print
  • Edited by Tamar Hodos

Mother Culture, or Only a Sister? (Published 2005)

The Olmecs lived in a civilization of emergent complexity on a coastal flood plain carved by rivers that flowed through wetlands and beside fields of maize and beans. Archaeologists believe they lived in a society of emergent complexity. Around the Gulf of Mexico, in the vicinity of Veracruz, it happened more than 3,000 years ago. Olmecs, pushed by ambitious kings and reinforced by a pantheon of gods, lifted a true mountain of soil to construct a plateau above the plain, where they established a city known now as San Lorenzo, whose ruins may still be seen today.

  1. In particular, Olmec sculptures, which were enormous stone heads with thick lips and glaring eyes that were thought to be tributes to adored monarchs, wowed visitors.
  2. Some researchers believe that the Olmec civilisation was the earliest civilization in North America, while subsequent findings in Peru have put doubt on this theory.
  3. Were the Olmecs considered to be the “mother” culture?
  4. Dr.
  5. Blomster, an Olmec archaeologist at George Washington University, re-ignited the simmering pot of the mother-sister feud last month by bringing it to a boil once more.

They concluded that this evidence supported “Olmec priority in the creation and spread of the first unified style and iconographic system in Mesoamerica.” Doctor Blomster’s team examined the chemical composition of 725 pieces of pottery adorned with symbols and motifs in the Olmec style that had been collected from all over the world.

  1. They were able to verify that the majority of these were not authentic Olmec replicas manufactured by local potters.
  2. As Dr.
  3. According to him, the metropolis atop the artificial plateau appeared to be the focal point of regional culture and was essential to understanding the origins and evolution of sophisticated societies in Mesoamerica.
  4. Richard A.

Diehl, a proponent of the mother school who is also the author of “The Olmec,” which was published last year, stated in an interview that the “connections we are seeing may not have lasted more than a generation, perhaps the time of a specific ruler, and at most, not more than a century or century and a half.” The Blomster investigation focused on pottery from the later part of the early formative period of Mesoamerican culture, which spanned from 1500 to 900 B.C.

The time under consideration was the late prehistoric period.

Collaborations with Dr.

Michael D.

Blomster’s work being published in Science.

It is not going uncontested by supporters of the sister school that the new research’s interpretation is being questioned.

Kent V.

Joyce Marcus, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois among those who are part of it.

Grove disagreed with Dr.

Others called into doubt the claim that no pottery from other civilizations had made its way to San Lorenzo’s tombs.

Susan D.

Grove, were “flogging a dead horse,” as she put it, with the notion that the Olmec “invented civilization,” carried it throughout Mesoamerica, and served as the foundation for the Maya civilization.

Gillespie admitted that the Olmecs had developed a thriving culture and that their achievements were truly remarkable.

It was no small feat to create an artificial plateau or transport large slabs of basalt 40 kilometers to San Lorenzo from volcanic areas, where they were shaped into stone heads that may reach heights of up to ten feet.

The Aztecs, thousands of years later, borrowed the indigenous word for “rubber people” – Olmec – to designate a civilisation that had long since gone but had not been forgotten.

“However, others in the region were carrying out tasks that were similarly complicated, if not more so,” Dr.

“Other locations were also taking efforts toward the formation of Mesoamerican civilisation on their own,” says the author.

In addition, they argue that the notion of the Olmecs as a mother culture arose as a result of nineteenth-century ethnocentrism, which holds that the building of stone sculptures is a sign of civilization because it is a feature of early Western civilizations.


He noted new digs conducted by Dr.


Archaeologist Dr.

Coe, a specialist in the Olmec and Maya civilizations at Yale University who is well-known for his work on both cultures, leans more toward the mother-culture school, stating that “much of the sophisticated culture in Mesoamerica has an Olmec basis.” Dr.

Coe also writes that during the four centuries of San Lorenzo’s prime, Early Olmec monarchs, on the other hand, were aware of the land in which the Maya would later erect majestic cities.

Archaeological digs revealed evidence of prehistoric mining, and some of the outcroppings included blue jade, a coveted gemstone utilized by Olmec craftsmen to carve exquisite human figures and frightening masks.

Artifacts from the Maya period before 100 B.C.

As Dr.


There is some doubt about the genesis of this cosmology, which predates the Maya and was ubiquitous across Mesoamerica.

A Maya wall mural in the Guatemalan town of San Bartolo depicts a resurrected maize deity surrounded by humans who are handing him presents of tamales and water as thanks for his resurrection.

Coe explained.

The city of Izapa, located in the state of Chiapas, is the site of imposing temple mounds.

In addition to years of excavations in the region, Dr.

Clark of Brigham Young University is now participating with contemporary research, which he claims demonstrates substantial connections between San Lorenzo and ancient sites in Chiapas, according to him.

Clark asserted, the Olmecs’ influence – not just on their art and gods, but also on their kingship and all of its trappings – eventually spread across Maya territory and its emerging towns.

Some of the earliest Maya king carvings, according to him, were done on the backs of Olmec jade pieces.

Doctor Diehl said in his journal comments that the Blomster team’s research was the largest and most thorough study ever undertaken on the spread of Olmec pottery, and he praised the team’s work as “the greatest and most complete study ever conducted on the spread of Olmec pottery.” Dr.

He went on to say that what was left unexplained was how “this was achieved” and “what motivated individuals on both sides.” Is it possible that they were genuine commercial ventures?

Diehl stated that there is no archaeological evidence to imply that the Olmecs conquered or proselytized the cultures in their immediate vicinity at this time.

Nothing in the remains or subsequent stories indicates that an invading army was responsible for the conquest.

as a result of a natural disaster: the rivers on which they depended changed course as a result of silt and tectonic shifts in the coastal landscape, according to these scientists.

In Tres Zapotes, a town near the old capitals, and in scattered localities throughout southern Mexico, remnants of the culture might be seen.

In light of the new evidence, a small number of mother-culture archaeologists have drawn parallels between the Olmecs and the Maya and their link to the Greek and Roman civilisations of the West.

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