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History and Details on Olmec Art and Sculpture

History and Details on Olmec Art and Sculpture
Olmec Art and Sculpture: The Olmec culture was the first great Mesoamerican civilization, developing along Mexico's gulf coast from about 1200-400 B.C. before going into a mysterious decline. The Olmec were very talented artists and sculptors who are today best remembered for their monumental stonework and cave paintings. Although relatively few pieces of Olmec art survive today, they are quite striking and show that, artistically speaking, the Olmec were far ahead of their time. The massive colossal heads found at four Olmec sites are a good example. Most surviving Olmec art seems to have had a religious or political significance, i.e. the pieces show gods or rulers. The Olmec Civilization: The Olmec were the first great Mesoamerican civilization. Olmec Art: The Olmec were gifted artists who produced stonecarvings, woodcarvings and cave paintings. The Olmec Colossal Heads: The most striking pieces of surviving Olmec art are without a doubt the colossal heads. Olmec Thrones: Sources:

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The Gods of the Olmec The Gods of the Olmec The mysterious Olmec Civilization flourished between roughly 1200 and 400 B.C. on Mexico's gulf coast. Although there are still more mysteries than answers about this ancient culture, modern researchers have determined that religion was of great importance to the Olmec. 10 Facts About the Ancient Olmec in Mesoamerica 9. They were extremely influential The Olmec are considered by historians to be the "mother" culture of Mesoamerica. Ancient Olmec Trade and Economy Ancient Olmec Trade and Economy: The Olmec culture thrived in the humid lowlands of Mexico's gulf coast from about 1200-400 B.C. They were great artists and talented engineers who had a complex religion and worldview. Although much information about the Olmecs has been lost to time, archaeologists have succeeded in learning much about their culture from several excavations in and around the Olmec homeland. Among the interesting things they have learned is the fact that the Olmec were diligent traders who had many contacts with contemporary Mesoamerican civilizations. Mesoamerican Trade before the Olmec:

The Decline of the Olmec Civilization The Decline of the Olmec Civilization The Olmec culture was Mesoamerica's first great civilization. It thrived along Mexico's gulf coast from approximately 1200 - 400 B.C. and is considered the "mother culture" of societies that came later, such as the Maya and Aztec. Many of the intellectual accomplishments of the Olmec, such as a writing system and calendar, were eventually adapted and improved by these other cultures. Around 400 B.C. the great Olmec city of La Venta went into decline, taking the Olmec Classic era with it. The ancient Olmec Civilization The ancient Olmec civilization is now considered to be one of the earliest great civilizations in Mesoamerica. This civilization came and went long before the Aztec empire was even thought of, and yet they left their mark on the peoples of Mexico and beyond, and developed a complex culture which is still echoed today, probably in ways we don't yet even realize. (See this possible timeline including the Olmec and Aztec civilizations) The basics The ancient Olmec civilization is believed to have been centred around the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico area (today the states of Veracruz and Tabasco) - further south east than the heart of the Aztec empire. The Olmec culture developed in the centuries before 1200BC (BCE), and declined around 400BC.

The Olmec: Precusors to Mesoamerican History The Olmec, which translated via the Aztecs, means “rubber people”, were the inspiration behind the other four great main Mesoamerican civilizations namely the Toltec, the Aztecs, the Maya and the Inca, with a decided leaning toward the Maya, who may have been an outgrowth of the Olmec for reasons s we shall explore. We explore them simply because of their profound influence on everything that followed. They were a Pre-Columbian civilization living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, near the modern-day cities of Veracruz and Tabasco close to the coast before it turns east in the Yucatan peninsula. The Olmec flourished during Mesoamerica's formative period, dating approximately from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE.

Oldest Writing in New World Discovered, Scientists Say September 14, 2006 A writing system lost for 3,000 years has been rediscovered on an ancient stone tablet in Mexico, archaeologists say (map of Mexico). The tablet is the earliest example of writing in the New World, pushing back the origins of writing in the region by several hundred years, according to a paper that will appear in tomorrow's edition of the journal Science. Most likely, the Olmec people, who once lived along the Gulf of Mexico, created the tablet, the researchers say. The Olmecs, famed for their colossal statues of heads, are generally regarded as the first true civilization in the Americas. Until now no one had ever found concrete evidence of Olmec writing.

people Olmec, the first elaborate pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica (c. 1200–400 bce) and one that is thought to have set many of the fundamental patterns evinced by later American Indian cultures of Mexico and Central America, notably the Maya and the Aztec. The Nahuatl (Aztec) name for these people, Olmecatl, or Olmec in the modern corruption, means “rubber people” or “people of the rubber country.” That term was chosen because they extracted latex from rubber trees (Castilla elastica) growing in the region and mixed it with the juice of a local vine (Ipomoea alba) to create rubber. The chief Olmec sites are San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes in what is now southern Mexico. Much of what is known about the Olmec was inferred from archaeological excavations at these sites, which have uncovered large earthen pyramids and platforms and monumental stone carvings. Olmec stylistic influence disappeared after about 400 bce.

Olmec Civilization - Timeline and Definition Olmec: An Introduction The Olmec civilization is the name given to a sophisticated central American culture with its heyday between 1200 and 400 BC. The Olmec heartland lies in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco, at the narrow part of Mexico west of the Yucatan peninsula and east of Oaxaca. The following is an introductory guide to the Olmec civilization, its place in Central American prehistory, and some important facts about the people and how they lived. Olmec Timeline Initial Formative: 1775-1500 cal BC Early Formative: 1450-1005 cal BC Middle Formative: 1005-400 cal BC Late Formative: 400 cal BC

Olmec Indians Olmec Indians, an ancient Indian people of Mexico. They created the first civilization in North America. It was centered in the tropical jungles of the Gulf Coast region near what is now Veracruz, and it flourished from about the 13th century B.C. to about the 1st century B.C. The Olmecs influenced the development of such later Indian cultures as the Mayan and the Zapotec.

Ancient City Found in Mexico; Shows Olmec Influence Two statues and architectural details at the site indicate that the inhabitants of Zazacatla adopted Olmec styles when they changed from a simple, egalitarian society to a more complex, hierarchical one, archaeologist Giselle Canto told the Associated Press. "When their society became stratified, the new rulers needed emblems … to justify their rule over people who used to be their equals," Canto said of Zazacatla's inhabitants. Trade Network The Olmec's influence can be seen farther afield than their traditional area of control, including other cultures' ceremonial-center layouts and artworks, said John Machado, a pre-Columbian art historian at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. "The Olmec need for materials—especially the precious and ritually important jade—developed a broad trade network," Machado said.

The New York Times > Science > Mother Culture, or Only a Sister? Published: March 15, 2005 n a coastal flood plain etched by rivers flowing through swamps and alongside fields of maize and beans, the people archaeologists call the Olmecs lived in a society of emergent complexity. It was more than 3,000 years ago along the Gulf of Mexico around Veracruz. The Olmecs, mobilized by ambitious rulers and fortified by a pantheon of gods, moved a veritable mountain of earth to create a plateau above the plain, and there planted a city, the ruins of which are known today as San Lorenzo. They left behind palace remnants, distinctive pottery and art with anthropomorphic jaguar motifs. Most impressive were Olmec sculptures: colossal stone heads with thick lips and staring eyes that are assumed to be monuments to revered rulers.

San Lorenzo - Olmec Civilization in Veracruz San Lorenzo is an Olmec period site located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. San Lorenzo is the name of the central place in the larger San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan archaeological region. It is located on a steep plateau above the Coatzacoalcos floodplain. The site was first settled in the second millennium BC and had its heyday between 1200-900 BC. The Enigma of the Olmecs - Softpedia The oldest American civilization Olmec head carving The Olmecs preceded the Maya culture by about a millennium and represent the oldest complex civilization in the Americas. They were the first to invent a writing system, as revealed by stone (serpentine) blocks, the so-called Cascajal blocks, found in 2006 in Southern Veracruz, Mexico. Their civilization is regarded as "mother" culture for the much more famous Maya and Aztec civilizations.

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