background preloader

The ancient Olmec Civilization

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. We know far less about the Olmecs than we do about, for example, the Aztecs and Mayans. Olmec civilization The major Olmec urban area in early times was San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, at the time the largest city in Mesoamerica. There are a couple of reasons why the Olmecs are so important. Influence of the Olmecs Related:  South America

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. We propose a hypothesis insofar that the Olmec were at least in part, immigrants from Africa. As the Maya had settled the region and had been farming for a millennium before the Olmec set up shop, scouts would have seen them approach just as they did much later when the Spanish arrived. What is called Olmec first appears within the city of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán.

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: By 1200 B.C., the people of Mesoamerica – present-day Mexico and Central America – were developing a series of complex societies. The Dawn of the Olmec: One of the accomplishments of Olmec culture was the use of trade to enrich their society. The Olmec were skilled artisans, whose pottery, celts, statues and figurines proved popular for commerce. Olmec Economy: The Olmec and the Mokaya:

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. All later cultures, such as the Veracruz, Maya, Toltec and Aztecs all borrowed from the Olmec. Certain Olmec gods, such as the Feathered Serpent, Maize God and Water God, would live on in the cosmos of these later civilizations. Although certain aspects of Olmec art, such as the colossal heads and massive thrones, were not adopted by later cultures, the influence of certain Olmec artistic styles on later Maya and Aztec works is obvious to even the untrained eye. Two Indigenous Solar Engineers Changed Their Village in Chile Liliana Terán, left, and her cousin Luisa, members of the Atacameño indigenous people, are grassroots solar engineers trained at the Barefoot College in northwest India. By installing solar panels in their northern Chilean village, Caspana, they have changed their own lives and those of their fellow villagers. (Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS) Liliana and Luisa Terán, two indigenous women from northern Chile who travelled to India for training in installing solar panels, have not only changed their own future but that of Caspana, their remote village nestled in a stunning valley in the Atacama desert. "It was hard for people to accept what we learned in India," Liliana Terán told IPS. Her cousin, Luisa, said that before they travelled to Asia, there were more than 200 people interested in solar energy in the village. "In this village there is a council of elders that makes the decisions. Luisa, 43, practices sports and is a single mother of an adopted daughter. They did not go alone.

The Olmec City of San Lorenzo The Olmec City of San Lorenzo: The Olmec culture thrived along Mexico’s gulf coast from roughly 1200 B.C. to 400 B.C. One of the most important archaeological sites associated with this culture is known as San Lorenzo. Once there was a great city there: its original name has been lost to time. Considered by some archaeologists to be the first true Mesoamerican city, San Lorenzo was a very important center of Olmec commerce, religion and political power during its heyday. Location of San Lorenzo: San Lorenzo is located in Veracruz State, about 38 miles (60km) from the Gulf of Mexico. Occupation of San Lorenzo: San Lorenzo was first occupied around 1500 B.C., making it one of the oldest sites in the Americas. The Chicharrás period begins to show characteristics later identified as Olmec. The Archaeological Site: San Lorenzo Stonework: Very little of Olmec culture has survived to the present day. San Lorenzo Sculpture: The Politics of San Lorenzo: San Lorenzo was a powerful political center.

This is What Michael Jackson Sounds Like in Quechua Even the youngs think Quechua is cool. After the language was translated for a book, a song, and given a shoutout by a fútbolero, we started thinking that Quechua was having a sort of moment. Perhaps the biggest sign of this is that a 14-year-old girl named Renata Flores sang a Quechua version of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” The Ayacuchana sings the tune at the Vilcashuamán ruins, as guitars and a Peruvian cajón play. According to La Republica, the video is part of the Asociación Cultural SURCA, which works to get the youth to learn the importance of Quechua. Introduction to the Aztecs exhibition: Melbourne Museum A pot in the shape of Tláloc, the Aztec rain god. Tláloc is a Nahuatl word that translates as 'He Who Makes Things Sprout'.Image: Michel ZabeSource: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes - Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia Canny conquerorsTalented artisansHeart-stopping ritualsA nasty ending Aztecs is an exhibition about a highly organised civilisation and the spectacular city it created - Tenochtitlán (pronounced Teh-notch-tit-lan). Visit Melbourne Museum from 9 April until 10 August 2014 and discover the Aztecs’ ingenious agricultural technology, bustling trade and array of gods. In developing this exhibition, historians, archaeologists and curators drew on primary sources reflecting Aztec and Spanish perspectives, including accounts from people who lived through the Spanish Conquest. A lot of knowledge comes from the work of Bernardino Sahagun, a 16th century Spanish priest.

Isolated tribespeople receiving care after violent contact in Brazil In the wake of several encounters, Brazilian government workers are tending to 21 formerly isolated Korubo people in a remote corner of the Brazilian Amazon. A recent statement by the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the Brazilian agency charged with protecting indigenous peoples, reports that settled Matis villagers had attacked Korubo last December, leaving at least eight dead. The killings apparently were in revenge, as Korubo had killed two Matis a few days earlier. The tragic events are fueling ongoing debate about how to manage the process of contact between isolated and settled indigenous people. The most recent events, which occurred in the Vale do Javari indigenous territory, are the latest in a series of sometimes-hostile encounters between Matis and isolated Korubo that began in December 2014, when a group of isolated Korubo killed two Matis men. So instead of contact, FUNAI helped the Matis village relocate to another area in order to prevent conflict.

Aztec Civilization The Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE and, at its greatest extent, covered most of northern Mesoamerica. Aztec warriors were able to dominate their neighbouring states and permit rulers such as Motecuhzoma II to impose Aztec ideals and religion across Mexico. Highly accomplished in agriculture and trade, the last of the great Mesoamerican civilizations was also noted for its art and architecture which ranks amongst the finest ever produced on the continent. The Aztec state is actually the most well documented Mesoamerican civilization with sources including archaeology, native books (codices) and lengthy and detailed accounts from their Spanish conquerors - both by military men and Christian clergy. Historical Overview Sometime around 1100 CE the city-states or altepetl which were spread over central Mexico began to compete with each other for local resources and regional dominance. TenochtitlAn Religion The sun, not surprisingly, had great significance for the Aztecs.

For Inca Road Builders, Extreme Terrain Was No Obstacle : Parallels The Inca were innovators in agriculture as well as engineering. Terracing like this, on a steep hillside in Peru's Colca Canyon, helped them grow food. Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian hide caption itoggle caption Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian The Inca were innovators in agriculture as well as engineering. Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian One of history's greatest engineering feats is one you rarely hear of. Back in the day — more than 500 years ago — commoners like me wouldn't have been able to walk on the Inca Road, known as Qhapaq Ñan in the Quechua language spoken by the Inca, without official permission. Fortunately, I have Peruvian archaeologist Ramiro Matos by my side. A suspension bridge made of twisted plant fibers stretches high above the Apurimac River in Peru. A suspension bridge made of twisted plant fibers stretches high above the Apurimac River in Peru. How did they build this?