The mysterious Olmec civilization, located in ancient Mexico, prospered in Pre-Classical (Formative) Mesoamerica from c. 1200 BCE to c. 400 BCE and is generally considered the forerunner of all subsequent Mesoamerican cultures including the Maya and Aztecs.
In short, the Maya came first, and settled in modern-day Mexico. Next came the Olmecs, who also settled Mexico. They didn’t build any major cities, but they were widespread and prosperous. They were followed by the Inca in modern-day Peru, and finally the Aztecs, also in modern-day Mexico.
Mesoamerican Indian, member of any of the indigenous peoples inhabiting Mexico and Central America (roughly between latitudes 14° N and 22° N). Distribution of Meso-American Indians.
Around 400 B.C. La Venta went into decline and was eventually abandoned altogether. With the fall of La Venta came the end of classic Olmec culture. Although the descendants of the Olmecs still lived in the region, the culture itself vanished. The extensive trade networks the Olmecs had used fell apart.
Claims of osteological evidence Andrzej Wiercinski claims that some of the Olmecs were of African origin. He supports this claim with cranial evidence from two Mesoamerican sites: Tlatilco and Cerro de las Mesas. Tlatilco is a site in the Valley of Mexico.
They lived in the tropical lowlands on the Gulf of Mexico in the present-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. The name Olmec is a Nahuatl —the Aztec language —word; it means the rubber people.
Ancient America was home to sophisticated civilizations such as the Maya, Inca, Olmec and Aztec societies, and mysterious ruins like Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, Serpent Mound, Tikal, Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines.
The oldest known civilization of the Americas was established in the Norte Chico region of modern Peru. Complex society emerged in the group of coastal valleys, between 3000 and 1800 BCE. The Quipu, a distinctive recording device among Andean civilizations, apparently dates from the era of Norte Chico’s prominence.
The Norte Chico civilization in Peru is the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the first six independent civilizations in the world; it was contemporaneous with the Egyptian pyramids. It predated the Mesoamerican Olmec by nearly two millennia.
Some of the most well-known Mesoamerican cultures are the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, and Mexica (or Aztec ). The geography of Mesoamerica is incredibly diverse—it includes humid tropical areas, dry deserts, high mountainous terrain, and low coastal plains.
The term Mesoamerica is derived from the Greek and means “Middle America.” It refers to a geographical and cultural area which extends from central Mexico down through Central America, including the territory which is now made up of the countries of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The Aztecs were newcoming aliens in the Valley of Mexico. This first migration populated South America and Central America as far north as the Valley of Mexico. The second migration came about 12,000 BCE when the glaciers of northern North America melted. It populated what is now Canada and the United States.
San Lorenzo, the oldest known Olmec centre, dates to about 1150 bce, a time when the rest of Mesoamerica was at best on a Neolithic level.
The Olmecs were the first group in Mesoamerica with specialized weapons and personnel for war. Their homeland was in the lowlands along the Gulf coast in the Mexican provinces of Tabasco and Veracruz. Training was provided by warrior societies to a military elite. Atlatls (spear-throwers) were not yet a weapon of war.
The Olmec colossal heads are the most famous artifacts left behind by the Olmec civilization. The Olmec people are believed to have occupied a large part of modern-day Southern Mexico. The Olmec civilization is what is known as an archaeological culture.