The most agreed upon theory is that, because of their unique physical features and the difficulty and cost involved in their creation, they represent Olmec rulers. Seventeen heads have been discovered to date, 10 of which are from San Lorenzo and 4 from La Venta; two of the most important Olmec centres.
Seventeen confirmed examples are known from four sites within the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Most colossal heads were sculpted from spherical boulders but two from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán were re-carved from massive stone thrones. Known monuments.
|Site||No. of monuments|
|Takalik Abaj||1 (possible)|
Where can I find the Olmec heads? Despite replicas existing in diverse locations around the globe, all seventeen of the original Olmec heads are still found in Mexico . San Lorenzo Heads 2 and 6 are at Mexico City’s National Anthropology Museum , and Head 10 is at the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán Community Museum .
Maya stelae (singular stela) are monuments that were fashioned by the Maya civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. They consist of tall, sculpted stone shafts and are often associated with low circular stones referred to as altars, although their actual function is uncertain.
Some writers claim that the Olmecs were related to peoples of Africa – based primarily on their interpretation of facial features of Olmec statues. They additionally contend that epigraphical, genetic, and osteological evidence supports their claims.
1. The moai of Easter Island . Arguably the most famous oversized heads in the world, and the only reason anyone knows where Easter Island is. Where: Nearly half of the 887 moai are still in the quarry at Rana Raraku.
Overview: The Olmec lived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the modern-day Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz. The Olmec society lasted from about 1600 BCE to around 350 BCE, when environmental factors made their villages unlivable.
Civilizations like the Olmec , Maya, Aztec and Inca all built pyramids to house their deities, as well as to bury their kings. In many of their great city-states, temple- pyramids formed the center of public life and were the site of holy rituals, including human sacrifice.
The Olmec art style was the major prestige style of Ancient Mesoamerica between c. 1,500 BCE and 400 BCE, or much of the Mesoamerican Formative (Preclassic) period (or c. 1500–400 BCE calibrated). Olmec artists were interested mainly in the general human form and certain supernatural creatures.
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.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is an animal with a prominent association and appearance in the cultures and belief systems of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican societies in the New World, similar to the lion (Panthera leo) and tiger (Panthera tigris) in the Old World.
Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal. Roughly 40 percent of Guatemalans are of Mayan descent.
As we said, Maya writing is a combination of glyphs that stand for syllables, or “syllable glyphs,” and glyphs that stand for whole words, or “logos.” There are 200 to 250 syllable glyphs that were used in Classical Maya writing, and about 500 logos.