The Olmec religious practices of sacrifice, cave rituals, pilgrimages, offerings, ball-courts, pyramids, and an apparent awe of mirrors were also passed on to all subsequent civilizations in Mesoamerica until the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century CE. This occurred up until the time that the Spanish Conquest occurred.
The Olmec and Epi-Olmec civilizations both came to an end when the city of La Venta fell into disrepair about the year 400 B.C., bringing the Olmec culture to an end with it. The huge Olmec civilizations were obliterated when the jungles engulfed them, and they were not rediscovered for thousands of years. It is not quite clear why the Olmec did not accept the offer.
The Olmec were one of the earliest complex societies to emerge in Mesoamerica, and their legacy can be seen in the culture of many following civilizations, including the Maya. They appeared approximately 1600 BCE. The Olmec people are famous for the enormous stone heads that they fashioned out of basalt, which is a kind of volcanic rock.
The Olmec civilisation had its beginnings about 1500-1400 BCE, and it would continue to deteriorate until around 400 BCE, when it was finally surpassed by rival civilizations.
During that historical period, La Venta and its all-powerful ruler exercised complete control over the Olmec core region. La Venta, much like its predecessor San Lorenzo, which thrived between 1200 and 900 B.C., was structured around a single prominent plaza that had governmental buildings, magnificent monuments, and wealthy houses. San Lorenzo prospered between the years 1200 and 900 B.C.
To provide a concise summary, the Olmecs began their civilization 1,200 years after the Maya, yet the Maya were the first to develop their civilization.
The majority of scholars believe that the Olmec, like other native Americans, descended from Asian ancestors who entered North America during the Great Ice Age. Historians have speculated that the facial features of some monumental carved heads indicate an African origin of these people; however, it is more likely that the Olmec were descended from Asian ancestors.
Since around 2500 BCE, the region was home to thriving Pre-Olmec cultures; nevertheless, by 1600–1500 BCE, the Early Olmec civilisation had established its presence there. They were the earliest civilisation in Mesoamerica and were responsible for establishing many of the foundations upon which other civilizations, such as the Maya, were built.
Between the years 400 and 350 BCE, there was a significant drop in the Olmec population, although the reasons for this drop are unknown. Archaeologists have a theory that the depopulation was caused by changes in the environment, notably the silting up of rivers, which cut off the water supply and led to the demise of the population.
The Epi-Olmec civilisation finally replaced the Olmec civilization between 300 and 250 BCE. The Olmec civilization grew and prospered at locations like as La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. The Valley of Oaxaca was the birthplace of the Zapotec civilisation, whereas the Valley of Mexico was the birthplace of the Teotihuacan civilization.
In the region that is now southern Mexico, the most important Olmec sites are located at San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes.
There is a school of thought among historians that the Mayans were descended from the Olmec people.
The Olmecs were an ancient people’s culture who lived in the lowlands of East Mexico between the years 1300 and 400 B.C. They are sometimes considered to be the Mother Culture of succeeding civilizations in the Middle American region. Xi was the name given to the Olmec people by themselves (pronounced Shi).
Key distinctions between the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilisations The Maya were an indigenous people who lived in Mexico and Central America. Between 1345 and 1521 CE, the Aztecs controlled much of northern Mesoamerica. Meanwhile, the Inca prospered in ancient Peru between 1400 and 1533 CE and spread over western South America.
Pyramids were constructed by several ancient civilizations, including the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca, in order to both house their gods and bury their monarchs. Temple-pyramids were the focal point of public life in many of their large city-states. These structures also served as the location for sacred ceremonies, including as the sacrifice of humans.
Itza Maya and other lowland groups in the Petén Basin were first contacted by Hernán Cortés in 1525, but they remained independent and hostile to the encroaching Spanish until 1697, when a concerted Spanish assault led by Martn de Urza y Arizmendi finally defeated the last independent Maya kingdom. Martn de Urza y Arizmendi was the leader of the Spanish assault.