How did the Olmec influence the Mayan culture?
What did the Maya adapt and develop from the Olmec during the Class period? Improved on Olec building techniques; Built observatories to study the heavens; Charted the movements of the moon, stars, and planets; used their knowledge of astronomy and mathemtics to create complex and highly accurate calendars.
The Olmec may have given Mesoamerica its first written language as well. Undecipherable designs on certain pieces of Olmec stonework may be early glyphs: later societies, such as the Maya, would have elaborate languages using glyphic writing and would even develop books.
The Olmecs were apparently the first Mesoamerican people to fathom the concept of zero, develop a calendar, and create a hieroglyphic writing system. Also, they are credited for the discovery of the first conduit drainage system known in the Americas.
The Maya adopted many practices established by the Olmec, including ritual bloodletting, the Mesoamerican ballgame, and the Long Count calendar.
MAYA CULTURE AND ACHIEVEMENTS. The Ancient Mayans developed the science of astronomy, calendar systems, and hieroglyphic writing. They were also known for creating elaborate ceremonial architecture, such as pyramids, temples, palaces, and observatories. These structures were all built without metal tools.
The Maya built pyramids, temples, palaces, walls, residences and more. They often decorated their buildings with intricate stone carvings, stucco statues, and paint. Today, Maya architecture is important, as it is one of the few aspects of Maya life that is still available for study.
How did the physical environment influence the Olmec? The cold and dry climate promoted specialization. The tropical climate was poorly suited for farming. The location on the Central Mexican Plateau allowed for terrace farming.
Maya calendars, mythology and astrology were integrated into a single system of belief. The Maya observed the sky and calendars to predict solar and lunar eclipses, the cycles of the planet Venus, and the movements of the constellations.
The Olmec created massive monuments, including colossal stone heads, thrones, stela (upright slabs), and statues. They may have been the originators of the Mesoamerican ball game, a ceremonial team sport played throughout the region for centuries.
They also figured out how to grow corn, beans, squash and cassava in sometimes-inhospitable places; how to build elaborate cities without modern machinery; how to communicate with one another using one of the world’s first written languages; and how to measure time using not one but two complicated calendar systems.
What is known is that the Olmec produced some of the greatest Mesoamerican artworks including colossal sculpture in volcanic stone and intricate works in jade; they built the earliest known Mesoamerican pyramid; and laid the foundations for all subsequent Mesoamerican cultures such as the Maya and the Aztec.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
In addition to their influence with contemporaneous Mesoamerican cultures, as the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the Olmecs are credited, or speculatively credited, with many “firsts”, including the bloodletting and perhaps human sacrifice, writing and epigraphy, and the invention of popcorn, zero and the
The Mayan adapted to their environment by having deer and monkeys as food. Also, trees and other plants were good building materials. The Mayan built structures such as large plazas for public gatherings, canals to control the flow of water, and shaped nearby hillsides into flat terraces to allow farmers to grow crops.
The Maya set of mathematical symbols allowed even uneducated people to add and subtract for the purposes of trade and commerce. To add two numbers together, for example, the symbols for each number would be set side by side, then collapsed together to make a new single number.