The Sacred cycle lasted 260 days, and the Solar one 365 days. The two parts together were used to keep chronologies and king lists, mark historical events, date legends, and define the beginning of the world.
What artifacts did the Olmecs leave behind?
The Olmecs used two calendars together. One calendar was a secular one that had 365 days.
In spite of only having Stone Age technology, the Olmecs were able to make several sorts of tools which made their life easier. Tools were mostly made of stone and include basic items such as hammers, wedges, mortar-and-pestles and mano-and-metate grinders used for mashing corn and other grains.
Olmec, the first elaborate pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica (c. 1200–400 bce) and one that is thought to have set many of the fundamental patterns evinced by later American Indian cultures of Mexico and Central America, notably the Maya and the Aztec.
Both the Olmec and epi-Olmec had hieroglyphic writing systems. Olmec is a syllabic writing system used in the Olmec heartland from 900 BC- AD 450. The Olmec people introduced writing to the New World. The Olmec script is a logosyllabic script.
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 mechanisms of this shared calendar involved two parts that worked together to make a 52-year cycle, known as the Sacred and Solar rounds, such that each day had a unique name. The Sacred cycle lasted 260 days, and the Solar one 365 days.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
The men wore breech-cloth, back apron and a belt. The women wore knee length skirts. The priests wore their slaves skin when sacrificed.
The daily life of the Olmecs included farming, weaving, pottery, and games. The men would go out and farm squash, beans, sweet potatoes, and even tomatoes. Men also would fish. While the men were farming and fishing, the women would stay home and cook.
The Olmec population declined sharply between 400 and 350 BCE, though it is unclear why. Archaeologists speculate that the depopulation was caused by environmental changes, specifically by the silting-up of rivers, which choked off the water supply.
How did the Olmecs influence later Mesoamerican civilizations? The Olmec ball game, religious concepts, blood sacrifice, calendar, writing, and astronomy was later used and adapted by other Mesoamerican civilizations. Plus, they laid the foundation for complex agricultural-based society in Mesoamerica.
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.
The authors of the report and principle researchers involved with its analysis concluded that it originated between 1100 and 900 BC, based on the fact that clay shards found around the block also date to this time.
Olmec writing It was also long thought that many of the glyphs present on Olmec monumental sculpture, such as those on the so-called ” Ambassador Monument” (La Venta Monument 13), represented an early Olmec script.
Olmec art lived on in ancient Mesoamerican aesthetic traditions as well. The sculptors and painters in Olmec-period Mexico were the first to portray many of the iconic features of self-proclaimed divine rulers in Mesoamerica.