What are facts about the Olmec?
The End of the Olmec Civilization 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.
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.
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 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 Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
To quickly sum up, the Maya were first but learned a lot from the Olmecs, who started 1,200 years later.
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 diet mainly consisted of squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and maize.
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.
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 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.
No, though oddly the reason why is not that popcorn is a modern invention, but that popping corn in fact goes back to at least 4700 BCE.
Indeed, Almere Read (41) suggests that even the Olmecs themselves regularly moved the heads around for different ritual purposes. Another theory is that the heads were used as powerful markers of rulership and distributed to declare political dominance in various territories.
Typical Olmec trade goods included obsidian, jade, serpentine, mica, rubber, pottery, feathers and polished mirrors of ilmenite and magnetite.
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.