The Olmec likely grew crops such as maize, beans, squash, manioc, sweet potatoes, and cotton.
Olmec farmers grew maize, beans, chilies, tomatoes, and squashes. They kept dogs and chickens for meat. As well as that the Olmecs hunted deer and peccaries (wild pigs). The Olmecs also fished and collected shellfish.
Agriculture was the basis of the major Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmecs, Mayas and Aztecs, with the principal crops being corn, beans, squash, chili peppers and tomatoes. The tradition of planting corn, beans and squash together allows the beans to replace the nitrogen that corn depletes from the soil.
This calendar was used for centuries in Mexico, and it all originated with the Olmecs. The Olmec had amazing agriculture and knew how to get fertile soil and make use of it well. They planted things, such as squash, tomatoes, beans, and chilies. However, their main staple food was maize, or corn.
The Olmecs and the Mayas. The peoples of the Americas experienced their own Neolithic Revolution in which they learned to grow corn (maize) and other crops.
Contributions. 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.
Mesoamerican people began to cultivate manioc, beans, chili peppers, avocados, and gourds. By 4000 B.C.E., maize had become the major staple crop of the region. Tomatoes were later added as a crop that they cultivated.
Olmec Food, Crops, and Diet They planted many of the same crops seen in the region today, such as squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Maize was a staple of the Olmec diet, although it is possible that it was introduced late in the development of their culture.
The Olmecs lived in hot, humid lowlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in what is now southern Veracruz and Tabasco states in southern Mexico. The first evidence of their remarkable art style appears about 1200 bce in San Lorenzo, their oldest known building site.
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
Prominent crops in Mesoamerica eventually included avocados, cacao, chili peppers, cotton, common beans, lima beans, corn, manioc, tomatoes, and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). The principal domestic animals were the turkey, dog, and Muscovy duck.
In South America, agriculture began as early as 9000 BCE, starting with the cultivation of several species of plants that later became only minor crops. In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 8000 BC and 5000 BC, along with beans, tomatoes, peanuts, coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs.
Archeological research in the Gulf coast of Tabasco shows the earliest evidence of corn cultivation in Mexico. The first fields were along the Grijalva River delta with fossilized pollen evidence showing forest clearing around 5100 BCE. The domestication of corn is followed by that of sunflower seeds and cotton.
The Olmecs predated the better-known Mayans by about 1,000 years. “Our study shows that these early maize cultivators located themselves on barrier islands between the sea and coastal lagoons, where they could continue to fish as well as grow crops,” she said.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
What invention might have increased crop production? The plow could have helped with the size of the crops and a wheeled vehicle could have helped with the transportation of food. How did the Mayas carry food to the cities? They carried food to the cities by manpower.