Who were the Olmec Indians?
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.
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.
Olmec homes were very simple and made out of logs, heavy stone, and clay. Olmecs liked to live near flood plains so built their houses on small mounds or platforms. They also lived in buildings with earth packed around poles which were used as sleeping area, dining room, and shelter.
The Olmec diet mainly consisted of squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and maize.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
Linguistic evidence has contributed to the ethnic identity of the archaeological Olmecs: they spoke a Mixe-Zoquean language. The Olmecs produced the earliest complex civilization in Mesoamerica (c. 1200–400 bce), and it was located mainly in the same area where Mixe-Zoquean languages are found.
Archaeological evidence also suggests that they originated the Mesoamerican practices of the Mesoamerican Ballgame —a popular game in the pre-Columbian Americas played with balls made from solid rubber—and that they may have practiced ritual bloodletting.
The men wore breech-cloth, back apron and a belt. The women wore knee length skirts. The priests wore their slaves skin when sacrificed.
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
Olmecs & Their Dogs The Olmecs of Mesoamerica lived in the lowlands along the Gulf of Mexico c. 1400-400 BCE and bred dogs as food. These were ornamental collars for human wear but could have developed from the dog collar. The tomb dates to between 700-500 BCE and is the oldest pyramid tomb yet found in the region.
The Olmecs were a culture of ancient peoples -1300-400 B.C. – of the East Mexico lowlands. They are often regarded as the Mother Culture of later Middle American civilizations. The Olmec people called themselves Xi (pronounced Shi).
The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from 1.17 to 3.4 metres (3.8 to 11.2 ft). The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica.
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.
The Olmecs (1200-400 B. C. E.) first used warfare to expand trade and access to resources. Fighters from the Olmec city of San Lorenzo utilized obsidian-edged weapons, handto- hand elite combat, and small, elite forces numbering in the tens to hundreds to control local trade routes from the Veracruz region.