The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico. They lived in the tropical lowlands on the Gulf of Mexico in the present-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. The name Olmec is a Nahuatl—the Aztec language—word; it means the rubber people.
Who were the Olmecs and Mesoamerica?
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.
Maize and other crops were a later addition to their foodstuffs. 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.
Caral Supe Civilization, 3000-2500 BC The Caral-Supe civilization is the oldest known advanced civilization in the American continents discovered to date. Discovered only as recently as the 21st century, the villages of the Caral Supe were located along the coast of central Peru.
The Olmec (OHL-meck) lived between North America and South America, in Central America (what is now the southern part of Mexico). This was good land for farming, with a big river bringing plenty of water. People began to farm corn and beans there about 2000 BC.
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.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
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.
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.
The Olmec culture flourished in several civic and ceremonial centers along the Gulf of Mexico more than 3,000 years ago, from 1500 to 400 B.C. Best known for their carvings of colossal stone heads, the Olmec were masters of monumental sculpture, and also produced an array of other distinctive artworks in stone, ceramic
To quickly sum up, the Maya were first but learned a lot from the Olmecs, who started 1,200 years later.
On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a new name for what had been called the ” United Colonies.” The moniker United States of America has remained since then as a symbol of freedom and independence.
Explorer Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) is known for his 1492 ‘discovery’ of the New World of the Americas on board his ship Santa Maria.
Some historians assert that the Mayans were the descendants of the Olmecs.
Among their many accomplishments, Olmecs created the first cities in North America. Many archeological sites are known for this culture, but only two were large and splendid enough to qualify as cities: San Lorenzo and La Venta.
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.