After the Olmecs abandoned their cities for unknown reasons, the Maya, Zapotec and Teotihuacan arose. The Purepecha civilization emerged around 1000 CE in Mesoamerica. They flourished from 1100 CE to 1530 CE.
How old is the Olmec civilization?
The Olmec civilization developed and flourished at such sites as La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, eventually succeeded by the Epi-Olmec culture between 300–250 BCE. The Zapotec civilization arose in the Valley of Oaxaca, the Teotihuacan civilization arose in the Valley of Mexico.
This theory holds that the Maya derived their entire society—including their architecture and social structure— directly from the Olmec. But Inomata’s work has revealed that the Olmec is not an older civilization. In fact, Ceibal pre-dates La Venta by as long as two centuries.
Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, Early Olmec culture had emerged. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed, such as the Maya.
The first complex civilization to develop in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec, who inhabited the gulf coast region of Veracruz throughout the Preclassic period. The main sites of the Olmec include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes.
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.
This contributed to social classes developing as society became more complex.
To quickly sum up, the Maya were first but learned a lot from the Olmecs, who started 1,200 years later.
Olmec Trade and Commerce The Olmecs created long-distance trade routes to obtain the things they needed, eventually making contacts all the way from the valley of Mexico to Central America. These extensive trade networks spread Olmec culture far and wide, spreading Olmec influence throughout Mesoamerica.
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.
The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico. Appearing around 1600 BCE, the Olmec were among the first Mesoamerican complex societies, and their culture influenced many later civilizations, like the Maya. The Olmec are known for the immense stone heads they carved from a volcanic rock called basalt.
The Spanish conquistador led an expedition to present-day Mexico, landing in 1519. Although the Spanish forces numbered some 500 men, they managed to capture Aztec Emperor Montezuma II.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
The Olmec lasted from about 1200–400 BCE was the first major civilization in Mexico. The Zapotecs lived in the highlands of central Mesoamerica between 500–900 CE and the Maya civilization lived into the 17th century from 2000 BCE–1600 CE.
The Olmecs, Mexico’s first known society, settled on the Gulf Coast near what is now Veracruz.