The Olmec population declined sharply between 400 and 350 BCE, though it is unclear why. Archaeologists speculate that the depopulation was caused by environmental changes, specifically by the silting-up of rivers, which choked off the water supply.
Why did the Olmec civilization decline? their civilization was destroyed by either themselves or invaders.
The Olmec religious practices of sacrifice, cave rituals, pilgrimages, offerings, ball-courts, pyramids and a seeming awe of mirrors, was also passed on to all subsequent civilizations in Mesoamerica until the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century CE.
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.
Archaeologists and environmental historians have theorized that climate change as well as volcanic eruptions could have ruined the farmland in certain parts. These are the main reasons that historians use to explain why the Olmec society eventually ended around 350 BCE.
What caused Teotihuacán’s decline in the seventh century (600s CE)? Internal uprisings coupled with external rebellions likely contributed to the city’s decline.
How did Olmec shamans view the role of their nagual? Olmec shamans relied on their nagual, or “animal spirit companions,” to assist them in their interactions with the supernatural world and protect them from harm. Which civilization drew the most attention from the Spanish as they conquered Mexico?
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
Following Toltec decline, a further period of unrest in the Late Postclassic Period lasted until 1428, when the Aztec defeated the rival city of Azcapotzalco and became the dominant force in central Mexico. This last native Mesoamerican empire fell to the Spaniards, led by Hernán Cortés, in 1521.
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).
To quickly sum up, the Maya were first but learned a lot from the Olmecs, who started 1,200 years later.
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 men wore breech-cloth, back apron and a belt. The women wore knee length skirts. The priests wore their slaves skin when sacrificed.
The Maya (2000 B.C.E.-900 C.E.) and Aztec (1300-1500 C.E.) cultures were influenced by the earlier Olmec civilization.
The Olmec would influence other Mesoamerican and Andean societies through technology (form of writing, astronomic observation), religious beliefs (polytheistic, observation of the heavens), political organization (The Elite combined religious and secular roles to consolidate power, controlling rural populations for
The Olmec diet mainly consisted of squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and maize.