A history of the olmec civilization in mesoamerica

Sometimes, massive amounts of manpower would be required to move immense boulders many miles to the workshops where sculptors would turn them into great stone thrones or colossal heads. They also traded for cacao and brightly colored feathers.

In doing so they deny their societies the liberating magic of literacy.

Olmec architecture

The Olmec made all kinds of different art pieces, including: sculptures of humans and animals. Jade is a particularly precious material, and it was used as a mark of rank by the ruling classes. The fact that these giant sculptures depict only the head may be explained by the belief in Mesoamerican culture that it was the head alone which bore the soul. The theory is, that at the time of the Clovis migration, much of North America was still covered in Glacial Ice, so instead of walking south, the Amerindian "Island-Hopped" south in boats, using coastal islands which are known to have been icefree and icefree patches of coastline, until they found habitable land. We're uncertain, but it's believed that they may have been early adopters of the complex religious system that the Mayans and the Aztecs would use. They are best known for their colossal heads. This sharp cleft is associated with the natural indented head of Jaguars. The rulers seem to have been the most important religious figures, with their links to the Olmec deities or supernaturals providing legitimacy for their rule.

The snake-god especially, would be transformed into the major gods Kukulcan for the Maya and Quetzalcoatl for the Aztecs. This implied the loanword transmission occurred in the period after the two branches of the language family split, placing the time of the borrowings outside of the Olmec period.

Complex Aa religious complex located in the royal compound at La Ventais one of the most important ancient Olmec sites.

Olmec Colossal Head Olmec Jade Mask The Olmec are also important to other Mesoamerican civilizations because they were the first to do many different religious and cultural traditions that later Mesoamerican cultures followed.

what happened to the olmecs

In particular, the Olmec religion included a Feathered Serpent god that would also be important in later cultures, such as the Aztecs.

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Influence of the Olmec Civilization on Mesoamerica