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Copy of Copy of The Olmecs

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Janeen Saunders

on 9 April 2015

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of The Olmecs

The Outstanding Olmecs
The Olmec were the
oldest Mesoamerican civilization.
Their influence spanned from
1200 BCE to 400 BCE
The word "Olmec" means "dwellers in the
land of rubber." Rubber trees flourished in
the area where the Olmec lived. Some of this rubber was used to create rubber balls, which the Olmec (and later the Aztecs) used in games.
If you find this text, you are pretty
Cassie killed Natalia
Cassie was here

Wars and Conquests
They invaded small land areas.
They never invaded other large civilizations or
large areas of land.
The Ball Game
The Olmecs played a ball game to determine sacrifices to the gods.
Captain of the winning team was sacrificed and
honor was brought to his family.
Rio = best movie ever
Important People
With such little information on the Olmecs,
no important people were found.
-Some of the lasting impressions the Olmec:
statues, pottery, and paintings
-Known as the "Mother Culture"
~ developed a culture & way of life for those that would follow
>Mayans and Aztecs
-Established a set of political, religious and aesthetic traditions which influenced later Mesoamerican cultures. Such as:
~large ceremonial centers (ex: Tres Zapotes, La Venta, and San Lorenzo)

<-- La Venta

~platform mounds and step pyramids
~stone carving
~distinctive religious iconography
~expansive and warlike states
Influences and Important Contributions:
-Believed to have been the early adopters of the complex
religious system
that the Mayans and the Aztecs would use.
>Polytheistic religion with sacrifices and offerings made for the Gods
Structure of cities
used in the Olmec society was used by many subsequent Mesoamerican cultures.
Lasting Impressions:
Peak population was unknown,
though the capital city of
La Venta
is believed to have held up to 18,000 people at one point.
We believe the Olmecs were important to the development of other cultures
because they were one of the first known civilizations, they set the precedence for all the following civilizations. They:
- Set a certain way of life that people altered as civilizations grew and advanced, present to this day in Mexican culture
-Created a distinct art style adopted by subsequent cultures
-Created a unique calendar system that developed new areas of mathematics.

What we think:
Who took over after their empire collapsed?

No one group took over after the Olmec civilization
collapsed. Smaller groups rose up and absorbed what was left. One of these groups was the Mayan civilization.
Youtube video!!!
Government Structure
The ruler was a priest king.
-Warrior, Social and Religious leader
No specific ruler's names found.

-1200 B.C.-400 B.C. (or B.C.E.)
-Pioneers of all Mesoamerican culture
- 1200 BCE
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan city
(modern day Veracruz)

Theories of Their Disappearance

1.The Olmecs didn’t fall but slowly faded out; replaced by other cultures (Mayans and other Mesoamerican cultures)

2.The Olmec culture ceased to exist due to failure to adapt to environmental changes.
Enter Mayans

Most citizens produced food

They grew
, beans, squash; they also fished

They traded mostly with the

They traded their food items for luxuries:
Animal Skins
Salt & Cacao
Desirable stones, such as Jadeite

The Olmecs influenced Mokoya art styles

Olmec Trade
1500-1000 BCE- coastal lowland and rich soil results in a larger population. Elite groups come up. Olmecs appear. Trade span land and influence. Most people are hunters and gatherers
World-New Kingdom of Egypt
1000-500 BCE- Olmec cultural influence has spread-stepped pyramid, enormous basalt heads. Other civilizations rise and are influenced but not absorbed
World- Old Kingdoms in Middle East including Egypt , hundreds of city states flourish on coasts and islands off the Mediterranean Sea-ancient Greece 500-200 BCE- Olmec heartland has declined.
300 BCE- End of Olmec
World- Hellenistic Age (Alexander the Great appears). In the west new power Rome appears.
What other major civilizations were flourishing in different areas of the world at the same time?
In the Beginning...
Ancient Greece began to flourish in this time, while Ancient Egypt began to decline.
The "Big Headed"
The Olmec were known for their massive heads (much like 7th graders!)
Stone Age- no iron tools!
weight- roughly 8 tons
height- 10-15 feet!
transported over 70 miles!
thought to represent Olmec rulers
17 found so far
That's Huge!!
Olmec rulers may have served as priests or shamans
claimed kinship with the jaguar; shamans were believed to enter the spirit world and transform into jaguars and other creatures
practiced human sacrifice
The "Great Pyramid" in La Venta
El Castillo (Spanish for "the castle"), also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, which was built by the Mayans (who were influenced by the Olmec)
El Castillo (Spanish for "the castle"), also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, was built by the Mayans, who were influenced by the Olmec.
Another HUGE
head, but not one
made by the Olmec
Full transcript