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The Legacies of the Olmec, Zapotec, and Chavin

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Rachel Sawah

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of The Legacies of the Olmec, Zapotec, and Chavin

The Legacies of the Olmec, Zapotec, and Chavin
The Olmec
The Olmec civilization was the first major civilization in Mesoamerica, and thrived in southern Mexico from 1200 to 400 BCE. We gain knowledge of this civilization from the archaeological ruins discovered during this time.
The Zapotec
The Zapotec civilization in Oaxaca, Mexico was influenced by the previous Olmec civilization. In addition, many of their citizens survive to this day and maintain their distinct cultural traditions.
The Chavin
From 900 to 200 BCE, the Chavin civilization succeeded in the Andean highlands of Peru. The Chavin people were the first advanced society to develop in the highlands of South America, and practiced unity among their civilization.
The art and architecture of the Olmec, Zapotec, and Chavin civilizations depict their advanced society and rich history. These three civilizations formed the foundation of development for following civilizations, such as the Aztec, Mayan, and Inca. The civilizations' everlasting legacy remains to this day and enriches our history with their unique traditions, motifs, and culture.
The civilization Chavin receives it's name from the temple ruins at Chavin de Huantar. The temple portrays their knowledge regarding drainage. The complex system keeps the temple dry during the flooding season. Built during 900 to 200 BCE, the intricate engineering of the temple at Chavin de Huantar represents their advanced architecture, and influence on subsequent civilizations.
Chavin de Huantar
Motifs were also common in the Chavin society, and much of their art consisted of humans and animals. These artifacts can be found at Chavin de Huantar, and were created from 900 to 200 BCE. These designs are an example of the art styles of the Chavin civilization, and represent the unique characteristics of their crafts. The human and animal heads are an aspect of the Chavin civilization culture and art.
Human & Animal Heads
The Olmec civilization is known for its massive, carved stone heads during 1200 to 400 BCE. These artifacts can be found in San Lorenzo, Moreover, the heads are supposed to depict the Olmec leaders of the time. Finally, the large stone heads were intricately carved, and represent their complex society.
Giant Stone Carved Heads
Art with glyphs is common in the Olmec civilization, and was created during 1200 to 400 BCE. The remains were found in the 20th century, however. These artifacts portray that the Olmec citizens were in fact polytheistic (believing in many gods), instead of monotheistic. The objects can be found in some of their historical sites, such as La Venta.
Art with Glyphs
Pyramids were another important example of the architecture present during the Zapotec civilization. The pyramids were influenced by the previous Olmec society, and were grand. Moreover, the pyramids can be found in Oaxaca, Mexico, or in the ruins of Monte Alban. Beginning in 700 BCE, the establishment of the pyramids in Monte Alban began. The pyramids depict their culture and developed civilization.
Monte Alban
The city ruins at Monte Alban is an example of an architectural site that demonstrates the capabilities of the Zapotec civilization. This site consists of fancy tombs, a ball field, and other buildings. The ruins were constructed during 700 BCE, and are an example of the architecture present during the civilization. This proves their society was developed, and in turn led to prosperity during 300 to 900 CE.
The three pre-Columbian civilizations discussed have a rich history and a lasting legacy. The Olmec, Zapotec, and Chavin societies areinteresting, and we are able to learn more about each culture through their unique art and architecture.
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