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Olmec

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Olmec Civilization Olmec Civilization Mesoamerica s mother culture 1200 B.C.E. in southern Mexico near the Gulf ... the Maya Art styles and jaguar ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Olmec


1
Olmec
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Olmec Civilization
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Olmec Civilization
  • Mesoamericas mother culture
  • 1200 B.C.E. in southern Mexico near the Gulf
    Coast
  • hot humid and covered with swamps and jungle
  • 100 in of rainfall
  • flooding
  • Abundant deposits of salt, tar, clay, rubber, and
    stone

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Olmec Civilization
  • Rivers routes for transportation
  • Flood plains fertile land for farming
  • Built thriving communities oldest site is San
    Lorenzo 1150 B.C.
  • San Lorenzo had large mounds, courtyards,
    pyramids and stone monuments

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Olmec Civilization
  • Buildings/Monuments included columns, altars,
    sculpted heads (heads may have represented
    particular rulers and could weigh as much as 44
    tons).
  • Question How could the Olmec transport such
    heavy monuments without use of the wheel?

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Olmec Civilization
  • Olmec prayed to a variety of nature gods
    (animist)
  • Worshipped the jaguar spirit
  • a powerful rain god
  • Others believe there were several jaguar gods
    that represented the earth, fertility, and maize
    (major crop)

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Olmec Civilization
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Olmec Civilization
  • Ceremonial centers where important rituals were
    performed
  • Prosperous people that directed a large trading
    network throughout Mesoamerica
  • Goods traveled as far as Mexico City to the north
    and Honduras to the south
  • Iron ore and stones transported from faraway
    regions

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Olmec Civilization
  • Olmec Civilization collapsed
  • Some experts speculate that outside invaders
    caused the destruction
  • Others believe that the Olmec may have destroyed
    their own monuments upon death of their rulers

14
Olmec Contributions
  • Influenced the Maya
  • Art styles and jaguar motif seen in pottery and
    sculpture
  • Copied urban design
  • Ball games
  • No evidence of writing but stone symbols related
    to glyphs
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