Olmec Civilization 11-2 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Olmec Civilization 11-2

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Title: Olmec Civilization 11-2


1
Olmec Civilization11-2
  • Essential Question Identify some reasons why the
    Olmec culture had such a long lasting influence
    in Mesoamerica

2
Olmec Civilization
3
Olmec Civilization
  • 3,000 years ago lived along the Gulf Coast
  • Settled near rivers for farming
  • Areas of little rain, rivers flooded when it did
    rain
  • Alluvial soil soil that was deposited from
    flood waters, very fertile
  • Population grew with the steady farming
  • Steady food supply new job focus
  • Potters, weavers, priests, teachers

4
Alluvial soil
5
Olmec Cities
  • 1150 B.C. San Lorenzo major trade and religious
    center
  • raised mounds in the center of the city for
    religious ceremonies
  • Plazas used for trade centers
  • Housing for priests and nobles
  • 900 B.C. La Venta replaced San Lorenzo as the
    major religious and trade centers

6
Olmec Cities
7
Olmec Culture
  • Daily life farmers or fishers
  • Houses built of earthen mounds, holding several
    dwellings
  • Main task is to provide food for all in the
    village
  • Fish, turtle, maize, beans, peppers
  • City dwellers were the elite upper class
  • Priests and nobels
  • Wore jewelry and fancy clothes
  • Some commoners laborers, craftsworkers
  • Plain clothes

8
Pok-a-tok
  • Ball game played by elite of the village
  • Players thought of as heroes
  • Some games were played to please the Gods with
    human scarafice of the losing team
  • Must hit a 5lb hard rubber ball through a hoop 20
    feet off the ground
  • May only us hips, wrists, elbows, chest or waist
  • Played throughout Mesoamerica

9
Pok-a-tok
10
Art
  • Huge flat faced heads made of basalt
  • Transported from quarries more then 50 miles
    away
  • Each head stands about 6-10 feet tall weighs as
    much as 20 tons
  • Found in La Venta and San Lorenzo
  • It is not known how the huge rocks were move or
    what the heads represent
  • No wheel or pack animals
  • Some feel the heads represent the player of
    pok-a-tok

11
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12
Art
  • Smaller sculptures made of jade, pottery and cave
    paintings
  • Used glyphs to record events, dates and tell
    stories
  • Developed an accurate calendar

13
religion
  • Worshipped many gods
  • Chief god was the jaguar
  • Believed to bring rain
  • Fire god and corn god

14
Olmec Legacy
  • Most cities were a center of trade
  • Mainly luxury items for the elite
  • Knowledge and ideas were exchanged
  • Olmec culture was spread along the trade routes

15
Olmec Legacy
  • 500 B.C. Olmecs abandond their cities for
    unknown reasons
  • 400B.C Olmec civilization had mostly disappeared
  • Huge impact on Mesoamerica
  • Considered to the Mother Culture a way of life
    that strongly influences later cultures
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