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Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The Mysterious Civilization of the Olmecs
It is additionally related that the Olmecs came originally from an island to the North called Atzlan as well. Since crossing from even the American Mainland and the Mississippi delta by sea meets that description and the known existence of such a named city close by the copper fields of lake Superior, it is easy to assign this to a remnant of the Atlantean world ended in 1159 BC. We can assume ample earlier contact as well, but now also reflect that this was an ideal refugia and that the establishment was itself never driven by copper itself.
It is important to understand that the artwork is also naturally indigenous. I took that lesson through Southern India once. Wonderful ancient statues looked fantastically stylized until i met a comparable family walking down my street. Let us expect nothing else in this case.
Thus we have a scenario that fits our timelines in wghich Mexico and Mayaland was a successor effernessence of the collapsed Atlantean world which thrived globally between 2500 BC and 1159B for fifteen hundred years at least. That is also when it is most visible in the archeological record.
is perhaps most well-known, archaeologically speaking, as the home of
the Aztec civilization. Yet, before the arrival of the Aztecs,
another sophisticated civilization, the Olmecs, ruled the region for
almost 1000 years. Although pre-Olmec cultures had already existed in
the region, the Olmecs have been called the cultura
meaning the ‘mother culture’, of Central America. In other words,
many of the distinctive features of later Central American
civilizations can be traced to the Olmecs. So, who were the Olmecs,
and what was their culture like?
Olmec civilization flourished roughly between 1200 BC and 400 BC, an
era commonly known as Central America’s Formative Period. Sites
containing traces of the Olmec civilization are found mainly on the
southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, specifically in the states of
Veracruz and Tabasco. Although the Olmecs did have a system of
writing, only few of their inscriptions are available to
archaeologists at present. Moreover, there is not enough continuous
Olmec script for archaeologist to decipher the language. As a result,
much of what we know about the Olmec civilization is dependent on the
Olmec/Zapotec center, Monte Albán, near the city of Oaxaca, Mexico.
a start, the Olmecs left behind much of their artwork. The most
famous of these are arguably the so-called ‘colossal heads’.
These representations of human heads are carved from basalt boulders,
and at present, at least seventeen of such objects have been found.
The colossal heads measure between one and three metres in height,
and seem to represent a common subject, i.e. mature men with fleshy
cheeks, flat noses, and slightly crossed eyes. Incidentally, such
physical features are still common amongst the people of Veracruz and
Tabasco, indicating the colossal heads may be representations of the
Olmecs themselves. Given the amount of resources needed to produce
such objects, it may be speculated that these heads depict the Olmec
elites or rulers, and were used as a symbol of power, perhaps like
the colossal heads of Jayavarman VII at Angkor Thom in Cambodia.
stone head of the Olmecs. Source: BigStockPhoto
addition, the Olmecs also produced miniature versions of these giant
heads. One such object is a ‘stone mask’ in the British Museum.
In contrast to the colossal heads, this mask, which is made of
serpentine, is only 13 cm high. This mask has similar facial features
to the colossal heads.
such features can be seen in the descendants of the Olmecs, some
scholars have speculated that the mask represented an African,
Chinese or even a Mediterranean face. The mask also has four holes on
its front, speculated to represent the four cardinal points of the
compass. As the Olmec ruler was believed to be the most important
axis in the world centre, it has been suggested that the mask
represented an Olmec ruler. Furthermore, there are numerous circular
holes on the face, indicating that face piercings and plugs were used
by the Olmecs. Due to the lack of Olmec skeletons (they have been
dissolved by the acidic soil of the rainforest), this mask may be the
closest we can get to seeing what the Olmecs looked like.
400 B.C., the Olmecs mysteriously vanished, the cause of which is
still unknown. Although the Olmecs were only rediscovered by
archaeologists relatively recently, i.e. after the Second World War,
they were by no means a forgotten civilization. After all, the word
Olmec itself (meaning ‘rubber people’) can be found in the Aztec
language. It seems that the ‘Mesoamerican ballgame’, which was
observed by the Spanish when they encountered the Aztecs, was
invented by the Olmecs. As this game involved the use of a rubber
ball, this may be the reason why the Olmecs were named as such by the
Aztecs. This ballgame and several other features of Olmec
civilization may be found in subsequent Central American
civilizations. Thus, the Olmecs had a considerable amount of
influence on these later cultures. As so little is known about the
Olmecs today, it would require much more work and research to gain a
greater understanding and appreciation of their importance to
succeeding Central American societies.
depiction of a Mesoamerican ball game (Image
image: An Olmec style face adorns the side of the Mask Temple at the
Mayan site of Lamanai in Belize. Source: BigStockPhoto