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Olmec Head


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Olmec (ňl´mčk, ol´-) noun
plural Olmec or  Olmecs
1. An early Mesoamerican Indian civilization centered in the Veracruz region of southeast Mexico that flourished before the internal linkMaya and whose cultural influence was widespread throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
2. A member of any of various peoples who contributed to the Olmec civilization.

World History
History Begins: 4000-1000 BC

Olmecs settled (1500 bc) on the Gulf coast of Mexico and soon developed the first civilization in the western hemisphere. Temple cities and huge stone sculpture date from 1200 bc. A rudimentary calendar and writing system existed. Olmec religion, centering on a jaguar god, and Olmec art forms influenced all later Meso-American cultures.


Olmec, Mesoamerican indigenous people who established the region's first major native civilization. They lived along the central coast of the Gulf of Mexico, just west of the Yucatán Peninsula in the swampy jungle river basins of the present-day Mexican states of Vera Cruz and Tabasco. Over internal linktime, they extended their influence through the highlands of Mexico, the Valley of Mexico, known as the Anáhuac, Oaxaca, and westwards to Guerrero. The Olmec flourished between about 1500 and 600 BC. San Lorenzo, their oldest known center, was destroyed around 900 BC. It was replaced by La Venta, a city built in an axial pattern that influenced urban development in Central America for centuries. A mounded earthen pyramid about 30 m (100 ft) high, among the earliest in Mesoamerica, was the center of a complex of temples and plazas.

The Olmec were the first to use stone architecturally and sculpturally, even though it had to be quarried in the Tuxtla Mountains, some 97 km (60 mi) to the west of Tula. Their colossal stone heads of males, about 2.7 m (9 ft) high, can be seen today, along with other Olmec artifacts, in the city of Villahermosa, Mexico. Their writing, a numerical system, was the precursor of Mesoamerican writing. The Olmec civilization established patterns of culture that influenced its successors for centuries to come.

Olmec (noun)

ethnos: Algonquian, internal linkAnasazi, Apache, Aztec, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Chikcha, Chickasaw, Crow, internal linkHopiinternal linkIncainternal linkMaya, Navajo, Olmec, Pueblo, Toltec, internal linkSiouxinternal linkZuni

Jade Carving Outside China
The Indians, most notably the Islamic Mughals, practiced a degree of jade work. In pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America under the Olmec, Aztec, and Mayan rulers, splendid ceremonial objects- axes, knives, masks, and large animal figures- were produced.

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atomjacked Olmec Head Ashtray

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The Olmecs probably founded writing in the Mexico. Dr. Coe, in _Olmec Jaguar and Olmec Kings_ (1968), suggested that the beliefs of the Maya were of Olmec origin and that the pre Maya were Olmecs (1968,p.103). This agreed with Brainerd and Sharer's, The ancient Maya (1983,p.65) concept of colonial Olmec at Maya sites. Moreover, this view is supported by the appearance of jaguar stucco mask pyramids (probably built by the Olmecs) under Mayan pyramids e.g., Cerros Structure 5-C-2nd, Uxaxacatun pyramid and structure 5D-22 at Tikal. This would conform to Schele and Freidel's belief that the monumental structures of the Maya were derived from Olmec prototypes.

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If we look at the Mesoamerican cultural scene around 550 BCE, what we find is the climax of what is considered the first advanced stage of high civilization in this part of the world, the Olmec.  The name Olmec literally means "rubber people"," for it is the Olmec who supposedly invented the ritual ball game and the use of the rubber ball.  Having begun their rise to civilization around 1500 BCE, the Olmec are characterized by powerful stone and jade sculptures depicting helmeted jaguar or feline-faced creatrues.  It is assumed that the religious basis of the Olmec grew out of a late Neolithic internal linkshamanic culture centered around the Nagual, or spirt of the jaguar.  The Olmec also included among their rites the ingesion of the internal linkhallucinogenicinternal linkmushroominternal linkpsilocybin, called by natives, teonanacatl, flesh of the gods.

 - internal linkJose Arguelles - _The Mayan Factor_ 

spores from space... psilocybin...

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first mention of Olmecs in internal linkUsenet:

From: jdj55611@ihuxk.UUCP (jdj55611@ihuxk.UUCP)
Subject: Re: Native American Origins
Newsgroups: net.religion
Date: 1983-09-19 16:32:50 PST


"To judge from their art, the Olmecs comprised two contrasting ethnic types: One was remarkably Negroid, with thick lips, flat broad nose, and a round face... The other Olmec type is strikingly different, sometimes representing an almost Semitic type, with narrow face, sharp profile, strongly hooked nose, thin lips, and a beard that can vary from a small goatee to a full beard... Since neither of the two contrasting Olmec types - the Negroid and the Semitic - bears the slightest resemblance to any ethnic group known to have existed in aboriginal America, whereas both represent physical types characteristic of the ancient civilizations of the Old World, their sudden appearance as culture-bringers in the New World, just in the area where the natural ocean conveyer arrives from Africa, has led to a flurry of speculation..."

                                Thor Heyerdahl in
                                `The Quest for America'

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