Olmec Civilization, Specialization, & The Origins Of Agriculture — Common Threads

February 17, 2015 in Humans

The Olmec Civilization was one of the largest and most influential cultural centers to emerge in the Americas over the last 10,000 or so years — and was responsible for, amongst other things, domesticating a fair number of the plants that are commonly eaten as food throughout the world today.

The culture’s earliest known center of activity was the city of “San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan” — where clearly recognizable “Olmec” features were first visible sometime around 1600 BC (3600 years ago).

This is when the giant “colossal heads” first started appearing, as well as some of the earliest evidence of the mesoamerican ball game (including rubber balls, and “stadiums”), ceremonial axes, “baby face” figurines/depictions, the feathered serpent, the long count calendar, and cocoa (what we make chocolate out of), amongst other things.

Olmec jaguar man mask
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