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The Olmec Civilization prospered in ______

in the pre classical Mesoamerica from 1200 BCE to c. 400

Which civilization is considered the forerunner of all Mesoamerican cultures such as the maya and Aztecs?

The Olmec Civilization

How big was the Olemc civilization?

It was centered in the Gulf of mexico, current day Veracruz and Tabasco. It spread as wide as the present day Nicaragua

Corn was first cultivated in _______?


The Olmec Civilization dates back from _____ BCE to about _____ BCE

from 1400BCE to about 400BCE

what does the term "Olmec heartland" describe?

It describes an era in the Gulf lowlands that is generally considered the birthplace of the Olmec culture

What are some of the geographical characteristics of the Olmec heartland?

It is a swampy lowland punctuated by low hills, ridges and Volcanoes.

The Olmec first appeared within the city of _____

San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, where olmec features appear around 1400BCE

What are some reasons for the rise of the Olmec civilization?

The rise of the Olmec civilization can be credited to the local ecology of well watered alluvial soil, also the transportation network provided by the coatzacoalcos river

what was the key advantage of the Olmec civilization?


what was the first civilization of the Americas?

The Olmec civilization

what did the Olmec civilization develop?

They developed the calendar

______ was the largest and best presented city build by the Olmecs

La venta

The important Olmec mountain sites were _____

El Manati, Chalcatzingo and Oxtotilan

Gods from Olmec art are given ______ instead of names


Was bloodletting a common practice of the Olmec people?

Bloodletting was a common practice

Which animals did the Olmec people regard as being top of the food chain?

jaguars, eagles, caimans, snakes and sharks

What special significance did the Olmecs have for jaguars, eagles, caimans, snakes and sharks?

They identified them as divine beings. They also believed that their rulers could transform themselves at will into such creatures

What is a were-jaguar?

It is a creation of the Olmecs that is a cross between humans and jaguars which may have been their supreme deity

The Olmecs believed that _____ dwarves held up the sky

four dwarves

Did the Olmecs worship the sky-dragon?

Yes they did

The Rain baby is described as _____?

a toothless human baby with an open mouth and cleft head

The colossal stone heads of the Olmec civilization were carved in?


What did the colossal stone heads portray?

They portrayed the actual rulers

How heavy were the stone heads?

they were 8 tons in weight, and nearly 3 m high and the stones that the heads were curved from were transported from upto 80 kilometers away

How were the stones transported?

using huge balsa rafts

why do the stones only show the head?

It comes from a belief in mesoamerica tradition that the head bores the soul

What do the Olmec curvings and paintings normally depict?

They depict seated rulers

what are some materials used in olmec curving?

Jade and ceramic

what is the kune Axe?

It is one of the most significant jade curvings