The Olmecs are especially identified with 17 huge stone heads—ranging in height from 1.47 to 3.4 metres (4.82 to 11.15 feet)—with flat faces and full lips, wearing helmetlike headgear.
Where did the Olmec live in Mexico?
San Lorenzo, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) south of the Gulf of Mexico in the modern Mexican state of Veracruz, was at its height around 1150 to 900 C.E. La Venta, east of San Lorenzo and closer to the Gulf Coast (15 kilometers/9 miles) in the modern Mexican state of Tabasco, reached its height in about 900–500 C.E.
Characteristics. Olmec colossal heads vary in height from 1.47 to 3.4 metres (4.8 to 11.2 ft) and weigh between 6 and 50 tons. All of the Olmec colossal heads depict mature men with flat noses and fleshy cheeks; the eyes tend to be slightly crossed.
Archaeologists theorize that the helmet could have been a protective gear worn in battle or donned with playing the Mesoamerican ballgame. Like the faces themselves, the helmets are all unique and vary in design. Some of the carved heads also feature jaguar paws over the forehead.
The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from 1.17 to 3.4 metres. The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
Overview: The Olmec lived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the modern-day Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz. The Olmec society lasted from about 1600 BCE to around 350 BCE, when environmental factors made their villages unlivable.
The Olmec diet mainly consisted of squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and maize.
In addition to their influence with contemporaneous Mesoamerican cultures, as the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the Olmecs are credited, or speculatively credited, with many “firsts”, including the bloodletting and perhaps human sacrifice, writing and epigraphy, and the invention of popcorn, zero and the
No, though oddly the reason why is not that popcorn is a modern invention, but that popping corn in fact goes back to at least 4700 BCE.
Olmec Heads of Mexico (1200-400 B.C.?) The Olmec heads of Mexico are a collection of 17 giant stone head sculptures believed to have been carved by the Olmecs. The heads, and their inspiration, have been the cause for much debate throughout history.
The Olmecs practiced basic agriculture using the “slash-and-burn” technique, in which overgrown plots of land are burned: this clears them for planting and the ashes act as fertilizer. They planted many of the same crops seen in the region today, such as squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
The Mystery of the Olmec Heads Another key bone of contention surrounding the colossal Olmec heads comes from their distinctive facial features. Some theories suggest that the Olmecs were heavily influenced by early black civilisations, as a result of the supposedly African features the basalt heads possess.
The creation of these heads was a significant undertaking. The basalt boulders and blocks used to carve the heads were located as much as 50 miles away. Archaeologists suggest a laborious process of slowly moving the stones, using a combination of raw manpower, sledges and, when possible, rafts on rivers.
Rapa Nui. Easter Island (Rapa Nui in Polynesian) is a Chilean island in the southern Pacific Ocean famous for it’s stone head statues called Moai. When you first see a Moai statue you are drawn to its disproportionately large head (compared to body length) and that is why they are commonly called “Easter Island Heads”.
What did the plantation workers think the Olmec head was? “In 1862 plantation workers in Huaypan, Veracruz, thought that they had found a large overturned iron kettle buried in the ground. Believing that it might hide a cache of gold, they dug — and dug — and dug, eventually revealing a colossal stone portrait head. 6