The first complex civilization to develop in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec, who inhabited the gulf coast region of Veracruz throughout the Preclassic period. The main sites of the Olmec include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes.
What was the first culture in Mesoamerica?
Struggles for control of this rich but limited farmland resulted in a dominant landowning class that shaped the first great Mesoamerican civilization, the Olmec. San Lorenzo, the oldest known Olmec centre, dates to about 1150 bce, a time when the rest of Mesoamerica was at best on a Neolithic level.
Appearing around 1600 BCE, the Olmec were among the first Mesoamerican complex societies, and their culture influenced many later civilizations, like the Maya. The Olmec are known for the immense stone heads they carved from a volcanic rock called basalt.
Scientists are typically split between two theories on the subject: Either the Maya developed directly from an older “mother culture” known as the Olmec, or they sprang into existence independently.
The Olmecs were the first civilization of Mesoamerica,they were located in the hot and swamp lowlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico South of Veracruz.
Preclassic/Formative The first complex civilization to develop in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec, who inhabited the gulf coast region of Veracruz throughout the Preclassic period.
Some of the most well-known Mesoamerican cultures are the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, and Mexica (or Aztec). Typically when we discuss Mesoamerican art we are referring to art made by peoples in Mexico and much of Central America.
Origins. The beginnings of Olmec civilization have traditionally been placed between 1400 and 1200 BCE. It seems that the Olmec had their roots in early farming cultures of Tabasco, which began between 5100 BCE and 4600 BCE. These shared the same basic food crops and technologies of the later Olmec civilization.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
The Olmec people are believed to have occupied a large part of modern-day Southern Mexico. The Olmec civilization is what is known as an archaeological culture. This means there is a collection of artifacts thought by archaeologists to represent a particular society.
The Mayans are an older people and were around a thousand years before the Aztecs even arrived in Central America. The Aztecs were the dominant culture in Mexico at the time of Cortez’s arrival in Mexico in the 1500s.
The Olmec civilization developed and flourished at such sites as La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, eventually succeeded by the Epi-Olmec culture between 300–250 BCE. The Zapotec civilization arose in the Valley of Oaxaca, the Teotihuacan civilization arose in the Valley of Mexico.
MATOS MOCTEZUMA: The Aztec was fundamentally a culture based on war and agriculture. Their two most important deities were Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, the god of rain. The duality of war and agriculture was crucial for the Aztec economy.
The Olmec were great traders and engaged with cultures throughout Mexico and Central America. The Olmec are known for their stone sculptures with the colossal stone heads being the most famous.
Explain the role of human sacrifice in Aztec religion. The Aztecs especially believed in human sacrifice because of their devotion for to the god Huitzilopochtli, who demanded sacrifice in return for military success.
The Olmec people lived on fertile coastal lowlands along the Gulf of Mexico. The Olmec culture is referred to by historians as the mother culture of Mesoamerica because the culture so strongly influenced later societies. Although they were a fierce warrior society, settled down the ways of the Toltec people.