How did the Olmec influence the Mayans?
Two other similarities between these three civilizations are the use of a calendar, which they used to predict eclipses, schedule religious ceremonies, and determine when to plant/harvest crops, and go off to war, (more so the Mayas and the Aztecs), and they all had some form of a writing system.
The key to the Olmecs’ rise appears to have been a strong, centralized monarchy. The colossal heads, each one depicting a particular individual, are likely portraits of the Olmec kings who ruled from ornate palaces at San Lorenzo and La Venta.
The Olmec may have given Mesoamerica its first written language as well. Undecipherable designs on certain pieces of Olmec stonework may be early glyphs: later societies, such as the Maya, would have elaborate languages using glyphic writing and would even develop books.
The Maya also borrowed other Olmec innovations and added to them. They developed two kinds of calendars. One had 260 days and was used to keep track of religious events. The other had 365 days, just like our modern calendar.
Archaeological evidence also suggests that they originated the Mesoamerican practices of the Mesoamerican Ballgame —a popular game in the pre-Columbian Americas played with balls made from solid rubber—and that they may have practiced ritual bloodletting.
The civilizations of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca that once flourished in Central and South America shared common elements. People practiced farming, developed social structures, raised armies, and worshipped many gods. The three civilizations were as diverse as the terrains in which they lived.
Olmec art lived on in ancient Mesoamerican aesthetic traditions as well. The sculptors and painters in Olmec-period Mexico were the first to portray many of the iconic features of self-proclaimed divine rulers in Mesoamerica.
The Olmec cities were ruled by a family of ruler-shamans who wielded enormous power over their subjects. This is seen in their public works: the colossal heads are a good example. Geological records show that the sources of the stone used in the San Lorenzo heads were found some 50 miles away.
Which statement best describes the political structure of the ancient Mayas? The Mayas developed city-states that were powerful but independent. The Maya civilization included different groups unified under a single religion. The Maya civilization was ruled by an emperor and had about four hundred tribute states.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
What was one similarity between the Mayas, the Incas, and the Aztecs? They all built temples.
The Olmec diet initially included foods from fishing and hunting. The Olmec created massive monuments, including colossal stone heads, thrones, stela (upright slabs), and statues. They may have been the originators of the Mesoamerican ball game, a ceremonial team sport played throughout the region for centuries.
Contributions. The Olmecs were apparently the first Mesoamerican people to fathom the concept of zero, develop a calendar, and create a hieroglyphic writing system. Also, they are credited for the discovery of the first conduit drainage system known in the Americas.
The Maya adopted many practices established by the Olmec, including ritual bloodletting, the Mesoamerican ballgame, and the Long Count calendar.