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olmec social structure

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olmec social structure

[79] Studies of the Tuxtla Mountain settlements, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) away, indicate that this area was composed of more or less egalitarian communities outside the control of lowland centers. To deal with these conflicts between different groups, strong leadership could be critical. The second theory suggests that elites descended from families who acquired the best farms, thus gaining control. In spite of only having Stone Age technology, the Olmecs were able to make several sorts of tools which made their life easier. Without enjoying the influence of political and religious elites, they were respected. We use cookies to provide our online service. Of course, a higher elite arose as inequalities in wealth and land came out of the woodwork, and over time became the rulers that governed and controlled the laboring lower class. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Although many mysteries remain, ongoing work by archaeologists, anthropologists, and other researchers has given us something of a glimpse into what Olmec life might have been like. Elisa Ramirez. Social structure. 87 (Sept-Oct 2007). Little is known about the ways of political and social structure within both the Olmec and Chavin civilizations. It was a decisive factor in establishing social configurations in the Olmec communities. Being on the coast, it was an important fishing area, and there were also rubber and cocoa crops. Olmec Homes . diego_cue [ CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Andean and Chavín civilizations. The Olmec culture is remembered today in part because it was the first Mesoamerican culture to produce small cities, most notably San Lorenzo and La Venta (their original names are unknown). The Olmec culture Was the first great civilization, outstanding for its great architectural works. They also had sports activities with balls made with natural rubber. Whenever it was introduced, it soon became very important: one of the Olmec Gods is associated with maize. Next lesson. Over time, political and religious power began to spread moderately. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. However, they did form part of the web of small and medium populations with common aesthetic and religious references. Fruit trees such as zapote or papaya were common in villages. Pristine civilizations are those that developed somewhere without any significant influence from previous civilizations. Retrieved from: olmec.info. The Olmec. Tres Zapotes- seemed to have flourished from 1500- 400 B.C.E. Although it is assumed by most researchers that the colossal heads and several other sculptures represent rulers, nothing has been found like the Maya stelae (see drawing) which name specific rulers and provide the dates of their rule. Understanding the Olmec culture is very important to modern-day researchers and archaeologists. There were stands for the crowd at the sides and teams could not touch the ball. also utilized the use of rubber. This meant that the elites and the wealthy held the power within society. Social Classes in the Olmec and Chavin Civilizations Social Class Systems . The Olmec also played the ritualistic Mesoamerican ball game. Priests eventually became known as Shaman-Kings or Priest-Kings with supposed divine powers. Nomadic societies are likely to be egalitarian because. Retrieved from sites.google.com. Describe the social structure that developed in the Olmec civilization? Still have questions? The Olmecs preferred to make settlements near water, as the floodplains were good for agriculture and fish and shellfish could be had more easily. The most easily recognizable pieces are the massive colossal heads, some of which are nearly ten feet tall. It is known that the Olmecs performed rituals with human sacrifices. Many of the Olmec gods, such as the Rain God and Feathered Serpent, would go on to form part of the pantheon of later Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztec and Maya. Ancient History Encyclopedia: Olmec civilization. Cyphers, Ann. Evidence of this are the drawings of warriors armed at war and weapons found. P. 30-35. They were predecessors of Incas and mayas , heirs of many of its structures. Olmec Social Life. The Olmec World. Grove, David C. "Cerros Sagradas Olmecas." What if 3/4 of the human population died from a disease? Retrieved from books.google.com. The priests and the ruling elite were practically the same. A vital part of the Olmec diet was nixtamal, a special sort of corn meal ground with seashells, lime or ashes, the addition of which greatly enhances the nutritional value of the cornmeal. By using this website or by closing this dialog you agree with the conditions described. Priests came from the powerful families and they themselves held the most wealth and best lands. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004. They formed alliances with the peoples with whom they traded, for example Monte Albán and Teotihuacan . Arqueología Mexicana Vol XV - Num. During the day, they were the ones who were in charge of accomplishing all the necessary tasks for the good operation of the settlements. [80], describe social structure developed olmec civilization. Little is directly known about the societal or political structure of Olmec society.

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