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Mesoamerican civilizations hg

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  • 1. Mesoamerican Civilizations
  • 2. Possible Migration Route
  • 3. The Olmecs Mesoamerica’s Mother Culture
  • 4.
    • Early Mesoamerican civilizations
      • The Olmec (means “rubber people” in Nahuatl) created the Americas’ first civilization, which in turn influenced later civilizations
  • 5.
        • Olmec beginnings
          • Civilization began in Mesoamerica around 1200 B.C
          • Mesoamerica—central Mexico to northern Honduras
          • Olmecs were the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica
          • Olmecs—people who created earliest civilization in southern Mexico
  • 6. Olmec Heartland
  • 7.
    • The rise of Olmec civilization
      • First sign of Olmec culture: massive (44 tons) sculpture of head found in 1860 (may have represented particular Olmec rulers)
      • Olmec lived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico until 400 B.C.
  • 8.
    • Gulf Coast geography
      • Area hot and humid, with swamps, jungles, thick vegetation
      • Heavy rainfalls led to flooding
      • Area has resources: salt, tar, clay for pottery, wood, rubber, stone
      • Rivers provided transportation, fertile land for farming
      • San Lorenzo, oldest Olmec site, dates to 1150 B.C.
  • 9.
        • Olmecs Society
          • San Lorenzo had earthen mounds, pyramids, sculptures
          • La Venta had 100-foot-high mound of clay and earth, possibly a tomb
          • Olmec probably worshipped nature gods, including jaguar spirit (believed a woman procreated with a jaguar God, which then created a man-jaguar race)
  • 10.
      • Trade and Commerce
        • Olmec trade spanned north and south !!!
        • Trade spread Olmec influence
      • Decline of the Olmec
        • Reasons for Olmec collapse—by 400 B.C.—not known (outsie invaders; destroyed monuments upon death of rulers)
  • 11.
      • The early Mesoamericans’ legacy
        • The Olmec left their mark
          • Olmec art and construction affected future cultures like the Maya
          • Olmec developed ceremonial centers, ritual ball games, and ruling class
          • Later cultures in Mesoamerica adopted Olmec ways
            • Influenced Mayan writing system
            • Origin of the Mayan calendar system
  • 12. Summary!
    • Write a summary at the bottom of your Cornell notes…
    • Then turn your summary into a haiku!