Mesoamerican civilizations hg

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Mesoamerican civilizations hg

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

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