The most dominant civilization of this period was the Olmecs, which flourished from 1200 AD to 400 BC.
The Olmec lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in what are roughly the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
Most of Olmec art is naturalistic (most notably ‘The Wrestler’)
The Olmecs created heavy-featured, colossal heads, up to 2 meters (8 ft) high. The heads were carved from single blocks or boulders of volcanic basalt, found in the Tuxtlas Mountains.
Photo of Olmec Head number 6 from San Lorenzo
The twisted arms give the statue a sense of movement. Some believe that this is a shaman rather than a wrestler. Many researchers consider it an early work, dated as early as 1200 BCE. However, others consign it belonging to a period closer to 400 BCE, the end of the Olmec culture.
A famous work from the Olmec culture, “The Wrestler”
Chichen Itza was a major regional focal point in the northern Maya lowlands. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called “Mexicanized” and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern lowlands.