Olmec Civilization Essay

Olmec Civilization Essay-9
The first evidence of their remarkable art style appears about 1200 stone slab engraved with symbols that appear to have been the Olmec writing system (sometimes called epi-Olmec, or Isthmian) was discovered in the village of Cascajal, near San Lorenzo.

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The Nahuatl (Aztec) name for these people, Olmecatl, or Olmec in the modern corruption, means “rubber people” or “people of the rubber country.” That term was chosen because the Olmecs extracted latex from Panama rubber trees (La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes in what is now southern Mexico.

Much of what is known about the Olmecs was inferred from archaeological excavations at those sites, which have uncovered large earthen pyramids and platforms and monumental stone carvings.

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Other objects containing glyphs include the Tuxtla Statuette, the Chiapa de Corzo shard, the O’Boyle mask, and the La Mojarra stela (discovered 1986).

The last object, which displays 465 glyphs, greatly facilitated the interpretation of the epi-Olmec language, though many questions remain.

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Scholars have successfully defined the stylistic elements of Olmec art, the most important of which is the tendency to exhibit a monumentality of form in objects of all sizes, including small portable objects.

This monumentality is accomplished largely through a focus on essential forms and smooth surfaces.


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