Colossal Heads Essay

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Colossal Heads The region of Southern Veracruz and Tabasco Mexico is known as the "Heartland" of the Olmec. Although little is known about the Olmec domestic life, they had an advanced social and economic system. Living in the fertile Gulf Coast, they had a successful agriculture base. "The fertile Gulf plain allowed for an agricultural surplus" (Miller pg21). However the most remarkable of the existing pieces of the Olmec are their carvings of the Colossal Heads. The discovery of a colossal head in the nineteenth century spurred the first archaeological investigations of Olmec culture by Matthew Sterling. He along with his wife explored and excavated Tres Zapotes, La Ventana and San Lorenzo during 1930's and 1940's. "He and his wife Marion were led to the site of San Lorenzo by a report of a stoned eye looking up from a trail" (Coe pg66).San Lorenzo had first been settled about 1700 BC by Mixo-Zoqueans, but by 1500 BC it became thoroughly Olmec. The Olmec culture lasted about a thousand years. Most of the colossal heads were produces sometime between 1200 BC and 900 BC during the Preclassic Period. All of the heads are realistic descriptions of men. However, they all wear the same or similar "football" shape helmet. It's likely, they were portraits of living rulers. Proof of this is, the fact that each of the faces have a distinct look and personality, signifying individuals of great power and importance; "Each face is different, suggesting that they may represent specific individuals" (Stokstad pg380).Researchers believe, these monuments could have been carved after a ruler had passed away: as a form of commemoration. In some case, the heads may have been carved out of the ruling king’s throne. “ the throne were then re-sculpted and transformed into colossal heads” (Domenici pg3). Formal analysis for the Olmec Colossal Heads: The enormous heads all have
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