Social Structure Of The Olmec Community

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Olmec The term Olmec refers to the culture of a group of Mexican inhabitants who lived in the coastal plains of the modern cities of Tabasco and Veracruz, between 1200 and 400 BC this area was also referred to as the heartland due to the large population in this community and their monuments. These inhabitants form one of the most fascinating communities to ever exist. They were the first society in Mexico according to archeologists, and it is after this group that all other inhabitants of Mesoamerica followed. The community inhabited forests, savannas, and along rivers of the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, quite little is known of the Olmec’s community but what remains clear is that the group followed a 365-day year, constructed pyramids…show more content…
It is though understood by most researchers that the huge heads and a number of other sculptures represent their leaders. However, they have not yet found anything to document regarding leadership like the case with Maya society, which named the exact leaders and provide their respective reigning dates. Alternatively, archaeologists had to depend on the little information gathered to document the community’s social systems. This information provided indication of substantial centralization within the Olmec region, first at La Venta and then San Lorenzo. No other Olmec locations come close to these in terms the amount and superiority of structural designs and architecture. This indication of geographic and demographic centralization guides the archaeologists to suggest that Olmec civilization was hierarchical, concentrated first at La Venta and then moved to San Lorenzo. However, there is no evidence of institutional organizations that matches any of the modern societies. There is also no indication that La Venta or San Lorenzo controlled, even throughout their peaceful times, all of the Olmec heartland. There is some uncertainty, for instance, that La Venta controlled up to Arroyo Sonso which is some 33 kilometers away. Researchers of the Tuxtla Mountain inhabitants, some 60 kilometers away, signified that this region was composed of democratic societies without much presence of central…show more content…
The leaders appeared to have been the most significant spiritual figures, with their associations to the Olmec gods providing authenticity for their ruling. There is also substantial indication for shamans in the Olmec archaeological documentation, mainly in the so-called transformation figures. As Olmec legends have left no records similar to the popup Vuh from Maya legends, any explanation of Olmec tradition must be founded on explanation of surviving colossal and portable artifacts and any connection with other Mesoamerican

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