Olmecs America's First Civilization

ISBN-10: 0500285039

ISBN-13: 9780500285039

Edition: 2006

Authors: Richard A. Diehl

List price: $22.50
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The Olmecs of southern Mexico are America's oldest civilization and Mesoamerica's "Mother Culture." Famous for their Colossal Heads carved from giant boulders, the Olmecs have fascinated the public and archaeologists since the 1940s when National Geographic magazine reported the initial explorations of their centers. Despite well-publicized discoveries of spectacular basalt sculptures, portable jade objects, and richly decorated pottery vessels, until recently almost nothing was known about Olmec history, foreign contacts, and daily life. Now archaeologists have recovered information that allows them to assemble a remarkably broad picture of Olmec culture, its accomplishments, and its impact on later Mexican civilizations. The Olmecs presents the first modern overview of information from recent archaeological field projects and studies of Olmec art. In addition to detailed coverage of Olmec life, culture, and art, it examines the Olmec presence in the surrounding areas of Mexico and their role in the formation of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilization. Profusely illustrated, it will become the standard work on this enigmatic culture.
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Book details

List price: $22.50
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 10/7/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Chronological Table
Olmec studies: a short history
The Olmec world
Olman in the eyes of the Aztecs
Olman in the eyes of the Spanish conquistadors
Olman's pre-Olmec inhabitants
The origins of Olmec culture: the Ojochi, Bajio, and Chicharras phase (1500-1200 BC)
San Lorenzo's Realm
San Lorenzo's Olmec occupation
San Lorenzo in the tenth century BC
San Lorenzo's Royal Compound
San Lorenzo sculpture
San Lorenzo's Realm
San Lorenzo's contemporaries
San Lorenzo's demise
La Venta's Realm
La Venta's Olmec history
La Venta at its height
La Venta's formal entrances: Complexes D and I
La Venta's Royal Compound
La Venta's hidden sanctuary: Complex A
La Venta sculpture
La Venta as a sacred landscape
La Venta's hinterland
La Venta's contemporaries
La Venta's demise and the end of Olmec culture
Olmec Daily Life and Culture
Olmec villages and hamlets
Diet and subsistence
Social and political organization
Writing, calendrics, and astronomy
Religious practitioners
Olmec Art
Monumental sculpture
Colossal Heads
Full-figured human and animal sculptures
Olmec uses of sculpture
Monument carvings and transport
Greenstone objects
Ornaments and ritual paraphernalia
The Olmecs Abroad: Eastern Mesoamerica
Olmec horizons
The Early Olmec horizon
The Early Olmec horizon outside the Soconusco
The Late Olmec horizon in eastern Mesoamerica
The Olmecs Abroad: Western Mesoamerica
The Basin of Mexico and the Tlatilco culture during the Early Olmec horizon
Life in Tlatilco-culture times
Cave paintings
The Late Olmec horizon and Chalcatzingo
Epi-Olmec Culture
Tres Zapotes: Olmec village and Epi-Olmec capital
Epi-Olmec art
Epi-Olmec intellectual achievements: writing, calendrics, and astronomy
The Olmec legacy
Guide to Olmec Sites
Notes to the Text
Further Reading
Sources of Illustrations
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