The Olmec Civilization

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The emergence of the Olmec civilization within the American web Compared to their counterparts of the Old World Web, the metropolitan webs in the Americas have emerged at a later date and in distinguished dimensions. The Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the earliest appearing civilizations in Central America, which is also known as Mesoamerica. As a part of the Human Web, the Olmec civilization contributed to the exchange and spread of knowledge and information, having its own impact on the earth´s history. Factors such as cooperation and competition have also been important elements for the thickening and growing human webs throughout Mesoamerica (McNeill and McNeill 3-6). How could this particular civilization be situated…show more content…
In this period of time, which belongs to the so called” pre-Columbian era” , Mexican and Peruvian centers tended to expand by interacting with each other and spreading their influence . This phenomenon has been the turning point for the emergence of the metropolitan webs in the Americas (McNeill and McNeill 108-110). As a significant component of the Mexican centers, the Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the first civilizations in the Americas. Appearing at about 1300 B.C.E, the Olmec civilizations were located in the tropical lowlands of Mexico´s Gulf coast in the present-day states of Tabasco and Veracruz. The Olmec have built their cities upon high areas surrounded by swampy landscapes, which were centered by artificial pyramid-mountains serving as temples. Every Olmec site had its own channeled water system, providing plants with water for agricultural purposes (Mann 18-19). Although details are not clear and based on numerous hypotheses, several discoveries and findings have attested that the Olmec have had a significant influence on the political and social development of subsequent civilizations in Mesoamerica. By way of example, the Mayan are known to have inherited various elements of the Olmec´s enriched culture and worldview (McNeill and McNeill 110). Furthermore, similarities between the raised gardening fields in the Andean high plains, called “Altiplanos” and the Olmec´s “distinctive technique for intensifying agricultural output” (McNeill and McNeill 110)have been discovered, which may demonstrate the influence and spread of the Olmec´s intensive wetland agricultural practices. Fundamental grain plants domesticated and cultivated by the Olmec, were maize crops. Different types of such crops and its surplus production enabled a trade network within Mesoamerica, spreading all over the American continent. In addition
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