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Olmec Art
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Olmec Art was the art of several tribes of people who lived in the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. These tribes have not been identified separately. Although this art was very primitive, the interesting thing about the art of these peoples is that there is no art that has been identified as leading up to the Olmec Art. Although it is difficult to date the art specifically, the civilizations are thought to have flourished between 800 B.C. through about 600 A.D.These people are believed to have had a great influence on other civilizations in the area such as the Tajin, Maya and Zapotec peoples.

There has also been some evidence discovered that shows that the language was akin to the Mayan language. There have been no buildings of any size that have been identified as having been built by the them; however, there have been altars, tombs, pillars and statues attributed to them. Huge heads, measuring over eight and one half feet high and weighing up to forty tons, were sculpted by the them. The heads were put onto pedestals and had Negroid features. They also designed sculptures that used pieces of blue-green jade. They seemed to be pre-occupied with deformed people: sculptures that show hunchbacks, dwarfs and fat children were common. They used jade to carve ceremonial axes and statues. The Olmec altars were made out of huge pieces of basalt and featured flat tops, as well as human figures in relief.

The Olmec civilization developed a written language in hieroglyphics, a calendar, and arithmetic that was done using dots and dashes.

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