Olmec writing system

Over time, that hieroglyph became a Phoenician letter, dalet, which then became the Greek letter delta, and finally the Roman letter D, which arrived in England along with most of the rest of the modern alphabet from continental Europe more than years ago. Although it too eventually fell out of use, it still survives in modern-day Icelandic. Nowadays, D is one of the most frequently used letters of our alphabet, accounting for just over 4 percent of a standard page of English text or one out of every 25 lettersand roughly 2.

Olmec writing system

Olmec area of inhabitation.

Mesoamerican writing systems - Wikipedia

It appears the Olmec culture developed alone. Most cultures develop with outside influences by engaging in activities such as trade and immigration. The Olmec had several firsts in the Americas.

They developed the first monumental architecture and first signs of city planning. They were the first known people to use a writing system in the Americas. Another first was the use of chocolate, which was their preferred drink. Mesoamerican Ball Game and Equipment Author provided Evidence is not solely based upon Olmec influence at the oldest known ball courts, but also from several rubber balls discovered at a sacrificial bog called El Manati.

Although archaeologists know that these Yugitos were involved in the Mesoamerican ball games, it is uncertain how they were used.


Author provided The Olmecs are the earliest known civilization in the Americas to have used mathematics and had the concept of zero. The first calendar in long count format was discovered in the Olmec region of Tres Zapotes on the lower half of Stela C.

Olmec, Maya, and Aztec writing and calendar systems. They took advantage of the fertile land. San Lorenzo The first major city of the Olmec civilization was San Lorenzo, with a population of at least 15, It had a very elaborate drainage system that may have helped its success.

The Olmecs achieved this feat by using carved stone pipes with lids. San Lorenzo had vast influence and political power in Mesoamerica.

Ten amazing colossal heads were discovered there. The colossal heads represented rulers or elites. They differ from one another in facial characteristics and size.

Each was also carefully carved with a distinctive headdress. The largest head at the San Lorenzo is 9. The San Lorenzo colossal heads were at the center of the site and formed two lines oriented north-south.

It had thousands of inhabitants and was about hectares; though the power and influence of the city spread much further. Many people there had jobs such in farming, fishing, and moving stone blocks from distant quarries.

Traders also ventured into the distant valleys of Mexico and beyond, bringing back cacao, bright feathers, obsidian, and jadeite. Others were members of the priesthood and the elite or ruling class.

La Venta was built on top of a ridge along the Palma river. The royal compound existed at the very top. Four colossal heads were found at La Venta and three of the four were oriented in a line east-west.

Olmec writing system

The placement of these monuments at both La Venta and San Lorenzo is very intriguing. Author provided La Venta had a Great Pyramid, which is thought to have been an important ceremonial and political center. Building of the pyramid is estimated to have begun around BC. It was the largest Mesoamerican structure of its time.

It is feet It has never been excavated and scans of the area show a few interesting anomalies. There are other structures underneath the city - offerings to the gods.


These include more than 1, tons of polished serpentine blocks, more than 48 individual deposits of pottery, hematite mirrors, jade celts, and complex mosaics. Great Pyramid at La Venta. Author provided Tres Zapotes Tres Zapotes is the third major city.

InJose Melgar discovered the first Olmec colossal head there. This led to the first archaeological explorations in the area five years later. It also shows artistic influences from several other groups.In the late 20th century a stone slab engraved with symbols that appear to have been the Olmec writing system (sometimes called epi-Olmec, or Isthmian) was discovered in the village of Cascajal, near San Lorenzo.

The Cascajal stone dates to approximately bce and may be the oldest example of writing from the Americas. Other objects containing glyphs include the Tuxtla Statuette, the Chiapa. Zapotec writing. Another candidate for earliest writing system in Mesoamerica is the writing system of the Zapotec culture.

Rising in the late Pre-Classic era after the decline of the Olmec civilization, the Zapotecs of present-day Oaxaca built an empire around Monte monstermanfilm.com a few monuments at this archaeological site, archaeologists have found extended text in a glyphic script. The Olmec people constructed giant stone monuments.

built pyramids out of blocks of stone.


developed a writing system with pictographs. created a system /5(18). The Olmecs. The Olmecs: An African Presence in Early America [Excerpt from a larger article] By Paul A.

Barton 'According to an archeologist who recently participated in archeological work in Mexico, One of the most ancient civilizations in the Americas, the Black (Negritic) Olmecs developed a calendar that goes back to about 3, years Before Christ. The Olmec Writing is Unique.

They may have been the first civilization in the Western Hemisphere to develop a writing monstermanfilm.com Olmecs spoke an aspect of the Manding language spoken in West Africa, and they use both a syllabic and hieroglyphic monstermanfilm.com are two forms of Olmec hieroglyphic writing: the pure hieroglyphics.

It explains that Olmec is a syllabic writing system used in the Olmec heartland from BC- AD The decipherment of the Olmec writing of ancient Mexico provides us with keen insight into the world of the Olmec.

Clyde A. Winters