Mesoamerica (Zapotec & Olmec) By emily, taryn, angelo, cyddni

Social

  • Status was usually hereditary
  • Men had the same occupations as their fathers and there was very little exception
  • Women could not marry outside of their social class
  • Upper class: rulers, nobles, and priests. Middle class: businessmen, merchants, and soldiers. Lower class: farmers and slaves
  • Women were allowed to be involved in government and economics
  • Women also had to take care of the house and children

Political

  • The Olmec people left no written records
  • Their politics incorporated their societal structure
  • The elites and the wealthy held power within society
  • The civilization was held in a monopoly
  • Elites took over multiple resources to exert control
  • Priests became very important rulers

Interactions

OLMEC GEOGRAPHIC DISADVANTAGES

  • Hot and humid and covered with swamps and jungles
  • In some places giant kept sunlight from reaching the ground
  • A lot of land was bad for farming and agriculture

OLMEC GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGES

  • Abundant deposits in salt and tar
  • Clay was very good for pottery
  • Wood and rubber from the rainforest
  • Hills in the north provided hard stone from which the Olmec made tools and monuments
  • Rivers provided a means of transport
  • Floodplains of these rivers provided fertile land for farming

ZAPOTEC GEOGRAPHICAL ADVANTAGES

  • Valley had fertile soil
  • MIld climate
  • Enough rainfall to support agriculture

ZAPOTEC GEOGRAPHICAL DISADVANTAGES

  • Rugged region of mountains, some places weren’t adequate for agriculture

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS

  • Olmec traded as far North as Mexico City to Honduras in the South
  • Zapotec, Olmec, and other civilizations near or in the Oaxaca valley fought with the Zapotec emerging dominant.

Culture

  • had Altar's, columns, colossals, and big sculpted heads of the olmec rulers
  • La Venta, (900 b.c) a 100 foot high mound of earth and clay. Was a tomb for the great olmec ruler. May have also been a center for olmec religion
  • around 1200 B.C a huge sculpture of heads and their small finely crafted stone carvings began being built. Much of their art reflected a fascination with the jaguar. The people used to worship a jaguar spirit.
  • Built religious centers with pyramids
  • Zapotec; built temples and had monumental sculptures. By early 500 B.C they had developed early forms of writing and a calendar system
  • Towering pyramids, temples and palaces all made out of stone surrounded the plaza

Economy

OLMEC ECONOMY

  • The olmec people directed a large trade network throughout mesoamerica
  • Their goods reached Mexico City in the north, and Honduras in the South, they also attained raw materials such as iron ore from faraway regions

ZAPOTEC ECONOMY

  • Most people were peasant farmers
  • The main crops were maize, beans, and squash

Credits:

Created with images by SupportPDX - "Mesoamerica" • quapan - "diorite mask in profile left beside to serpentin Malinaltepec mask (both were produced in Teotihuacán)" • Arian Zwegers - "Mitla, Group of the Columns, Palace of Columns" • Becker1999 - "Jaguar" • SupportPDX - "Mesoamerica" • DEZALB - "mexico anthropological museum mesoamerica"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.