Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Olmec art

Category: Olmec

Olmec stone heads are giant basalt boulders weighing 30 tons and having an average circumference of about 7 meters and a height of 2,5 meters. Each head has its own “face” with the view looking out into space. At the head wearing helmets, helmets with chin strap. The first such stone head was discovered by American archaeologist Matthew Stirling in 1930. He then wrote in his report: “The head was carved from a single massive block of basalt. It rested on a foundation of rough stone blocks. Having cleared the ground, his head had a rather frightening appearance. Despite the considerable size, it handled very carefully and surely, it proportions are ideal. unique phenomenon among the sculptures natives of America, it is notable for its realism.”

Stirling also found children’s toys in the form of dogs on wheels. This discovery caused a sensation – it was believed that civilization pre-Columbian America, the wheels do not know. But it turned out that it is not.

In addition to the heads of the ancient Olmecs they left numerous examples of monumental sculpture. They are all carved from basalt monoliths or other durable stone. Olmecs loved to create also a various body decorations, and a variety of jewelry. They prefer not gold, not silver and not precious stones, but obsidian, jasper and jade (the “solar stone”) of various colors (from snow-blue to sky-blue and rich green).

Central place in art from the Olmecs occupied a character in the guise of which combine features of snarling jaguar and a crying human baby. His image was captured as a giant basalt sculptures, which often reaches a weight of several tons, and in small carvings. There is no doubt that the jaguar-werewolf was a rain god, whose cult arose earlier than the rest of the known cults of the gods of the pantheon of Mesoamerica.

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