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The first evidence of their remarkable art style appears about 1200 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.
Other objects containing glyphs include the Tuxtla Statuette, the Chiapa de Corzo shard, the O’Boyle mask, and the La Mojarra stela (discovered 1986).
The last object, which displays 465 glyphs, greatly facilitated the interpretation of the epi-Olmec language, though many questions remain.
their cultural influence spread northwestward to the Valley of Mexico and southeastward to parts of Central America.
The constructions and monuments of the Olmecs, as well as the sophistication and power of their art, make it clear that their society was complex and nonegalitarian.
While Olmec art found in the early urban capitals may be used as evidence for theories of the advent of complex civilization, a significant amount of Olmec art seems to have been found outside these cities, and it is doubtful that provincial objects should be used as evidence for the rise of urbanity without significant corollary relations (see San Lorenzo Fine Ceramics and Mesoamerica for a key case where these matters are tested).
Caso 1942 first attempts a synthesis of the known corpus of art objects, followed by Covarrubias 1946 and Covarrubias 1957.Milbrath 1979 is unusual in its exclusive focus on formal traits.A key work for Olmec style as a discrete object of study is Coe 1965, which synthesizes information from archaeology and art history in what is still an important statement.Other Olmec artifacts include so-called baby-faced figures and figurines.These display a rounded facial form, thick features, heavy-lidded eyes, and down-turned mouths, and they are sometimes referred to as The Olmecs lived in hot, humid lowlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in what is now southern Veracruz and Tabasco states in southern Mexico.You will then be sent a link via email to verify your account.If you are not a member or are having any other problems, please contact customer support.These sites, the first urban capitals in Ancient Mesoamerica, produced a rich corpus of monumental and portable art that serves as the basis for the definition of the art style.The art style is not limited to this “heartland” area, however, and its appearance elsewhere has sparked vigorous debate on the nature of the heartland Olmec relation with other Mesoamerican peoples.Olmec art style was not defined until the mid-20th century.In addition to an art style, the term “Olmec” is often used to define a civilization.