The Olmec civilization developed in the period known as the Lower and Middle Preclassic, which covers from 1500 BC to 100 AD. The name of Olmecs, which means “inhabitants of the Rubber Country”, was assigned to them in 1929 and refers to the culture developed in the south of Veracruz and the north of Tabasco, in the territory of the current Mexican Republic, but in reality, we do not know either the name they gave themselves or their language since their few written testimonies have not been deciphered. However, what we can affirm is that all the classic cultures of Mesoamerica had their roots in such an enigmatic civilization.
This mysterious town reached a remarkable degree of development, totally incomprehensible considering that nothing is known of its origins. It is probable that they knew the domestication of the dog and the turkey and that they started beekeeping; They practiced ritual anthropophagy and probably extracted from a marine toad, abundant in the Gulf of Mexico, a substance with hallucinogenic properties. This practice was shared by sorcerers and shamans from islands near the continent, such as Cuba or Hispaniola.
Extraterrestrial influences on the Olmec Civilization?
According to historians, archaeologists and anthropologists such as Alfonso Caso and Miguel Covarrubias, the knowledge of the Olmecs is truly surprising, which has unleashed the imagination and conjectures of heterodox researchers such as Dr. Óscar Padilla Lara, for whom “the only reasonable explanation for understanding the cultural and technological development of the Olmecs, which would later be inherited by the Mayas, Aztecs, and other Mesoamerican cultures, is contact with some extraterrestrial civilization. ” Today there are still in some Central American towns strange Olmec sculptures that seem to patiently survey the firmament and that, according to Dr. Padilla Lara, are awaiting the return of the gods from heaven.
The region called “metropolitan area”, “climax area” or “nuclear zone”, because it contains what were possibly its capitals – La Venta, San Lorenzo, Laguna de los Cerros and Tres Zapotes – is limited to Orient through the Tuxtlas mountains and the Sierra Madre del Sur and the most important archaeological finds have been produced there. Olmec art has several typical forms such as the huge monoliths that make up the colossal heads, throne-shaped altars and stelae, which narrate historical events. There are also minor pieces such as axes, stone masks, busts, wooden batons, or rubber balls.
Their religion revolved around supernatural deities that bore animal attributes, the most important representations being jaguars, crocodiles, and snakes, although insects, sharks, and fish also appear. As for their political organization, the Olmecs were guided by strong rulers, whose portraits have been captured in the colossal heads that have made them famous.
In the aforementioned “nuclear zone” there are a total of 17 gigantic heads: 10 in San Lorenzo, 4 in La Venta, 2 in Tres Zapotes and 1 in Cobata. In the Xalapa Anthropology Museum 7 heads from San Lorenzo are exhibited. The volcanic rock used in the carvings of this last place comes from the Tuxtlas mountains, about 60 kms. northwest of San Lorenzo, which shows that Olmec society was able to carry out the titanic undertaking of its transportation thanks to the subjugation or cooperation of the populations it dominated. The difficulty of supplying these materials, or the symbolic importance of them, prompted the Olmecs to reuse the stones to use them in new sculptures, since some colossal heads were originally altars. In some of these pieces, which can weigh more than 10 tons, there are interesting details, such as the pronounced squint that can be seen in the eyes of many of them. A visual defect that constituted, nevertheless, the pattern of beauty of numerous civilizations of Mesoamerica.
The San Lorenzo plateau can be considered one of the largest monumental architectural works in Mesoamerica, because it was modified through an enormous human effort embodied in the construction of terraces, cuts and removal of tons of earth and retaining walls, which transformed the natural terrain in a sacred space for the ancient inhabitants.
Another of the most perplexing elements of this culture, according to “official” researchers, is that the Olmecs did not use the wheel and had no pack animals, so the work was carried out entirely through human effort. In fact, the fact that the American archaeologist Matthew Stirling found in the 1940s, at the Tres Zapotes site, children’s toys consisting of puppies with wheels, is usually omitted. If the latter were known, the logical thing to think is that they were used in practice and that they were not reserved just to amuse children.
The splendid Olmec civilization was gradually declining, without us knowing if its decline was due to invasions by foreign peoples, intimate revolts or other reasons. San Lorenzo declined as an important regional center of the Lower Preclassic around 900 BC. However, the enclave was not completely abandoned, as there is evidence that a small population center remained there during the Middle and Upper Preclassic. However, the end of Olmec culture was not sudden; It occurred rather as a gradual transformation that ended between 400 and 100 BC. Despite this, the Olmecs never completely disappeared, since their seed flourished in later civilizations in the center and south of the American continent, influencing their art notably, culture, religion or witchcraft.
Mexico and Egypt: The Atlantis Connection
The most perplexing thing about Olmec culture is precisely everything we do not know about it. We do not know what their social organization was, nor what language they spoke, nor what traditions they had about their own origin.
We cannot even fit them into a certain ethnic group, because the prevailing high humidity conditions in the Gulf of Mexico have prevented a single Olmec skeleton from being found. As the researcher and writer Graham Hancock points out, “it is possible that the mysterious sculptures that have bequeathed to us and that supposedly represent them were not the work of the Olmecs, but of an older and forgotten people.” Perhaps some of the gigantic heads and other extraordinary artifacts attributed to them were transmitted, as relics and perhaps over many millennia, “to the cultures that began to build the mounds and pyramids of San Lorenzo and La Venta”
In this last place, in addition to the enigmatic heads with African features, some of them covered with a helmet, which have intrigued archaeologists for years, you can see representations of tall men, with little pronounced features and long nose, with straight hair , beards and long robes. These clearly Caucasian individuals could only have been sculpted from the image of a human model, just like the Negro types. Some researchers maintain that these are Phoenician navigators and the black slaves they would have collected off the coast of West Africa before setting out on their journey across the ocean. Hancock, however, thinks that, although it is very likely that the Phoenicians arrived in America before Columbus, they are not the protagonists of the Olmec stelae, in which there is not a trace of the Phoenician artistic style. On the other hand, if there are a series of suspicious similarities with some Egyptian creations, such as the Giza Sphinx itself (whose face we see in the image on the right), the explanation could be found in that both the Old and the New World received contributions from a population from a much older and unknown civilization.
The truth is that the American myths and those of the Egyptians, Mesopotamians and many other peoples speak of “great fires”, “a great flood”, “the great cold” and “the times of chaos”, a time of darkness and of “Creation and destruction of suns” that could refer us to a period of great natural cataclysms that occurred at least 10,000 years ago. They are stories that we can find on both sides of the Atlantic and that, under the language of myths, tell us about the knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes that had various ancient civilizations.
The similarities between the cultures of pre-Columbian Central America and Ancient Egypt could have arisen from a “third civilization”: the mythical Atlantis, which disappeared as a consequence of a turn in the axis of our planet that produced a sudden displacement of the Earth’s crust . And the location of this mysterious civilization may have been, according to Hancock, on the Antarctic continent, which some 15,000 years ago had northern areas with a subtropical Mediterranean climate, watered by large rivers that crossed plains and fertile valleys. From there the survivors of the cataclysm left, which settled in the Nile Valley, on the banks of the Indus, on the banks of the Titicaca, in the Valley of Mexico and in other parts of the planet.
And they did not constitute a homogeneous racial unit, but together with representatives of the Caucasian type there would also be Negroid individuals who inspired both the mysterious Olmec heads and the face of the Sphinx and other Egyptian sculptures whose royal headdresses can also be found in Mexican lands.
On these civilizing elements were based the legends of the American gods who were sometimes defeated by their own fellow men or by other barbarian peoples. What is undoubted is that “the black Olmecs” were not slaves: their features suggest authority and wisdom, the same inscrutable knowledge that emerges from the features of the Sphinx. It is the face of a remote race, that of the Atlantean ancestors who left us an undying legacy of wisdom engraved on the stones on either side of the Atlantic.
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