Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Olmec are not indigenous native Americans



Some researchers claim that I am wrongly ruling out an “indigenous revolution” for the origin of the Olmec civilization. This is their opinion—the archaeological evidence, not I, suggest that the founders of the Olmec civilization were not “indigenous” people.


In the Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership (1995), (ed.) by Carolyn Tate, on page 65, we find the following statement”Olmec culture as far as we know seems to have no antecedents; no material models remain for its monumental constructions and sculptures and the ritual acts captured in small objects”.

M. Coe, writing in Regional Perspective on the Olmecs (1989), (ed.) by Sharer and Grove, observed that “ on the contrary, the evidence although negative, is that the Olmec style of art, and Olmec engineering ability suddenly appeared full fledged from about 1200 BC”.

Mary E. Pye, writing in Olmec Archaeology in Mesoamerica (2000), (ed.) by J.E. Cark and M.E. Pye,makes it clear after a discussion of the pre-Olmec civilizations of the Mokaya tradition, that these cultures contributed nothing to the rise of the Olmec culture. Pye wrote “The Mokaya appear to have gradually come under Olmec influence during Cherla times and to have adopted Olmec ways. We use the term olmecization to describe the processes whereby independent groups tried to become Olmecs, or to become like the Olmecs” (p.234). Pye makes it clear that it was around 1200 BC that Olmec civilization rose in Mesoamerica. She continues “Much of the current debate about the Olmecs concerns the traditional mother culture view. For us this is still a primary issue. Our data from the Pacific coast show that the mother culture idea is still viable in terms of cultural practices. The early Olmecs created the first civilization in Mesoamerica; they had no peers, only contemporaries” (pp.245-46).

Richard A. Diehl The Olmecs:America’s first civilization (2005), wrote “ The identity of these first Olmecs remains a mystery. Some scholars believe they were Mokaya migrants from the Pacific coast of Chiapas who brought improved maize strains and incipient social stratification with them. Others propose that Olmec culture evolved among the local indigenous populations without significant external stimulus. I prefer the latter position, but freely admit that we lack sufficient information on the period before 1500 BC to resolve the issue” (p.25).

Pool (17-18), in Olmec Archaeology and early MesoAmerica (2007), argues that continuity exist between the Olmec and pre-Olmec cultures in Mexico “[even]though Coe now appears to favor an autochthonous origin for Olmec culture (Diehl & Coe 1995:150), he long held that the Olmec traits appeared at San Lorenzo rather suddenly during the Chicharras phase (ca 1450-1408 BC) (Coe 1970a:25,32; Coe and Diehl 1980a:150)”.

Pool admits (p.95), that “this conclusion contrasts markedly with that of the excavators of San Lorenzo, who reported dramatic change in ceramic type and [b] argued on this basis for a foreign incursion of Olmecs into Olman (Coe and Diehl 1980a, p.150).”


The evidence presented by these authors make it clear that the Olmec introduced a unique culture to Mesoamerica that was adopted by the Mexicans. As these statements make it clear there was no continuity between pre-Olmec cultures and the Olmec culture. The Mokaya culture was on the Pacific coast. The Olmec lived in the Gulf region.

1 comment:

James said...

To me, they seem to be Sumarian emigrants. The Olmec helmets look like the gold helmet of King Meskalamdug, from around 2400 BC. It was in the Royal Cemetery at UR. Part of the collection of the Iraq National Museum. They are shown on the most ancient monuments of Shiner, and they were a round headed people.
I am sure there are more expert people opinions than mine.