Diehl, Richard A.. The Olmecs: America's first civilization

Table of Contents

Publication Information

The Olmecs America's First Civilization


1 Introduction

Olmec Studies: A Short History

The Olmec World

Olman In The Eyes Of The Aztecs

Olman In The Eyes Of The Spanish Conquistadors

Olman's Pre-olmec Inhabitants

The Origins Of Olmec Culture: The Ojochí, Bajío, And Chichárras Phase (1500–1200 Bc)

2 San Lorenzo's Realm

San Lorenzo's Olmec Occupation

San Lorenzo In The Tenth Century Bc

San Lorenzo's Royal Compound

San Lorenzo Sculpture

San Lorenzo's Realm

San Lorenzo's Contemporaries

Laguna De Los Cerros

Las Limas

La Oaxaqueña

San Lorenzo's Demise

3 La Venta's Realm

La Venta's Olmec History

La Venta At Its Height

La Venta's Formal Entrances: Complexes D And I

La Venta's Royal Compound

La Venta's Hidden Sanctuary: Complex A

Construction History

Stone Monuments


Offerings And Caches

La Venta Sculpture

La Venta As A Sacred Landscape

La Venta's Hinterland

La Venta's Contemporaries

La Venta's Demise And The End Of Olmec Culture

4 Olmec Daily Life And Culture

Olmec Villages And Hamlets

Diet And Subsistence


Social And Political Organization

Writing, Calendrics, And Astronomy


Religious Practitioners


5 Olmec Art

Monumental Sculpture

Colossal Heads


Full-figured Human And Animal Sculptures


Olmec Uses Of Sculpture

Monument Carvings And Transport

Greenstone Objects



Ornaments And Ritual Paraphernalia

Manufacture, Recarving, And Reuse

6 The Olmecs Abroad: Eastern Mesoamerica

Olmec Horizons

The Early Olmec Horizon

The Mokaya

Paso De La Amada

Mokaya Chiefs And The Olmecization Of Mokaya Society

The Early Olmec Horizon Outside The Soconusco

The Late Olmec Horizon In Eastern Mesoamerica

La Blanca And The Soconusco

Chiapas Beyond The Soconusco

Pacific Guatemala

El Salvador


Costa Rica

The Maya Lowlands

7 The Olmecs Abroad: Western Mesoamerica

The Basin Of Mexico And The Tlatilco Culture During The Early Olmec Horizon

Life In Tlatilco-culture Times




Cave Paintings


The Late Olmec Horizon And Chalcatzingo

8 Epi-olmec Culture

Tres Zapotes: Olmec Village And Epi-olmec Capital

Epi-olmec Art

Epi-olmec Intellectual Achievements: Writing, Calendrics, And Astronomy

The Olmec Legacy

Epilogue: News Flashes From The Olmec World

Guide To Olmec Sites

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The Olmecs: America's first civilization

Published By: Original publisher New York: Thames and Hudson. 2004. 7-202 p.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Richard A. Diehl

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Olmec (NU95)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Visual arts (5311); Identification (101); Settlement patterns (361); Acculturation and culture contact (177);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document Diehl provides a current synthesis of archaeological evidence and scholarship on the Olmec. Beyond the portions describing in detail the sequential development and importance of the urban centers of Olmec culture, San Lorenzo and La Venta, Diehl also lucidly discusses the evidence for the early development of the Olmec culture at San Lorenzo and El Manatí, and the declining or 'Epi-Olmec' culture at Tres Zapotes. In-depth and topically organized sections describe and interpret Olmec culture, Olmec art, and Olmec influences throughout Mesoamerica.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 43

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nu95-043

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Component part(s), monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 195-202) 'Olman' (Olmec Core Area or heartland) - use 'IDENTIFICATION (101)' and/or 'TERRITORIAL HIERARCHY (631)'

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document unknown

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Archaeologist-4

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Leon G. Doyon ; 2006

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 3600 BP-1750 BP

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Mesoamerica

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Olmecs--History/Olmecs--Antiquities/Mexico--Antiquities/Mexico--Civilization--Indian influences


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation