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La Venta

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Earliest sign of an organized society was at La Venta, in modern-day Tabasco.

Developed teosinte grass into maize. Used psilocybe, hallucinogens thought to enable visions of the future. Used pumque from cactus.

Basic shaman architecture is a hut on a platform. Basis for Maya's sacred place atop ziggurat. Mesoamerican layouts will always be fixed along a north-south axis.

Great Pyramid and Ball Court, la Venta
Olmec, c 1000 - 600 BC

Colossal Head, la Venta, Olmec, c 900 - 400 BC
"Part por todo" → one part speaks for the entire body.
Made of basalt, a volanic rock from Tushlo mountains.

Jade axe head
Heads that incorporate human and feline qualities and a cleft that babies have and also cats and other animals. Not just cleft, but earth splits apart to shoot out maize.

Altar, now known as throne