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March 09, 2005

Mother culture

Debate continues to raise in the fraught world of central American root culture research. The Olmec: mother culture or not? Having been indoctrinated into the Olmec interaction sphere model I would say "mother culture".

Besides the key Olmec settlements at San Lorenzo and La Venta, evidence of "Olmec-style" imagery and design is reflected in pottery at other contemporary sites. At a famous meeting of Olmec scholars in 1942, Mexican archaeologists suggested the Olmec were a "mother culture" whose ideas, religion and iconography were adopted and imitated by surrounding peoples.

Later, however, other scholars described this view as overly simplistic. They said the surrounding cultures were as sophisticated as the Olmec, and as "sister cultures" had developed similar pottery styles and iconography from what Grove described as a regional "root style of unknown origin."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at March 9, 2005 08:05 AM

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