Olmec Heads (2001) BBC Secrets of the Ancients

Olmec Heads (4/5)

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Documentary Description

Over three thousand years ago, in the fertile jungles of lowland Mexico, the first civilisation in the Americas was born. Five hundred years before Rome was founded, the Olmec were building great cities with pyramids and ball courts. Considered by most archaeologists to be the ‘mother culture’of Mexico, the roots of the later Maya
and Aztec cultures lie with the Olmec. One of the most extraordinary feats of the ancient Olmec was their monumental sculptures.The inhabitants of the site of La Venta erected huge sculptures, some of which weighed up to 40 tonnes.The most famous of these are the massive stone heads. Believed to be portraits of their leaders, they are over two metres high and sculpted entirely without the help of metal tools.There are thousands of tonnes of stones at the site but, most extraordinarily of all, these sculptures are found in an area where there is no rock available. The area identified as the source of the Olmec boulders lies in the Tuxtla mountains over 160 ... (read more)


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