Olmec Colossal Heads

Imagine that you are somewhere in the swampy jungle of the state of Tabasco, Mexico, and you are an engineer whose only purpose of digging till finding oil makes you bare high temperatures and mosquito bites. Imagine that suddenly you run into a big

Imagine that you are somewhere in the swampy jungle of the state of Tabasco, Mexico, and you are an engineer whose only purpose of digging till finding oil makes you bare high temperatures and mosquito bites. Imagine that suddenly you run into a big stone, as tall as a man but wider, that you approach and you realize it is the representation of a great human head…

It is the year 1862; your name is Jose Melgar. When you report your finding what impresses the archaeologists the most is its size, and they don't publish it till 1896. By then they thought there was no older culture in America than the Maya. If ever, the Maya were the origin of secondary cultures, such as the one they called Olmecs, "inhabitants of the rubber county" and creators of that big head.

Later on, in the years of 1930's, the unearthing of more colossal heads and carbon-14 tests applied, threw evidences that put the science upside down. It turned out to be that these great masterly sculpted monoliths are older than the oldest of the Mesoamerican pyramids. Some detailed figures reveal dates around 1000 years BC.

Besides being a time wonder, tha Olmec heads offer greater mysteries: all of them were found in muddy terrains where basalt, a volcanic rock, is not abundant. It seems that the creators had to carry the immense blocks, some weighing up to 20 tons, from places as far as 50 miles away.

The face’s features have been the topic of many fantastic speculations. Some say there were African incursions in America long before the Spanish arrived; others believe the Olmecs were one of the tribes of Israel. Some moderated ones insist in the importance of the jaguar in the Olmec religion, trying even to look like one through these representations. There is some discussion going about them being portraits of the aristocracy or warriors killed in combat, or ball game players.

Some people even believe the Olmec colossal heads to have a kind of healing or hallucinogenic power when touching them… we can only guarantee they are as mysterious as impressive. You can't help admiring them.

Related Articles

Naval History Museum
Acapulco
Origin of the Aztecs
Mexico City
Pacification
Mexico City
Pancho Villa
Mexico City
Presidents of Mexico: 1822 till 2012
Mexico City