Distinct Features: Figurine and Sculpture tradition in early Mexico from 1200 B.C.

The Olmec Civilization in Mesoamerica was the first  large civilization to flourish along the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Th Olmec are known for their stonework and sculpture tradition that was visible along the coast through to the Mayan Empire. The Olmec produced large sculptures to small figurines which displayed distinct physical features. The figurines were typically made from jade and greenstone, making them not only valuable, but distinct in the quality produced during the carving process. A Major influence in their sculpture was the Jaguar. The Jaguar is a powerful large cat, and many sculptures are called "were-jaguar" sculptures. They depict features of the jaguar and humans combined. Other civilizations flourished in this area as well. The Zapotec and Toltec fill out the civilization timeline on Gulf Coast. This Gallery presents the changes in figure and sculpture from 1500 B.C to 600 A.D and the influences of the Olmec civilization throughout this time.

A Hollow (were-)baby of the Olmec tradition. There is minimal detail on the hands and feet, and has the elongated forehead and thick lips. All of these features are popular traits in Olmec carving.
The Olmec were-babies are an excellent example of Olmec sculpture ability. All Olmec figurines display similar characteristics. They are non gendered, and have large, round bodies and elongated heads.
Another were-human from the Olmec tradition. These figurines are both important to the Olmec, and it has been suggested that the figurines represent both spiritual beliefs and economic strength.
Another Olmec carving which shows the development of their skill. Kneeling lords and Gods were carved in good spirits for strong crops and fertility.
Similar to Olmec Culture, this Zapotec Cup carving has an elongated head, and distinct features. Although not the exact same, it is a distinct style of the Zapotec, developing from the Olmec.
The Zapotec carvings are distinct in how they represent their Gods. The God of Rain is stylized and shown in a seated position (The Olmec influence). The Gods are often represented in this way.
This Anthropomorphic mask shows developed traits of early Mesoamerican carving styles, the lips and face shape are distinctive Mesoamerican markers. It is from Teotihcuan and may be Toltec.
This image is of the pyramid in Teotihucan. This is the most visited city in Mexico for early Mesoamerican ruins. There is a good possibility this from the Toltec because of the stylized images.
Early Mesomarican animal carvings are very popular, especially during the turn from B.C to A.D.
Jugador de pelota is a Mayan carving. As you can see from the facial detail there are Olmec traditions visible in this carving. The minimal hand detail and style are influenced from the Olmec.
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