The Olmecs: Mother Civilization
The Olmecs left 9 ft. stone heads weighing 20 to 40 tons each throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. Each head was carved from a massive piece of basalt rock quarried in mines and transported 80 miles to their city la Venta Because the Olmecs were great builders and founded the first advanced civilizations of the Americas, they are known as the "mother culture" of the hemisphere. From 1200 BC, they developed a highly-organized society.
The video Olmec Heads Decoded explains that many Black Americans are descended from these first peoples of the Americas. Starting around 34 minutes, the video shows that the Olmecs intermarried with the Chinese who came to the Western Hemisphere and created the American Indian nations! Of course, every American Indian nation has its own creation story. However, they all agree that they did not walk across the Bering Strait -- as anthropologists claim!
The video reports that the Olmecs built Tenotchitlan, the capital city of the Aztec Empire. It was a city-state founded in 1325 AD on an island -- the largest city in the pre-Columbian world. With a population of 200-300,000, only Paris, Venice, and Constantinople were larger. Two double aqueducts constructed during the reign of Montezuma I provided the city with fresh spring-fed water – good for baths twice a day!
The city astounded the Spanish in the 1500's! Hernán Cortés and his men werein awe. Bernal Díaz del Castillo reported in The Conquest of New Spain: “When we saw so many cities and villages built in the water and other great towns on dry land, we were amazed and said that it was like the enchantments.... I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not even dreamed about.”
The video refers to the book Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples by Jack D. Forbes. The role of the Olmecs is discussed further below.
The Role of the Olmecs
In the fascinating video Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, the late Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, who taught Afro-American Studies at Rutgers University, explains the role of the Olmecs in Mexico. Dr. Van Sertima wrote several books that helped start the restoration of ancient Black history in Egypt, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Perhaps his most famous one was the 1976 book They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America
Dr. Van Sertima shows that the Aztecs had nothing to do with building Teotihuacan, the extraordinary city which was a turning point in the civilization of the Americas. Teotihuacan was the first major city in the Americas, the beginning of the urban stage. Teotihuacan was larger than most European cities when Cortez arrived and the people took daily baths which were unknown in Europe.
In the video They Came Before Columbus, D.r Van Sertima introduces the highlights of his book.