Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Lesson at a Glance Outline

Chapter 15, Lesson 2: The Olmec (pp. 400-403)

I. A Fertile Environment

II. Elite and Commoners

    A. Olmec society was probably divided between the elite and the commoners.

    B. The existence of giant carved heads suggests a division of labor in Olmec society.

    C. Differences in Olmec burial sites suggest different Olmec classes.

III. Power and Religion

    A. Olmec rulers were were both civil and religious leaders.

    B. The jaguar-man may have been the most important Olmec god.

IV. Trade and Competition

    A. The Olmec traded with neighboring people to obtain jade and other raw materials.

    B. The Olmec fought among themselves and with neighbors for resources and control of trade routes.

    C. Enemies destroyed Olmec civilization around 400 B.C.

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