Each head shows a unique facial expression and wears a helmet bearing distinctive decorations.  In the first decade of the 21st century evidence emerged of Olmec writing, with the earliest examples of Olmec hieroglyphs dating to around 650 BC. The Olmec had to get these massive boulders weighing many tons from the quarry to the workshops in the city. The face is that of an ageing man with wrinkles under the eyes and across the bridge of the nose, and a forehead that is creased in a frown. The Olmec religion may have even survived: twin statues discovered at the El Azuzul site appear to be characters from the Popol Vuh, the sacred book the Maya used centuries later. The helmet/headdress worn by each of the heads suggests ballplayers, but most archaeologists today say they think they represented rulers. These enormous heads were carved from basalt rocks. Another 4 colossal heads have been recovered from the second major Olmec center, La Venta. Seventeen heads have been discovered to date, 10 of which are from San Lorenzo and 4 from La Venta; two of the most important Olmec centres. The sculptures are truly amazing and inspirational and a popular attraction at the museums where they are housed. Olmec colossal heads were fashioned as in-the-round monuments with varying levels of relief on the same work; they tended to feature higher relief on the face and lower relief on the earspools and headdresses.  It is stylistically distinct from the other examples, and Beatriz de la Fuente placed it late in the Olmec time frame. The right hand earspool also appears incomplete; the forward portion is marked with a sculpted line while the rear portion has been sculpted in relief, probably indicating that the right cheek and eye area were also unfinished. The heads are generally flattened at the back and not carved all the way around -- they are meant to be viewed from the front and sides.  The monument was discovered at a depth of 5 metres (16 ft) during a magnetometer survey of the site in 1968; it has been dated to the Early Preclassic. , The ten colossal heads from San Lorenzo originally formed two roughly parallel lines running north-south across the site. , In February 2010, the Mexican Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretariat of Foreign Affairs) announced that the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia would be donating a replica Olmec colossal head to Ethiopia, to be placed in Plaza Mexico in Addis Ababa. One side is decorated with a double-disc motif that may have been repeated on the other; if so, damage to the right side has obliterated any trace of it. Seventeen confirmed examples are known from four sites within the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.  The head was discovered by Matthew Stirling in 1946, 550 metres (600 yd) northwest of the principal mound, at the edge of a gully.  The headdress is decorated with the talons or claws of either a jaguar or an eagle. The Olmec civilization, which thrived along Mexico's Gulf Coast from about 1200 to 400 B.C., was the first major Mesoamerican culture. They may have been the originators of the Mesoamerican ball game, a ceremonial team sport played throughout the region for centuries.  An additional monument, at Takalik Abaj in Guatemala, is a throne that may have been carved from a colossal head. Although most of the facial detail is lost, the crinkling of the bridge of the nose is still evident, a feature that is common to the frowning expressions of the other Olmec colossal heads. These evocative stone face masks present both similarities and differences to the colossal heads. The cheeks are pronounced and the ears are particularly well executed. Two heads from San Lorenzo are on permanent display at the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City. The height and weights of the heads vary, but the largest head is about twice the height of an average human male. The other issue is that the places where the Olmecs lived is filled with marshes and swamps which makes it impossible to transport the rocks over these wet places. Large parts of the monument seem to be roughed out without finished detail.  Colossal Head 1 is 2.84 metres (9.3 ft) high; it measures 2.11 metres (6.9 ft) wide and it weighs 25.3 tons. It was previously surmised by researchers that these heads represented ball players of Olmec cities. The left and right ornaments are different, with radial lines on the left earflare, a feature absent on the right earflare.  This is the only known example outside of the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.  The headdress is complex, with the horizontal basal band being formed by four horizontal cords, with diagonal folds above each eye.  The mixed ceramics have been dated to the San Lorenzo and Villa Alta phases (approximately 1400–1000 BC and 800–1000 AD respectively).  The head was found in its original context; associated finds have been radiocarbon dated to between 1000 and 600 BC. The only thing is, a huge amount of wood would be necessary to achieve this. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get one thing done. CUNY Mexican Studies Institute 5 June 2013. Two thirds of Olmec monumental sculpture represents the human form, and the colossal heads fall within this major theme of Olmec art. According to a recent study, 20 people were needed to transport a rock that had a weight of 0.5 tons. Archaeologists have also found a unique monument in the Takalik Abaj region of Guatemala. Several of the heads are taller than an average adult human male. Of these, only the Olmec civilization developed in a lowland tropical forest setting.  The majority of these ceramic remains have been dated to between 800 and 400 BC; some pieces have been dated to the Villa Alta phase (Late Classic period, 800–1000 AD). Moreover, the faces depicted in each of the colossal heads are unique and different. However, this theory has been refuted now. Monument 3 was located a few metres to the east of Monument 2, but was moved to the Parque-Museo La Venta in Villahermosa. Norman Hammond argues that the apparent stylistic differences of the monument stem from its unfinished state rather than its late production. The massive stone heads (more than two meters in height and weighed about 20-40 tons) found at San Lorenzo and La Venta are the examples of astonishing creations of the Olmecs. , La Venta Monument 2 measures 1.63 metres (5.3 ft) high by 1.35 metres (4.4 ft) wide by 0.98 metres (3.2 ft) deep; the head weighs 11.8 tons.
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