The Dawn of Olmec Civilization (Free Virtual Lecture)


Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6:00pm to 7:00pm



Carved cultural artifact with black, turquoise, and red colors.

The hearth of Olmec civilization is located in the tropical lowlands of Mexico’s southern Gulf Coast region, in the majestic archaeological site of San Lorenzo. The inhabitants of this first Olmec capital developed a distinctive geopolitical territory and managed complex trade systems. The Olmec also created spectacular earthen architecture and magnificent stone sculpture—including the famous Colossal Heads—that reflect their stratified social organization and centralized political system backed by religion and directed by hereditary rulers. Building on the pioneering work of Matthew Stirling in the 1940s and Michael Coe in the 1960s, Ann Cyphers will discuss recent investigations at San Lorenzo that shed new light on the dawn of Olmec civilization almost 4,000 years ago. Ann Cyphers, Archaeologist, Institute of Anthropological Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico Advanced registration required. Visit the event registration page to register for this free virtual event. Registration closes 30 minutes before start time. Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series Cosponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard Divinity School, and the Moses Mesoamerican Archive Ann Cyphers photo by Brizio Martínez. Other photo courtesy Ann Cyphers