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Agriculture Among the Olmecs

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What crops did the Olmecs grow?

By Chritopher

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

Here is a cut and paste from Wikipedia:
Despite their size, San Lorenzo and La Venta were largely ceremonial centers, and the majority of the Olmec lived in villages similar to present-day villages and hamlets in Tabasco and Veracruz.[82]

These villages were located on higher ground and consisted of several scattered houses. A modest temple may have been associated with the larger villages. The individual dwellings would consist of a house, an associated lean-to, and one or more storage pits (similar in function to a root cellar). A nearby garden was used for medicinal and cooking herbs and for smaller crops such as the domesticated sunflower. Fruit trees, such as avocado or cacao, were likely available nearby.

Although the river banks were used to plant crops between flooding periods, the Olmecs also likely practiced swidden (or slash-and-burn) agriculture to clear the forests and shrubs, and to provide new fields once the old fields were exhausted.[83] Fields were located outside the village, and were used for maize, beans, squash, manioc, sweet potato, as well as cotton.

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Based on archaeological studies of two villages in the Tuxtlas Mountains, it is known that maize cultivation became increasingly important to the Olmec over time, although the diet remained fairly diverse.[84]

The fruits and vegetables were supplemented with fish, turtle, snake, and mollusks from the nearby rivers, and crabs and shellfish in the coastal areas. Birds were available as food sources, as were game including peccary, opossum, raccoon, rabbit, and in particular, deer.[85] Despite the wide range of hunting and fishing available, midden surveys in San Lorenzo have found that the domesticated dog was the single most plentiful source of animal protein.

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Anonymous
September 8, 20110 found this helpful

If you do a web search typing in 'Olmecs Food' you will come up with oodles of answers including one which mentions chocolate made from cocoa beans.

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