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Mexican Archaeologists find 2,800-year-old Olmec Monument: (interesting story)

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posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:24 AM

A group of Mexican archaeologists have discovered a 1.5 ton stone relief from the Olmec culture created more than 2,800 years ago, the National Institute of Archaeology and History, or INAH, said.

Three Felines found yesterday at the archaeological zone of Chalcatzingo in the Mexican State of Morelos.

Sculpted on the stone are three cats sitting in profile, looking west and surrounded by great scroll decorations. The work – standing more than 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall – was discovered in late April on the north slope of Chalcatzingo as archaeologists were building a containing wall and protective roofs for the other monoliths in the area.

Since the first explorations there in the 1930s, some 41 monuments have been discovered in Chalcatzingo up to now, four of which have cat figures, animals feared and venerated by the Olmecs, who inhabited the area between the years 800-500 B.C., a period known as the Middle Pre-Classical

The Olmec civilization flourished between 1800 B.C. and A.D. 400 in the region occupied today by the states of Veracruz and Tabasco.


Ah the Mysterious Olmec's. Very interesting culture in deed. I would like to do a thread on the topic but I think my knowledge is just a little too new for it. I believe someone maybe working up a thread on them already.

But, I saw this and again, I am fascinated. How these cultures appeared to have spent so much time on these momuments and other things. I mean, come on. LOOK at this Head from the Olmec culture. And there are a boat load more. Amazing the time and resources that must went into these things.

Must have done them in their spare time..

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:31 AM
Did they worship the animals like gods I am guessing?

Or just a deep respect for nature and the Animal kingdom?

The detail and scale of these monuments is Amazing. It makes me wonder how humble and ego-less these people must of been! S+F

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:37 AM
It's truly amazing how such a 'little' civ have created such monuments. I also wonder why they depict these felines like this. They all look different, especially the heads. And rather mean if you ask me. Any ideas on this?

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:45 AM

Originally posted by Staafke
It's truly amazing how such a 'little' civ have created such monuments. I also wonder why they depict these felines like this. They all look different, especially the heads. And rather mean if you ask me. Any ideas on this?

Perhaps similar to how Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats?

Wikipedia Cats (Felis silvestris catus), known in Ancient Egypt as the mau, were important in ancient Egyptian society. Beginning as a wild, untamed species, cats were useful for limiting vermin in Egyptian crops and harvests; through exposure, cats became domesticated and learned to coexist with humans.

The people in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion centering around the worship of animals, including cats. Praised for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise. The goddess Mafdet, the deification of justice and execution, was a lion-headed goddess. The cat goddess Bast (also known as Bastet) eventually replaced the cult of Mafdet, and Bast's image softened over time and she became the deity representing protection, fertility, and motherhood.

Just a thought.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:48 AM
Wow felines! I have only seen a few representions of cats on stone in America. Maybe they are jaguars.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:09 AM
reply to post by anon72

Wow, those are beautiful! So much of the ancient art we see looks like a 12-year-old did it, but those cats are really great. I wish we could see the faces better, it looks like they're wearing masks or like they're mechanical or something. Interesting.

Edit to add: found a bigger picture here:

The faces are very unusual. Not sure if that's just stylization, or if they're depicting masks or what. They look almost robotic though.
edit on 29-7-2011 by SavedOne because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by anon72

Nice find -- thanks for sharing. Regarding experts, what we need here is some Slayer insight!! Slayer-signal lit, Slayer phone activated, come in Slayer!


posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:35 AM
yeah I was wondering about the cats too. the olmec have long been speculated to have been african by many. Look at the stones boulders of their heads. don't look much like the physical dipictions the toltecs, aztecs and mayan made of themselves. these people look different. But now look at the cats. they look like they are depicted like they are a pack and socializing with each other sorta instead of the same cat just depicted in relief right next to each other. it looks like they purposely carved the cats as if they were a group. the thing is the cats in the americas are NOT social. jaguars are like tigers, solitary. But african lions are social and the heads look like female lions not sleek like a jaguars. interesting I'd say.

edit on 29-7-2011 by BASSPLYR because: edited for really bad spelling

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 10:02 AM

Extremely interesting, I think that these cats look more like they are in a pack as another poster before I had said. Are there any pack cats in the Americas, I thought the ones in the Americas were solitary animals like tigers, also mentioned by a previous poster, but I could be incorrect.

The carving is incredible and intricate as well, would love to see what the entire thing looked like.
edit on 7/29/2011 by AlienCarnage because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 12:55 PM
I was reading something previously and I thought it mentioned they were into Jaguars.

Worshiping, honoring them etc.

I guess when you don't have a gun a jag could be a mean beast to content with-in the jungle/outdoors. Especially a real hungry one.

Looking at the close up photo that a nice ATSer posted, it appears theses felines were of an angry type.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 03:48 PM
Amazing find - thanks for sharing! S & F

First thing that came to my mind:

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 03:58 PM
...i see pumas... beautiful...

...i dont agree with the timeline attributed to the olmecs but thats just me...

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 04:42 PM
This may not be the place for this but I've always wondered how these ancient civilizations did stone carvings where the art work or words are raised off the surface.

Do they chisel down a thin layer off the whole rock except for what the drawing is? Seems like a ton of work without much gain when they could just have the drawing indented instead of raised.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 06:22 PM
Someone above suggested how the 'cats' look robotic.

I have to agree that they do look a little strange.

What caught my eye was the mouths of these creatures.

They have almost beak-like mouths. It's as if these are griffons of some sort. Head of a bird, body of a lion, etc.

Could these animals be hybrids, or even a species of feline that are now extinct?

I suppose we will never really know.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 06:37 PM
Very interesting find.
Are both pics of the same stone. In the first pic the stone appears whole where as in the second pic (with the rigging attached) it is cracked in a few places. Maybe I missed something. It looks as though they may have damaged it while moving? Lets hope not.

The upside down feline head in the second pic looks very much like the feline head in the far left side of the first pic but the stones look different to me. Great find either way.
edit on 29-7-2011 by Diogeneser because: to add

edit on 29-7-2011 by Diogeneser because: because

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 06:57 PM
I don't see felines, I see primates.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 07:08 PM
When future archaeologists excavate our civilization they're going to wonder why we have so many Wal Marts.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 07:11 PM
Nice set of jaguar reliefs although I was hoping for something a little more ground breaking.

.... not quite sure how one can accurately date rock precisely enough without any organic content to claim it's 2,800 years old, other than by placing it within the Olmec period through a recognition of its stylistic appearance & carving technique... but hey, a nice piece of ancient sculpture nonetheless. I'm planning on visiting that area, and South America specifically to see these sites. It's incredible to think that entire continent was populated, and rose to such heights of achievement in the small jump it's taken since the last ice age.

...but then I guess we've all come a long way in 10,000 years.
edit on 29-7-2011 by chocise because: but then....

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 07:28 PM
So did they break it while trying to move it?

Something i always thought odd was how ancient civilizations seem always to have one form of art, in our day there are many ways people express the same thing but theirs seem always the same form for each people type.

posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:12 PM

Originally posted by Yukitup
reply to post by anon72

Nice find -- thanks for sharing. Regarding experts, what we need here is some Slayer insight!! Slayer-signal lit, Slayer phone activated, come in Slayer!


As I've said before....

Whenever I see Olmec stone work such as this new one I look at the edges. To me it appears that at one time they belonged to a much larger temple complex. I too question the age. I think they are much much older than is given credit. Some of these look as if they were wall murals and large decorated blocks of some as of yet discovered ancient temple which at some point in the distant past was ripped apart and tossed about by some titanic force.

Do you see the remnant of an arm near the top-center of this one?

This new one is no exception.

Unlike [and not to be confused with] the much more recent Aztec and Mayans who purposely built Steleas. They probably got the idea for Steleas from seeing how their ancient cousins the Olmec seemed to revere their ancient stones.

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