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It is estimated that the earliest evidence of the Olmec culture are about 1200 a. C. , and most recently about the year 400 a. C. The Olmec civilization was formed about 3 mainly ceremonial centers: San Lorenzo , La Venta and Tres Zapotes also manifest in other places such as Laguna de los Cerros . The Olmec culture or mother is the name given to a culture that developed during the Middle Preclassic . Although evidence was found of their presence in large parts of other countries cultural area , it is considered that the Olmec heartland area , or metropolitan area, covering the southeastern state of Veracruz and western Tabasco . It is not known for certain ethnic affiliation-that is, who are the parents of this town, although there are many hypotheses that have attempted to solve the mystery of the identity of the Olmecs. In that sense, it is necessary to clarify that the ethnonym Olmec was imposed by archaeologists of the twentieth century, and should not be confused with the Olmec-xicalancas , which were a group that flourished in the Epi sites in central Mexico as Cacaxtla . It was long believed that the Olmec culture was the mother of civilization Mesoamerican . However, it is clear the process that gave rise to the artistic style identified with this society, and to what extent the cultural traits that are revealed in archaeological evidence the Olmecs are building nuclear area. We know, for example, that some of the features themselves Olmecs may have appeared first in Chiapas or the Central Valleys of Oaxaca . Among other unknowns are awaiting final answer is the question of the many sites associated with this culture in the Balsas Depression (center of Guerrero ). Whatever was the origin of the Olmec culture, the network of trade between different parts of Mesoamerica contributed to the spread of many cultural elements that are identified with the Olmec culture, including the worship of mountains and caves, the cult Feathered Serpent deity associated with agriculture, religious symbolism of jade and even the art style, which was heavily reworked in the centuries after the decline of the main centers of this society. Since the Olmec were the first civilization in Mesoamerica , it is claimed or is speculated that many Mesoamerican achievements took place first within their culture. Among other things, is credited to the Olmecs development schedule , the writing and epigraphy . It is believed that the Olmecs were the first to develop a hieroglyphic script for their language, in 2002 discovered a case dating from 650 to. C. , and in 2007 another 900 a. C. , which exceeds the writing in ancient Zapotec and Olmec writing makes it the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. Certain representations found in some steles which could be petroglyphs, and according to some historians tells the story of a ruler, but still no unanimity of the international community.

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