What Ancient Civilization Was Located in the New World?

The New World is a term used to refer to the Americas, which were discovered by European explorers in the late 15th century. However, many ancient civilizations existed in the New World long before the arrival of Europeans. One such civilization is the Olmec civilization.

The Olmec Civilization

The Olmec civilization was one of the first civilizations to emerge in the Americas. They were located in what is now Mexico and Central America and are believed to have existed from around 1400 BCE to 400 BCE. The Olmec civilization is known for its sophisticated art and architecture, including massive stone heads that still exist today.

Religion and Culture

The Olmec people had a complex religion that involved worshiping various gods and goddesses. They also had a complex social structure with a ruling class that controlled politics, religion, and trade. The Olmecs were known for their agricultural skills and were able to grow crops such as maize, beans, squash, and chili peppers.


While the Olmec civilization declined around 400 BCE, their legacy lived on through other Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Maya and Aztecs. The Maya adopted many of the Olmec’s religious beliefs and artistic styles, while the Aztecs adopted their agricultural practices.


In conclusion, while many people believe that European explorers discovered the New World, there were already thriving civilizations present long before their arrival. The Olmec civilization was one of the first of these civilizations and played an important role in shaping Mesoamerican culture as we know it today.