The Olmec centres of San Lorenzo and then La Venta served primarily as ceremonial centres rather than as cities. Pyramid C1 at La Venta suggests that the site was administered by a central authority capable of organizing necessary human and physical resources. Structures served either or both of a religious and administrative purpose.
Here, under the shade of a tree, south of C1, I encountered Monument 19 - a stela. (Stelae were used to record aspects of life in an enduring fashion.) This stela is the first ever depiction of the "Feathered Serpent" - "Quetzalcoatl" to the Aztecs of many centuries later. Quetzalcoatl was the most famous ever Mexican god. It combined the plumes of a bird, representing the ability to fly to the heavens, and of the snake - of man, of the earth.
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