The Olmec, Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations are some of the greatest ancient civilizations in history, and yet we know very little about them compared to other parts of the world.
Their exact relationship with the Olmecs remains unclear.
So the Olmecs were the first major Mesoamerican culture, despite being younger than the Mayans.
The name “Olmec” was almost certainly not what they called themselves but is derived from Aztec writings.
The Olmecs established themselves around 1400 B.C. and lasted about 1,000 years, occupying a reasonably large amount of land.
Their most famous legacy is the mystery of the Olmec heads: 3-meter tall heads resembling African warriors made from stone found over 130 kilometers away.
To quickly sum up, the Maya were first but learned a lot from the Olmecs, who started 1,200 years later.