There is evidence that as early as 2200 BC the Olmec’s were living in Central America in agriculture villages. They cultivated large crops of maize. They supplemented their diet with fish and wild game. The Olmec’s slowly developed an increasingly urban environment. Over the years there developed three main urban centers. San Lorenzo, Tress Zapotes, and La Venta. The Olmec became major traders, exchanging goods both within their civilization and with other civilizations in North and South America.
The largest Olmec city was La Vento. Between 800 and 500 BC it had a population of about 18,000 with an additional 350,000 people living near by.
La Venta was a center for all outlying areas with artisans and traders living in the city. The city was the center religious activity. There were large temples, believing that the gods were part human and part animal.
One of the major limitations of the Olmec cultures was technological. They had no metal tools, did not use the wheel, and it would seem did not use animals to pull loads.