The ancient Olmec civilization had one of the most advanced forms of government in Mesoamerica. A priest-king was the leader of the Olmec government and oversaw local rulers.
The Olmec state was formed around 1200 B.C., and it was one of the earliest states in Mesoamerica. The exact structure of the Olmec government is unknown, but it is believed that strong ties existed between government and religion. Local rulers were in charge of enforcing the law, overseeing trade and dealing with military issues. The religious and political center of the Olmecs was in what is today called San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, south of modern Veracruz. The Olmec state ceased to exist by 400 B.C.