Ancient decapitated ball game statue found in Mexico
2013-05-24 0:00

From: The History Blog

Villagers installing a water pipe a few weeks ago in the town of Piedra Labrada in the southwestern Mexico near the Guatemalan border unearthed a granite stele depicting a player of the Mesoamerican ball game. The figure is 5’4″ high including the head which archaeologists believe was deliberately severed from the body during a ball game ritual. He’s a bow-legged fellow with his arm crossed over his chest. He is accessorized with a helmet, a yoke around his waist and round stones, possibly the precious greenstones known as chalchihuites, hanging from his ears.

The statue was discovered in the north section of the town on the grounds of the biggest ball game pitch, an L-shaped court about 130 feet long. There are five ball courts in Piedra Labrada. Around twenty sculptures of snake heads, shells and anthropomorphic figures were found in three of them, but this is the first sculpture found in the north field and the only one that depicts a ball player.

The Mesoamerican ball game was not simply a sport. The basic game fielded two teams who sought to put a rubber ball through a stone circle by bouncing it off their hips, but it was also an immensely important religious ritual with a number of ceremonial functions. Among these rites was a ritual marking the end of a calendar cycle during which sculptures were painted red and then ceremonially “killed” by having their heads struck off. The decapitated statues would then be buried around the court.

The age of the stele is hard to pinpoint because Piedra Labrada has not been thoroughly excavated. Since the recent digs began a year and a half ago, archaeologists have been mapping the site. The pre-Hispanic town is 1.24 square miles in area. In addition to the five ball fields, almost 50 medium-sized buildings (10-16 feet high) have been identified as well as public plazas and sculptures. The sculptures that have been found thus far appear to be Mixtec (an indigenous ethnic group who have a documented history going back to 940 A.D.) in design, and their placement in the ancient town is in keeping with Epiclassic characteristics which could turn the clock all the way back to 600 A.D.

[...]

Read the full article at: thehistoryblog.com



Related Articles
Astronomical alignments were vital in Mesoamerica
Mayans Used Clay Balls for Cooking
Mayan ball court was celestial marker used to observe solstices
Stunning Astronomical Alignment Found at Peru Pyramid
Ancient Maya Pyramid Destroyed in Belize
How Easter Island’s statues walked
Easter Island archaeology project digs up island’s bodies


Latest News from our Front Page

Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief
2015-05-23 7:58
The BBC has reached a “provisional finding” to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a “soft” interview with the Israeli defense minister. Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montague’s alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
More News »