Ancient decapitated ball game statue found in Mexico
2013 05 24

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

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »