A Mayan ball game marker

The Mayan ball game marker was an ancient ritualistic artifact used by Mesoamerican cultures dating back to the Pre-Columbian times. It was a stone cylinder or sphere with indentations that was used to score points in a special traditional game. The winner of this ceremonial game was said to be blessed with good fortune or a favorable outcome. The marker has since become a symbol for the ancient Mayan culture and is closely linked to its rich history.

Yes, that’s most likely what it is. A Mayan ball game marker, very old. And it was probably used in a ball game similar to soccer. Where was it discovered? At an archaeological site in Mexico, earlier this week. So stated archaeologists. Why is it so relevant? Because it is a sculptural element that fully preserves its glyphic text.

The finding was found in the Mayan site of Chichen Itza. The researchers pointed out that the circular stone has a diameter of a little more than 32 cm. They indicate that it weighs about 40 kg, according to a communiqué. It was made by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico on Twitter.

A very ancient Mayan ball game marker was unearthed.
A very ancient Mayan ball game marker was unearthed.

Table of Contents

Ball game

“In Mayan archaeological complexes it is rare to find hieroglyphic writings. And much rarer is to find a complete text”. This was stated by Francisco Perez, one of the archaeologists coordinating the research. This was echoed in a publication of Reuters.

The stone, which appears to show a pair of figures in the center, dates to between 800 A.D. and 900 A.D. Apparently, the images identified as two ball players. These are surrounded with an outer border of symbols. At the same time, they are very well differentiated. The one on the left wears a feather headdress, while his ‘opponent’ wears a snake turban. This turban was reserved only for people of high rank in Maya society.

The image clearly shows two players.
The image clearly shows two players.

Mayan games

The studies and conservation process of this unique piece are just beginning. It is unprecedented to find a Maya ball game marker. The Mesoamericans played ball as a form of traditional practice. And it is even believed that the practice had ritualistic connotations, as was manifested in Reuters. Chichen Itza is an archaeological site located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is a historic center of the Mayan civilization, in addition to being considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

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