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April 12, 2023
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Ancient Maya ball game scoreboard unearthed at Chichen Itza

scoreboard for ancient Maya ball game

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2023. 6:57 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Archaeologists have discovered a 1,200-year-old carved stone at the Chichen Itza archaeological site in Mexico, believed to be a scoreboard for the ancient Maya ball game called pelota, according to a BBC report.

The 40kg (88lb) circular stone was found by archaeologist Lizbeth Beatriz Mendicut Pérez at the architectonic compound known as Casa Colorada (Red House).

The stone features two elaborately dressed players surrounded by hieroglyphic writing. Experts are currently analyzing the text to unveil its meaning. This rare discovery, a complete text in hieroglyphics, hasn’t been made at Chichen Itza in over a decade.

The stone is thought to have adorned an archway at the entrance of the compound during the late 800s or early 900s.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) considers the discovery precious and unusual.

A team of iconography experts, led by Santiago Sobrino Fernández, identified the central figures as pelota players wearing feather headdresses and “snake turbans.”

Pelota, a 3,000-year-old team game played with a heavy rubber ball, was widespread across Mesoamerica.


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