Kuddos to my student Matthew who sent me this website. We are on the Mesoamerican section right now in my history course. The ballgame was an integral and pervasive activity throughout Ancient Mesoamerica. It is in their history, religion, and art. It was one of the most socially and ritually important activities in the Ancient Americas.
The website “The Mesoamerican Ballgame” explores the history and significance of the ballgame throughout history. You can explore an interactive timeline, study its history among various cultures, and even see vide of the game being played today! It also includes lesson plans and activities for students of all grade levels.
Archaeologists working at Uxul have uncovered a Royal Burial. The tomb contains the remains of a man in his early to mid-twenties and several artifacts indicative of a prestigious burial. The young prince, however, does not appear to have been first in line for the throne. A drinking vessel found with the Prince has several hieroglyphics that identify his royal status and provide an approximate date for the death and subsequent burial.
“We feel that the person that was buried there is a son of a local ruler, someone who was not in direct line to the throne, but we feel this ruler still had certain connections to the Calakmul dynasty,” – Kai Delvendahl
2012 – it’s been the subject of conspiracy theories, catastrophic predictions, and terrible, terrible films. People frequently cite the ‘ancient wisdom’ of the Maya that the end of the world is nigh. However, the 2012 phenomenon is one of the greatest fallacies of history. The Maya, in fact, never predicted the world would end in 2012
While it is true that the Mayan calendrical cycle, which spans approximately 5,125 years and begins with their creation event (in 3114 BCE) ends December 21, 2012 it does not mean dire and catastrophic world’s end. In fact, it simply means that the clock will start over (much like when the odometer goes from 999,999 it starts back over at 0).
So, don’t get all your crazy partying out now, plan for 2013. If you want to learn more about the Mayan Calendar and the consequences of 2012, see the article in National Geographic.
When I was 19 years old, I ventured into the jungles of Central America to excavate a Mayan Site. It was a Classic, Late-Classic Site located at Chan Chich outside of Gallon Jug. It was when I fell in love with archaeology and field work (one of the few things I miss from my times in academia). It was also when I knew that I did not want to work in the jungles of Central America. Have you seen the size of their spiders? I mean, seriously? They’re huge! Also, they have one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, a Fer-de-Lance. Our site was over run with them and I killed at least two with my machete (yes – I own a machete and I know how to use it – properly). Recently, I uncovered a couple of pictures from my first field work. I have decided to post them, even though they’re incredibly unflattering (terrible clothes, no makeup, covered in sweat and grime). Still, they remind me of good times!
The road was a surprise find for archaeologists, who stated: ”Until our discovery, these roads were only known from the Yucatan area in Mexico and all were built with stone linings, which generally preserved well.”
Archaeologists have recently uncovered two royal burials at Nakum, a Mayan archaeological site in Guatemala. The tombs date to 1,300 and 2,000 BP and filled with various luxuries (such as gold, jade, and elite pottery).
These are the first royal burials discovered at Nakum, once a large and densely populated Mayan site. The full details of the burials are described in the September Issue of Antiquity.
Recent excavations South of Mexico City in Chalcatzingo (a region known to have been connected with the Olmec culture) has uncovered a monolith, dating to approximately 700 BCE, depicting three feline figures (likely jaguars or mountain lions).
Triad Cat Monolith copyright National Geographic
After several months of piecing together the piece, archaeologists have revealed the completed work to the public. Its purpose is still unknown, but professionals assert that it had a type of ritualistic significance and may have served as a type of ‘religious bilboard’ scattered across the landscape.
“One of our hypotheses is that, in the time from 800 to 500 B.C., there was a frieze along the entire Cerro Chalcatzingo,” or “Chalcatzingo hill,” project member Mario Cordova Tello, an archaeologist with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), said in a statement.
The find will be instrumental in determining the relationship between the Olmec and the Native inhabitants of Chalcatzingo. Read more about the find in this National Geographic Article.