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
Archaeologists working in San Antonio have recently uncovered a hut, dating to approximately 1,500 BCE, along the San Antonio River. This find proves that the natives of Southern Texas (often characterized as ‘primitive’) were in fact living in sophisticated communities replete with permanent structures.
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.
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.”
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.
Yep, you read that correctly – Llama poop. New World peoples did not domesticate large beasts of burden with one exception – the Llama in South America. The Inca used Llamas as pack animals, as a source of hair for knitting & weaving, nutrients, companionship, and even their dung was instrumental. Like most civilizations, the dung of large animals was used for fertilization and burned as a fuel source.
The maritime accomplishments of the Maya have largely been neglected in the archaeological world. Recently, NOAA teamed up with Mayan Archaeologists to explore ancient coastlines and maritime accomplishments of this vibrant, New World civilization.
Read more about this large, significant project in this article published by NOAA.