An ancient ball game reveals more about the beginnings of Mesoamerican society

An ancient ball game reveals more about the beginnings of Mesoamerican society

The latest research from the George Washington University professor, Jeffrey P. Blomster, explore the importance of the ball game for ancient Mesoamerican societies. Dr. Blomster's findings show how the discovery of a figure of a player in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca demonstrates the early involvement of the region in the iconography and ideology of the game, a point that had not been documented by other researchers.

Dr. Blomster's work, the evidence of the ball game in Oaxaca, Mexico, appears in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS).

Player Figurine Found

Blomster, associate professor of anthropology GW, has invested 20 years investigating the origin of complex societies in Mesoamerica. The participation of the early Mixtec societies in the ball game it is a new aspect of your research. For the post, Blogster has worked with college students, Izack Nacheman and Joseph DiVirgilio, to create artistic representations of figurine artifacts found in Mexico.

While the early games used a hard rubber ball, the Blonster's research on ball games they have little to do with today's Major League Baseball. The games and the costumes or uniforms of the participants were on themes of life and death, mortals and deities from another world or symbolizing the sun and the moon. In some cases, the ball game itself represents a portal to the underworld.

According to Blomster, “Since the ball game is associated with the emergence of complex societies, understanding its origins also reflects its socio-political evolution.”.

During the Early Horizon period, or roughly 1,400 (before the Common Era) and 1,700 BC, there were little evidence on the activity in the game of the ball in artifacts from the Oaxaca region in Mexico. Blomster's findings of a clay figurine dressed in the distinctive costume of the game, similar to Olmec figurines and monumental Gulf Coast sculptures, indicates the commitment he had in that area.

Exploring the origins and spread of the ball game is central to understanding the development of Mesoamerican civilization”, He says. “We know that there are early versions of the ball game before the Early Horizon with both game balls and rubber balls found on the Chiapas coast and the Gulf coast, but the institutionalized version of the ball game, a hallmark of Mesoamerican civilizations, developed during the Early Horizon. While there was limited evidence on the participation of the nearby Valley of Oaxaca in the ball game, there is much written about the Mixteca in terms of participation on the origins of the complex society of ancient Mexico. This discovery once again emphasizes how the ancient Mixtecs were active participants in the great Mesoamerican phenomenon.”, ended.

Source: George Washington University

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.

Video: Coba and the MAYA BALL GAME