Mexican archaeologists say they have determined why ancient mayans they built watchtowers next to the site where they played the ball game at the Chichén Itzá temples, and the result is that it was done for observe the equinoxes and solstices, according to the scientists expressed last Friday, being a discovery that contributes something more to the general understanding of the ritual meaning that the ball game had for pre-Columbian culture.
The mayan ball gameAccording to experts, it consisted of hitting a heavy ball with elbows, knees or hips, until it passed through stone rings hung on the walls. The basis of these “surveillance”, Were located on top of the walls and a ladder (which had collapsed) linked the highest point with the field, but the archaeologists were unaware of their use.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History announced Thursday that the boxes with the stairs had been 90% rebuilt, based on the remaining stone foundations. Late last year and early this year, a team led by archaeologist José Huchim confirmed that the sun was shining through the slit-shaped openings when the sun touched the horizon on the winter solstice.
Sun rays too form a diagonal pattern during the equinox, which confirmed the theory that had been proposed since the first discovery.
Huchim said he was not aware of other similar structures in other Mayan ball games. "In this place is the only one we find it”, He assured, and affirmed that a stone structure in ruins near Uxmal, above the playing field on one side, seemed to have been used as a kind of spectator stand for an elite audience.
Huchim also said that ancient descriptions of ball games often portray people along the walls, apparently acting as referees for the game.
Archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli of Boston University, who was not involved in the project, said the lines of solar sightings they were part of Mayan architecture and cosmology.
“The fact that the sunrise can be observed through a structure must be understood in that sense, as reverence to the sun or another star and not as an observatory in the technical sense”, Commented Estrada-Belli, who ended by saying that“the orientation of the structures emphasizes the sacredness of the ritual space”.
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