Prehispanic Decapitated Ballgame Player Sculpture Discovered by Archaeologists in Mexico





A Prehispanic sculpture that represents a beheaded ballgame player was discovered by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) at El Teul Archaeological Zone, in Zacatecas, one of the few Mesoamerican sites continuously occupied for 18 centuries.

The life-size finding took place during research work conducted for the opening to public visit of the ceremonial site in 2012. The quarry dates from 900-1100 of the Common Era and evidence determines that the sculpture was created beheaded, maybe to serve as a pedestal for the heads of sacrificed players of the ritual ballgame.

The cylindrical sculpture with a 52 centimeter diameter is 1.97 meters high and weighs nearly a ton, and was located in the southeast area of the Ballgame court. Fragments of a similar sculpture were found in the northern extreme, so it is possible to find a pair of similar sculptures in the western side, still unexplored.

The discovery adds up to the great diversity of material found: shell and greenstone beads found in shaft tombs, ear ornaments with Teotihuacan motives, codex-style polychrome ceramics, as well as copper rattles and rings manufactured in one of the few Prehispanic foundries discovered....

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