A Game to Remember

Digs & Discoveries July/August 2023

(Courtesy INAH)

A carved stone marker was recently found near an entrance to the Casa Colorada building complex in the ancient city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The carving depicts two men playing the Maya ball game, and contains the first complete inscription found at the site in 20 years. The circular marker, which was discovered by archaeologist Lizbeth Beatriz Mendicuti Pérez of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, is nearly 13 inches in diameter and weighs more than 85 pounds. The inscription includes the date 12 Eb 10 Cumku in the Maya ritual calendar, which corresponds to a particular day in A.D. 894. Mendicuti Pérez believes that the marker commemorates a game played on that date at the Casa Colorada complex. The ball game was played for many reasons, including to celebrate important events. What that event may have been in this case remains unknown.

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