Events and Announcements
The Mesoamerican ballgame and its architectural settings. A three millennia tradition.
with Dr. Eric Taladoire
Professor Emeritus, Archaeology of the Americas Department, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
The ballgame is one of the oldest traditions of Mesoamerica: the first known ball court dates 1200 BC, and the game is still alive in several regions of western Mexico. Far from its sportive aspect, the game is deeply rooted in Mesoamerican thought and cosmology. Up to now, more than 2000 ball courts have been registered all over the cultural area, while representations of ball courts can be found in pictographic manuscripts, in rock art and in offerings. In the Maya area, playing was one of the kings’ responsibilities, while in the Mexica Empire the game was a substitute for war. The ballgame obviously underwent many changes and meanings, according to the different civilizations that practiced it, but the available data allow asserting that it maintained, throughout its long-lasting existence, the same basic symbolism.
May 2015 IMS Explorer
Volume 44, Issue 5
The May 2015 issue of the IMS Explorer is available now. Read about "Tikal's Ballcourt Marker" by Janice Van Cleve; "Royal Chambers Unsealed: Tombs of the Classic Maya" by Marta Barber; "The Rogan Plates - Maya Art in Georgia" by Mark F. Cheney and other news.
Harvard University's Peabody Museum has a new online exhibition called "Masterpieces of the Peabody Museum" Based on a former gallery exhibition, the online exhibition groups selected objects by their geographic origins. The ten artifacts in the "Masterpieces from Mesoamerica" include gold items from Panama, Maya Jade, a Maya wall panel, a vessel from the Puuc region, a carved Peccary Skull from Copan and a Holmul polychrome. Descriptions for the exhibit were written by scholars including Ian Graham, Tatiana Proskouriakoff and Gordon R. Wiley. The Mesoamerica page for the exhibition can be found here.