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ball game

Calcio match in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, in Florence. Painting by Jan Van der Straet. Source: Public Domain

Calcio Storico, The Sport of Florence That Equates to an All-out Brawl

In modern times, it is not uncommon for ancient sports to once more become popular. Often, they are long forgotten board games, or folkloric games with sticks and stones. But one Italian sport didn’t...
Mayan ball game. Source: Sputnik / CC by SA 2.5

Juego de Pelota: Ancient Mayan Sporting Tradition Resurrected (Video)

In Mexico, a dedicated group of athletes is embarking on a remarkable mission: to revive an ancient sporting tradition that pays tribute to the game once cherished by their ancestors. The...
Archaeologists unearthed a stone commemorative disc featuring images of contestants in a Maya ball game at Chichén Itzá in Mexico. Source: INAH

Commemorative Disc from 894 AD Maya Ball Game Found at Chichén Itzá

A commemorative disc carved in stone and featuring images of contestants in a Maya sporting event was recently unearthed at the Chichén Itzá archaeological site in southern Mexico on the Yucatan...
The Temple of the Sun at Tonina Archaeological site, Chiapas. (Mauricio Marat / INAH)  Entrance to the newly discovered crypt  Temple of the Sun of Toniná, where the bodies of their rulers were cremated. Source: Mauricio Marat / INAH

Mesoamerican Ball Game Rubber Balls Were Made With Human Ashes

Archaeologists in Mexico have discussed the ritual significance of the Maya “Cave of Death”. It contained ingredients of rubber sporting balls laced with human ashes. The pre-Columbian Maya city of...
Mesoamerican ball game players

Danger on the Court: The Deadly Ancient Mesoamerican Ball Game

The Mesoamerican ball game is the oldest known team sport in the world. It was practiced by ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Central America and played almost a millennium before the establishment...
Modern day Pok-ta-pok players in action

3,000-Year-Old Ball Game Where Winners Lost Their Heads Is Revived in Mexico

In order to commemorate and honor Mexican heritage, teams from Mexico and Belize competed against each other in a three millennia-old game known as Ulama. The game took place in the ancient Mayan...
Mesoamerican ballgame latterly known as ‘Ulama’, using ‘Hipball’ rules

Playing Ball in Ancient Belize: 1,300-year-old Stone Panels Depicting Mayan Ballplayers Revealed

Archaeologists have deciphered two 1,300-year-old stone panels that depict ancient Mayans playing with large balls while carrying impressive fans. The panels were found at the archaeological site of...
Examples of Olmec art.

What Makes the Olmec Culture So Unique and Alluring?

The Olmecs were the first true Mesoamerican civilization. There were small villages and groups of people in the area in which the Olmec developed but these societies are referred to as Pre-Olmec. The...
El Castillo - Maya

The Mystery of the Lost Ancient Culture of the Maya

The collapse of the Maya civilization is considered one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. One can only speculate their downfall from the numerous explanations presented by...