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Wupatki National Monument in Coconino County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Ballcourt

A Mexican Idea at Wupatki

 
 
The Ballcourt Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
1. The Ballcourt Marker
Inscription.
Ballcourts were common in southern Arizona from A.D. 750 to 1200, but relatively rare here in the northern part of the state. This suggests that the people of Wupatki intermingled with their southern Arizona neighbors - the Hohokam - who may have borrowed and modified the ballcourt idea from earlier contact with the Indian cultures of Mexico.

There is continued speculation about the uses of the ballcourts. Because of the work involved in building a ballcourt and the numbers that have been found (over 200 in Arizona), ball games may have been an important part of life for the people of Wupatki and their southern neighbors.

The Wupatki ballcourt is 78 feet wide, 102 feet long, and had a 6-foot-high wall. Excavated and stabilized in 1965, a large part of the interior wall has been reconstructed.

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[Illustration inset captions]
Located along major natural drainages and travel routes, ballcourts may have provided opportunities for social exchange between villages. They were often within a one-day walk of a neighboring village.

This depiction of a ball game is based on descriptions of games played by the Mayan and Aztec cultures of Mexico and speculations on the Hohokam games in southern Arizona.

The Hohokam balls - found at archeological
The Ballcourt and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
2. The Ballcourt and Marker
sites containing ballcourts - were made of carefully shaped rock and perhaps covered with pine pitch or other material. One form of the game might have involved moving the ball toward a goal using a curved stick.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 35° 31.369′ N, 111° 22.333′ W. Marker is in Wupatki National Monument, Arizona, in Coconino County. Click for map. The ballcourt is part of the Wupatki Pueblo, near the national monument visitor center. Marker is in this post office area: Flagstaff AZ 86004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Blowhole (a few steps from this marker); A Gathering Place (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wukoki (approx. 2.5 miles away); Nalakihu (approx. 6.3 miles away); Where Were The Fields? (approx. 6.3 miles away); The Citadel / Natural Features (approx. 6.3 miles away); A Village/Abandonment (approx. 6.3 miles away); Community (approx. 6.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wupatki National Monument.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wupatki National Monument. (Submitted on April 14, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Wupatki Archeology. (Submitted on April 14, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Wupatki Ballcourt image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
3. Wupatki Ballcourt

3. The Ballgame in North America. (Submitted on April 14, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSports
 
The Ballcourt and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
4. The Ballcourt and Marker
Looking NNE
Illustration on Ballcourt Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service, undated
5. Illustration on Ballcourt Marker
See caption above
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 745 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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