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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tancama in Municipality of Jalpan de Serra, Querétaro, Mexico — The Central Highlands
 

The Small Ballcourt

 
 
The Small Ballcourt Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 14, 2018
1. The Small Ballcourt Marker
The figure on the marker is a representation of a ballgame player hitting the ball with his hips. This is known as one way that the game was played based on drawings and small clay figures found that show the game played this way and also with hip protectors.
Inscription.  
Pequeño juego de pelota
El juego de pelota prehispánico que se practicó en gran parte de lo que hoy es nuestro país se hacía con una pelota de hule y ésta no se podía tocar con las manos durante su ejecución. Hay canchas de diversas formas y tamaños, pero muchas de ellas tienen forma de "I".

Aunque no todos podían participar, el juego de pelota debió ser muy común, ya que muchas de las poblaciones prehispánicas poseen al menos una cancha. Hay antiguas ciudades que destacan por la múltiple cantidad de ellos, como son Cantona, en Puebla o El Tajín en Veracruz. Otros sitios los tienen de un gran tamaño, como Chichén ltzá en Yucatán. Incluso los hay en lugares distantes como Paquimé en Chihuahua.

Por ello no sorprende que en Tancama también haya una cancha de juego de pelota. Pero lo llamativo de ésta, es su tamaño reducido, pues sus dimensiones lo ubican como uno de las más pequeños de Mesoamérica.

Una característica más de este juego de pelota es la presencia de una pequeña construcción de forma cuadrangular en el edificio que se encuentra al lado sur. No obstante sus diferencias con los juegos de pelota
The Small Ballcourt and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 14, 2018
2. The Small Ballcourt and Marker
Buildings No. 7 and 8 (Building of the Fishhooks) can be seen in this view towards the north in the background.
de otros lugares, seguramente su práctica en Tancama debió relacionarse con el mismo ritual de sacrificio humano.

English translation:
The Small Ballcourt
The pre-Hispanic ball game that was practiced in much of what is now our country was played with a rubber ball and it could not be touched by the hands during play. There are courts of different shapes and sizes, but many of them have an "I" shape. Although not everyone could participate, the ball game must have been very common, since many of the pre-Hispanic populations have at least one court. There are ancient cities that stand out for having multiple ballcourts, such as Cantona, in Puebla or El Tajín in Veracruz. Other sites have very large ballcourts, such as Chichén ltzá in Yucatán. There are even some in distant places like Paquimé in Chihuahua.

Therefore, it is not surprising that in Tancama there is also a ballcourt. But the striking thing about it is its small size, because its dimensions place it as one of the smallest in Mesoamerica.

Another feature of this ballcourt is the presence of a small quadrangular construction on the south side. Despite these differences when compared to the ballcourts from other places, the practice of the ball game in Tancama must have been related to the same ritual of human sacrifice.
 
Erected by Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia y el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
 
Location. 21° 9.611′ N, 99° 23.803′ W. Marker is in Tancama, Querétaro, in Municipality of Jalpan de Serra. Marker can be reached from Jalpan de Serra - Xijitla Highway (Route 120), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. The marker is at the base of the Small Ballcourt at the Tancama Archaeological Site. Marker is in this post office area: Tancama, Querétaro 76347, Mexico.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Plaza Santiago (within shouting distance of this marker); The Four Huastecans (within shouting distance of this marker); The Copper Butterfly Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Corporal Deformation (within shouting distance of this marker); Buildings for the Elite (within shouting distance of this marker); Tancama (within shouting distance of this marker); The Building of the Attached Room (within shouting distance of this marker); Tribute to Benito Juárez (approx. 8.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tancama.
 
Categories. AnthropologyMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSports
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2018, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 20, 2018, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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