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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

San Juan el Alto in Municipality of Pénjamo, Guanajuato, Mexico — The Central Highlands
 

The Ball Court of Plazuelas

 
 
The Ball Court of Plazuelas Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 6, 2020
1. The Ball Court of Plazuelas Marker
The marker has been damaged by exposure to the sun. Most of the Spanish text was translated from the English text which is slightly more clear.
Inscription.  

El juego de pelota tenía un sentido ritual y religioso; los jugadores simularon la lucha del dios solar contra los señores de la muerte y la oscuridad.

La finalidad del ritual era asegurar la salida victoriosa del sol por las mañanas, quien con su energía renovada seguiría la vida en la tierra.

En las esquinas de la cancha se encontraban 4 esculturas representando una serpiente y en el centro a manera de marcador una serpiente-lagarto.

Junto está el temazcal, o baño de vapor, de propiedades mágicas, donde los jugadores purificaban antes del juego.

English:
The ball game had a ritual and religious sense; the players simulated the struggle between the sun god and the lords of death and darkness. The aim of the ritual was to assure the victorious sunrise in the mornings since the renewed energy of the sun guaranteed the continuity of this cycle that was vital to the land.

In the corners of the ball court there are 4 sculptures representing a serpent and in the center there is a serpent-alligator that served as a scoreboard.

Next to it the temazcal,
The Ball Court of Plazuelas and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 6, 2020
2. The Ball Court of Plazuelas and Marker
or steam bath, with magical properties in which the players purified themselves before the game as part of the rite.
 
Erected by Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH).
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative AmericansSports.
 
Location. 20° 24.186′ N, 101° 49.601′ W. Marker is in San Juan el Alto, Guanajuato, in Municipality of Pénjamo. Marker can be reached from Camino a San Juan El Alto 4 kilometers north of Route 110. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Juan el Alto, Guanajuato 36935, Mexico. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 24 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Plazuelas Archaeological Zone (within shouting distance of this marker); Petroglyphs at Plazuelas (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); General Lázaro Cárdenas (approx. 11.1 kilometers away); 175th Anniversary of the Beginning of Independence (approx. 11.1 kilometers away); 209th Anniversary of the Death of Hidalgo (approx. 11.2 kilometers away); Marriage of Miguel Hidalgo's Parents (approx. 11.2 kilometers away); 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Hidalgo (approx. 23.6 kilometers away); Miguel Hidalgo's Birth House (approx. 23.6 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Juan el Alto.
 
The Ball Court of Plazuelas with the site's main temples to the north image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 6, 2020
3. The Ball Court of Plazuelas with the site's main temples to the north
A serpent figure from the Ball Court of Plazuelas image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 6, 2020
4. A serpent figure from the Ball Court of Plazuelas
This figure in the shape of a serpent is mentioned in the marker text and functioned as one of the eastern borders of the ball court. It is in the site's small museum.

Its text reads:
El marcador oriente del juego de pelota exhibe atributos de los antiguos dioses de la lluvia, reiterando su asociación con la fertilidad. Así lo expresan el penacho de plumas, los círculos de los ojos, la espiral que enmarca la boca, la nariz enroscada, las encias dentadas y la mandibula inferior recortada.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 8, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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Mar. 6, 2021