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Melchor de Mencos in Municipality of Melchor de Mencos, Petén, Guatemala
 

The Palace's Ballgame

 
 
The Palace's Ballgame Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, August 19, 2016
1. The Palace's Ballgame Marker
Inscription.
Juego de Pelota del Palacio
(Juego de pelota 1)
Se encuentra frente a la fachada norte del Conjunto Palaciego de la Realeza (Acrópolis Sur). Desde lo alto el gobernante y miembros de la corte presenciaron el desempeño del juego. La cancha está delimitada por dos plataformas paralelas orientadas de norte a sur; la dirección norte correspondió al cielo que se asoció con la luz, mientras que el sur fue relacionado con el inframundo ligado a la oscuridad.

El espacio reducido del patio indica que el juego pudo haber sido protagonizado por no más de tres individuos por equipo. El marcador solía ser colocado en la parte superior de los muros, ó bien en el suelo en el sector central del patio.

El juego tuvo una connotación ritual y política muy importante, puesto que uno ó varios de los miembros del equipo perdedor eran sacrificados. La pelota de caucho que representaba al sol era impulsada con las rodillas y caderas, para ello los jugadores se protegían con rodilleras y anchas fajas.

El gobernante participaba como jugador cuando había que solucionar diferencias políticas entre ciudades antagónicas.

English translation:
The Palace’s Ballgame
(Ballgame 1)
This court is located in front of the north facade of the Royal Palace Complex (South Acropolis). From the top of
The Palace's Ballgame Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, August 19, 2016
2. The Palace's Ballgame Marker
The marker is to the right of the Ball Court.
the court the ruler and members of his court witnessed the performance of the game. The court is bound by two parallel platforms oriented north to south. The north corresponded to the sky and its light, while the south was related to the underworld and darkness.

The small size of the court indicates that the game could have been played by no more than three individuals per team. The goal was normally placed on top of the walls or in the ground in the central sector of the court.

The game had a very important political ritual meaning, since one or more of the losing team members were sacrificed. The rubber ball representing the sun was struck with the knees and hips, so players were protected with knee pads and wide belts.

The ruler participated as a player when it was necessary to solve political differences between quarreling cities.
 
Location. 17° 4.42′ N, 89° 24.149′ W. Marker is in Melchor de Mencos, Petén, in Municipality of Melchor de Mencos. Touch for map. The marker is to the right of the Ball Court at Yaxhá Archaeological Park. The park is some 5 kilometers north of the village of El Zapote, turning from the CA13 road. Marker is in this post office area: Melchor de Mencos, Petén 17011, Guatemala.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sacrificial Pyramid (a few steps from this marker); Intersection of the Eastern and Quarry Causeways (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Plaza of the Birds (about 120 meters away); The North Acropolis at Yaxhá (approx. 0.2 kilometers away); East Causeway Residential Zone (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); The Quarry Causeway (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Plaza of the Columns (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); The Eastern Acropolis of Yaxhá (approx. half a kilometer away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Melchor de Mencos.
 
Also see . . .  The Mesoamerican Ball Game at Wikipedia. Pre-Columbian ballcourts have been found throughout Mesoamerica, as far south as modern Nicaragua, and possibly as far north as what is now the U.S. state of Arizona. These ballcourts vary considerably in size, but all have long narrow alleys with slanted side-walls. (Submitted on October 28, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.) 
 
Categories. AnthropologyMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSports
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 173 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 28, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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