Ancient Monolith Depicting Ballplayer Found in Mexico

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Mexican archaeologists have found a new ballplayer monolith dating from between 900 A.D. and 1000 A.D at an archaeological site in the north-central state of Zacatecas, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

The pre-Columbian sculpture was excavated from a depth of 1.5 meters (5 feet), the INAH said in a statement, noting that another sculpture depicting a ballplayer was located at the end of last year at the same complex, known as El Teul.

Experts say the two pieces may evoke the "divine twins" mentioned in the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayas.
The more recently discovered sculpture is an almost complete cylindrical figure that is 1.75 meters (5.7 feet) tall and measures 56 centimeters (22 inches) in diameter. It was found a few weeks ago at El Teul's ballgame court, the INAH said.

The sculpture fell to the ground after the collapse of one of the court's walls, the archaeologists in charge of the excavation work, Peter Jiménez and Laura Solar, said, adding that the piece was decapitated and only a fragment of one of the ears has been recovered.

El Teul, located on the like-named hill outside the Zacatecas town of Teul de Gonzalez Ortega, was one of the few settlements in the Americas that was continuously inhabited from 200 B.C. to the time of the Spanish conquest in the first half of the 16th century, the INAH said....


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