ball court

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An open court, usually in the shape of an elongated H, originating in Mesoamerica in the later 1st millennium bc, and used for a game known by the Nahuatl word for it: tlatchli. This game, which was both recreational and of ritual significance, involved two opposing teams or individuals attempting to keep a large and heavy rubber ball in motion without the use of their hands or feet. Rules and arrangements changed over time and between regions, but some Post‐Classic examples had stone rings set high on the walls of the court. When a team managed to get the ball through such a ring they automatically won the game. The loss of a game could sometimes result in the sacrifice of the losing team.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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