Constructed in the middle of the N10-43 (high temple) plaza (typically
Maya ballcourts are placed beside plazas), see map below for placement
Constructed very late, around AD 841 when other major city-states are
beginning to decline
Although not the smallest it certainly does have a very narrow playing
2006 summer field school sits on the uncarved limestone 1.5 meter
ballcourt marker. When D.
Pendergast lifted this
large marker (originally it was at the same level as the ground
surface) he was one of the first to discover a dedicatory cache that
contained 131 grams of liquid mercury!
The cache also contained a deep-sea Spondylous shell, 19g of
cinnabar, and 100g of hematite.
know very little about the ancient Maya ballgame that would have been
played at Lamanai. We do
feel the players possibly utilized a rubber ball that may have been
slightly larger then a softball.
Based on ethnographic accounts and depictions on vessels,
structures, and even figurines some archaeologists believe players
tried to keep the ball in play by using only their hips, knees, waist,
and elbows. The game may
have been played for several reasons including 1) friendly, 2) to
solve political disputes, and 3) to honor the underworld through human
sacrifice of either the winner or loser?!
see www.ballgame.org for more
information on this fascinating topic.