Did Mayan game use ashes of dead rulers to make the balls?

Feedback explores a shocking Mayan game in Mexico, while discovering the true nature of Amazon and trying to avoid autonomous cars

Humans 17 August 2022

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Josie Ford

Bounced out of office

A month after Wimbledon, Feedback’s summer of sport travels to Central America and a claim that one ancient Mayan ball game required some extremely specialist equipment. As if the capital “I”-shaped court used to play this form of pelota weren’t fiendish enough, the ashes of dead rulers were used to make the game’s rubber balls.

At least, that is the suggestion made by Juan Yadeun Angulo, an archaeologist at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. An article in Science Alert concludes that Angulo’s physical evidence, from a 1300-year-old crypt in Toniná, Mexico, beneath a …

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