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Prehispanic statue of decapitated ballgame player found in Mexico

A Prehispanic sculpture of a decapitated ballgame player has been found at the El Teul Archaeological Zone in Mexico.

The life-size finding took place during research work conducted for the opening to public visit of the ceremonial site in 2012. The quarry dates from 900-1100 of the Common Era and evidence determines that the sculpture was created beheaded, maybe to serve as a pedestal for the heads of sacrificed players of the ritual ballgame.

The cylindrical sculpture with a 52 centimeter diameter is 1.97 meters high and weighs nearly a ton, and was located in the southeast area of the Ballgame court. Fragments of a similar sculpture were found in the northern extreme, so it is possible to find a pair of similar sculptures in the western side, still unexplored.

The discovery adds up to the great diversity of material found: shell and greenstone beads found in shaft tombs, ear ornaments with Teotihuacan motives, codex-style polychrome ceramics, as well as copper rattles and rings manufactured in one of the few Prehispanic foundries discovered.

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