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The Ball Game of Mesoamerica
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Ball Game of Mesoamerica

The sport known simply as the Ball Game was popular across Mesoamerica and played by all the major civilizations from the Olmecs to the Aztecs. The impressive stone courts became a staple feature of a city’s sacred complex and there...
Olmec Colossal Stone Heads
Article by Mark Cartwright

Olmec Colossal Stone Heads

The stone head sculptures of the Olmec civilization of the Gulf Coast of Mexico (1200 BCE - 400 BCE) are amongst the most mysterious and debated artefacts from the ancient world. The most agreed upon theory is that, because of their unique...
The Tizoc Stone
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Tizoc Stone

The Tizoc Stone is a huge stone cylinder from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan which depicts a sun-disk on its flat upper surface and carries a frieze around its outer edge showing Aztec warriors and the Aztec king Tizoc, whose reign from...
Huastecs' Mother Goddess from Mexico
Image by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

Huastecs' Mother Goddess from Mexico

This limestone statue was made by Huastec people. Those were Mayan Indians who lived in ancient Mexico. After their conquest by Aztecs about 1450 CE, the Huastec mother goddess merged to some degree with Tiazolteoti (an Aztec goddess). From...
Remnants of Maya Ruins at San Gervasio, Mexico
Image by James Blake Wiener

Remnants of Maya Ruins at San Gervasio, Mexico

The ruins of San Gervasio -- located on the island of Cozumel in Mexico -- were once an important site of pilgrimage to Maya people who lived from c. 1000-1650 CE. A sanctuary of the Maya goddess Ix Chel used to be located at this location...
Joined Couple from Nayarit, Mexico
Image by James Blake Wiener

Joined Couple from Nayarit, Mexico

This sculpture of a joined male and female couple dates from 100 BCE-250 CE. It is a polychrome ceramic and comes from Nayarit, Mexico. (Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, California)
Male Figure from Nayarit, Mexico
Image by James Blake Wiener

Male Figure from Nayarit, Mexico

This sculpture of a male figure dates from 200 BCE-500 CE. It is a polychrome ceramic. It comes from what's presently Nayarit, Mexico. (Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, California)
The Maya Arch at San Gervasio, Mexico
Image by James Blake Wiener

The Maya Arch at San Gervasio, Mexico

In Pre-Columbian days, this construction was the entrance or exit to the central part of San Gervasio, leading to the Caribbean coast. Pilgrims and traders would reach the famous sanctuary of the goddess Ix Chel and deposit an offering at...
Maya Ruins of San Gervasio on Cozumel, Mexico
Image by James Blake Wiener

Maya Ruins of San Gervasio on Cozumel, Mexico

The ruins of San Gervasio -- located on the island of Cozumel in Mexico -- were once an important site of pilgrimage to Maya people who lived from c. 1000-1650 CE. A sanctuary of the Maya goddess Ix Chel used to be located at this location...
Olmec Colossal Head
Image by Mary Harrsch (Photographed at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco)

Olmec Colossal Head

A basalt colossal head from the Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica. Provenance: Veracruz, Mexico, 1200-900 BCE. The significance of the heads is disputed but as no two heads are alike and each headdress has distinctive designs they may represent...