Ball court at Chichen Itza

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (13)

Ryan Calhoun on July 14, 2007

I visited here when I was much younger (and before I had a camera). That's a nice shot of the stone hoop. Brings back some memories.

Marilyn Whiteley on July 15, 2007

From what I observed, Ryan, I wouldn't have thought that anyone had ever gone there without a camera!!

eme jota on November 1, 2007

Great shot Marilyn...All is perfect, the light and the textures in the stone..A very stong image. Congratulatiomns for all your gallery...I've added you to my favourites at the first sight...;D I'll be back to enjoy your works.

Marilyn Whiteley on November 1, 2007

Many thanks, eme jota, for your kind words.

I was very pleased with the angle of the sun and how the shadows lined up when we were here. Very good luck!

Christophe Van Hulle on November 4, 2007

I like this picture very much. Same remark as on the one from the Taj Mahal. I visited Chichen Itza about 10 years ago and I only had one of those throw away cameras. The result is the typical picture of the pyramid you can find in my album (to show mum and dad). With this picture I sure would have told them a very different story so I guess I took the wrong picture. Cheers, Christophe

Marilyn Whiteley on November 4, 2007

Thanks, Christophe. It's been over a period of many years that I've been learning to look for pictures that do more than record "I was here." I've found it a rewarding process because I see so much more when I start looking to see where the picture is! Cheers, Marilyn

Rached Msadek on January 29, 2008

Thank you for this very nice shot ©Marilyn Whiteleyfor your very nice gallery. Greetting from rached msadek

Marilyn Whiteley on January 29, 2008

Thank you, rached msadek, for your comment and for the opportunity to explore your interesting gallery. Greetings from Canada. Marilyn

Marilyn Whiteley on July 4, 2008

My thanks to whoever suggested the better mapping. The satellite image quality has improved greatly since I mapped it, and I am glad to be able to mark this in its correct place.

Juan Tizcareño Irach… on March 2, 2010

Congratulations my dear friend, this photo is very well taken. In fact, I like all your gallery, specially this one. At my gallery I have some pictures from "El Tajin", the most important archeologic zone in Veracruz, Mex. Please, visit my gallery and give me an opinion of my photos.

Greetings from San Luis Potosi, Mex.

aabhash on March 7, 2010

Beautiful! You are really an amazing photographer. We really love your works.

Marilyn Whiteley on March 13, 2010

Thanks for your very nice comments, Juan and aabhash. Greetings from Canada, Marilyn

Juan Tizcareño Irach… on December 22, 2010

Ballgame (Juego de Pelota)

The Mesoamerican ballgame was a sport with ritual associations played since 1,000 B.C. by the pre-Columbian peoples of Mesoamerica. The sport had different versions in different places during the millennia, and a modern version of the game, ulama, is still played in a few places by the local indigenous population.

Pre-Columbian ballcourts have been found throughout Mesoamerica, as far south as Nicaragua, and possibly as far north as the U.S. state of Arizona. These ballcourts vary considerably in size, but all have long narrow alleys with side-walls against which the balls could bounce.

The rules of the ballgame are whoever wins is considered safe and the losing team is sacrificed, but judging from its descendant, ball, they were probably similar to racquetball or volleyball, where the aim is to keep the ball in play. The stone ballcourt goals (see photo to right) are a late addition to the game. This later addition of the game changed the game entirely though, since an immediate win could be attained from them by tossing the balls in the ring, or points could be scored by simply tossing the ball so that it touched the ring.

In the most widespread version of the game, the players struck the ball with their hips, although some versions allowed the use of forearms, rackets, bats, or handstones. The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed up to 4 kg (9 lbs) or more, and sizes differed greatly over time or according to the version played.

The game had important ritual aspects, and major formal ballgames were held as ritual events, often featuring human sacrifice. The sport was also played casually for recreation by children and perhaps even women.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 12, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Marilyn Whiteley
    • Taken on 2006/01/29 15:42:17
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 38.10mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO64
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash