News FocusSOCIETY FOR AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY MEETING

Playing Politics Or Just a Game?

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Science  30 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5978, pp. 567
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5978.567

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Summary

In ancient Mesoamerica, ball games weren't just for fun. The classic game, which involved a hard rubber ball and helmeted players on a rectangular field, had serious ritual and political goals—or at least that has been the conventional wisdom among archaeologists. But at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, one researcher put a new twist on this story, arguing that the ball courts found throughout Mesoamerica likely began as a communal game and only later were co-opted by elites who used them for their own ends.