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New Zapotec Pyramid Found With Vivid Murals, Stacked Tombs

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posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:21 AM
New Zapotec Pyramid Found With Vivid Murals, Stacked Tombs

"No Humans Here"

One of three stacked tombs newly discovered within a pyramid, this vividly painted chamber is unique among ancient Zapotec funerary architecture, Mexican archaeologists announced in late July.

Dating from about A.D. 650 to 850, the funerary complex was part of an elite neighborhood of the Zapotec, an agrarian culture that once thrived throughout what's now the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

"Painted motifs in funerary contexts are quite usual in this culture," excavation director Nelly Robles García said. "But at other sites they show important people: priests, warriors, and rulers—most likely the deceased."

No humans appear here. Instead, the designs seem to refer to the sacred ritual ball game played by many pre-Hispanic peoples in Mesoamerica. A bit like soccer combined with basketball, the game involved hitting a hard rubber ball around a court, and sometimes ended in sacrificial death for the losers.

(see article for more pics)

The designs of the murals do not make any reference to the human form, instead make references to things like their sacred ball courts and sport. Perhaps it's where they entombed notable ball players?

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:27 AM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

Dear Blackmarketeer,

Great catch. S&F for sure. If we could ever figure out how they actually played the game, we would have such a better understanding of their culture. People played these games voluntarily knowing that there would be death matches. It is the story of their religion.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

Your first pic looks like the walls have port holes(maybe for looking out on the journey)

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:37 AM
I've seen a few video of modern culture recreating the game, but it's really anyone guess to the nuances of the game. It was used for foretelling the future and settling political issues among other things. Depending on the circumstances, losers or winners could be sacrificed. I suspect the game was subject to a fair amount of evolution depending on the whims of each generation. To it's credit though, it survived over 3,000 years with major changes.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:43 AM
Awesome stuff...

It's hard to imagine the strength in emotions that these games held, and the significance of their role with the community.

Mesoamerican ballgame

These examples and others are cited by many researchers who have made compelling arguments that the ballgame served as a way to defuse or resolve conflicts without genuine warfare, to settle disputes through a ballgame instead of a battle.[45] Over time, then, the ballgame's role would expand to include not only external mediation, but also the resolution of competition and conflict within the society as well.[46]

This "boundary maintenance" or "conflict resolution" theory would also account for some of the irregular distribution of ballcourts. Overall, there appears to be a negative correlation between the degree of political centralization and the number of ballcourts at a site.[47] For example, the Aztec Empire, with a strong centralized state and few external rivals, had relatively few ballcourts while Middle Classic Cantona, with 24 ballcourts, had many diverse cultures residing there under a relatively weak state.[48]


Little is known with certainty about the game's symbolic contents. Several themes recur in scholarly writing.

Astronomy. The bouncing ball is thought to have represented the sun.[56] The stone scoring rings are speculated to signify sunrise and sunset, or equinoxes.

War. This is the most obvious symbolic aspect of the game (see also above, "Proxy for warfare"). Among the Mayas, the ball can represent the vanquished enemy, both in the late-Postclassic K'iche' kingdom (Popol Vuh), and in Classic kingdoms such as that of Yaxchilan.

Fertility. Formative period ballplayer figurines - most likely females - often wear maize icons.[57] At El Tajin, the ballplayer sacrifice ensures the renewal of pulque, an alcoholic maguey cactus beverage.

Cosmologic duality. The game is seen as a struggle between day and night,[58] and/or a battle between life and the underworld.[59] Courts were considered portals to the underworld and were built in key locations within the central ceremonial precincts. Playing ball engaged one in the maintenance of the cosmic order of the universe and the ritual regeneration of life.

People sure are weird sometimes... gotta love mysticism! Sacrifices to ensure renewal of alcohol, I have now heard it all....

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:44 AM
HUH? thought they iused somebodys head for the ball.....and he was the sacrifice!

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

Great Find! S&F!
I have always wanted to learn more about that game and how it was actually played. Maybe these findings will help us understand more! As someone wrote previously, it would help us understand previous cultures so much better.
I also find it very, very interesting no humans were depicted in any of the murals of artwork at this pyramid.. Maybe signifying the importance of the game? Or maybe that pyramid was meant strictly for that game and its rituals. I do not know but I find it very interesting!
Thanks for sharing, I enjoy all of your threads!

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:33 AM
Gotta love how they spew the same hypothetical garbage first it was the winner that was lucky enough to be sacrificed now its the looser. history needs better writers thats for sure.

and a rubber ball? really... I wonder where they kept their refineries to make said rubber.
cool story bro

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by -W1LL

they were made from plant latex. I will show you.

scroll to rubber in mesoamerica.

watch this.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 07:00 AM
There is no necessary connection between human sacrifice and the pictures shown here, yet we already have quite a few mentions in this thread. What does human sacrifice have to do with anything?

Fairly standard western warmonger/racist mentality on show as usual.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 07:44 AM
This doesn't relate to the ball games in my opinion, basing such speculation on the I' motif having a vague referance to the court is insufficient, more likely it denotes 'linkage' in the same manner i' clamps linked stones.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 08:11 AM
the problem with understanding south American cultures as well as our own is that they rewrote their history so many times BEFORE we erased it that it is hard to tell.

Hard but not impossible.

Like all ancient ritual games, it was probably used as a peaceful way to resolve disputes without wars, like the Olympics.

the trouble is when religious mysticism takes over people do terrible things and erase all accounts that tell a different story. We are doing it now to American culture and have always done it in western culture like the rest of the world.

Look at how we portray WW2....the noble fight.....yet we never mention that we fought just as dirty as the rest. Or the fact that we had everything to do with starting it as the rest.

No, we are the noble supermen with golden smiles and blond hair that you see giving the thumbs up from a cockpit of a fighter on a WW2 era poster. Not the toothless farmer doing things to the enemy that are better not mentioned here on ATS.

same thing here with ritual games.

There was an era in antiquity where mankind was more civilized and evolved than us now. They had deep thought and strong social and moral laws that most were happy to follow. That´s why we see their monumental achievements which were imitated by later cultures but not reproduced as their ancestors since the real culture that made them died out. Our culture is arguably in danger because we have lost touch with our values and are committing mistakes that could add up to our collapse.

Imagine if our culture was to be destroyed by a long before we turn the lights back on and invent computers you think? What if they had a few old ones laying around and knew we sat in front of them....maybe they would take glass and make square panels and sit in front of them to learn.....or what ever.

The ritual games were a form of civilized society settling disputes. Later generations either ignorantly misinterpreted their function to replace war as requiring death like war. Maybe they did so on purpose by elites rewriting history as we know they do now and did then.

cargo cults, lies, rewritten history and forgotten cultures that are reinvented as best known how. that is what we must consider when searching for historical understanding. Best thing to do is look at it all and see where we are going with this. What does logic dictate. Become a student of logic and a master of truth, as logic alone cant tell you what we did do or have done. Just gives you a general idea, which is itself important but not always true

edit on 11-8-2012 by BIHOTZ because: (no reason given)

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