Thursday, October 31, 2013

The ball court

I got a link from the "PeopleOfOneFire" about a Mayan style ball court found in GA, near Track Rock Gap.
  Ball court in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley National Historic District - Georgia

There is a discussion of how this structure was lost then re-discovered recently. They compare it to a ball court in Chontalpa, Chiapas Mexico but I cannot find a reasonable picture to compare with the above visualization.
It did remind me of something else I saw recently in an old post here by Tim M. entitled "More Circular Walls". This is from West Virginia:
No idea if that was a ball court.
Here is one I saw at Wupatki in Ariz:
(Blogged about here.)
I cannot remember where I read that the Iroquois brought lacrosse with them when they migrated into New York from the south but it is a matter of pride that the first team sports were invented in America and I wonder: how universal were ball games back in prehistoric America a thousand years ago?


Sydney B said...

This reminds me of Bob Miner's photos posted on Sept. 3. The round disk he found looks very much like one shown in Howard Russell's "Indian New England Before the Mayflower" and identified as a game piece. I've misplaced my copy, but I think it was around page 49.
Charles Willoughby identified something similar but with a concave center as a "chunkey stone" in "Antiquities of the New England Indians." He wrote, "Finely wrought gaming stones [of the type illustrated] occur occasionally in New England, but they are rare. They are abundant, however, in the more southern sections east of the Mississippi...The game was called chunkey and was played as follows: Each party had a pole about eight feet long which tapered at either end to a flat point. The players set off abreast of each other. One of them hurled the stone disk on its edge in as direct a line as he could, and each contestant then darted his pole, with proper force, as near as he could guess, so that it's end might be close to the stone where it stopped rolling. The player whose pole lay nearest the stone scored. In this manner the players might keep running at half speed most of the day, staking their various possessions on the result of the game"

Sydney B said...

oops - it page 113 and both convex, like Bob's, and concave-centered gaming stones are shown.