Veracruz Basalt Hacha Depicting the Head of a Deity - X.0508, Origin: Mexico, Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD, Dimensions: 9.25" (23.5cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Veracruz, Medium: Basalt. The ball game, perhaps ritually signifying the transit of the sun and moon between the celestial and terrestrial spheres, was an important event in Mesoamerican culture, considered necessary to maintain the cosmic cycle. The game was both a sport and a sacrificial ritual. Made out of heavy stone, the hacha was possibly used as an extra burden of weight to test the physical prowess of the player. In fact, relief sculptures and terracotta figures show axe-shaped objects attached to ball- players’ belts, which were used as deflectors and protectors. The game itself used a large rubber ball that could be hit by the elbows, knees or hips but could not be touched by the hands or feet.
Ancient Central America & Mexico