The Maya also excelled in sports and games. One was a ball game called pok-ta-pok (see “An Ancient Game,” below). Experts think the recently uncovered stone was used as a marker on a pok-ta-pok court.
“There are 13 known courts at Chichén Itzá,” explains archaeologist David Friedel. “So the game must have been important to leaders of the city.”
But exactly why this game was played remains a mystery. A form of ancient writing called hieroglyphics appears on the stone. Few items with this type of writing have ever been found at this site. Historians are working hard to crack the code.
The Maya Empire began to crumble about 1,100 years ago. But archaeologists believe there are still more secrets of the Maya just waiting to be found.