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Chichén Itzá: Ballcourt and Temple of the Jaguars


The Early Postclassic Ballcourt at Chichén Itzá, built about AD 1000,  is the largest known in ancient Mesoamerica. Located in the northern, Postclassic zone of the site, the court measures 146 m long by 37 m wide, with both goal rings still intact on its 8 meter-high stone walls. A bench with relief sculpture of a snake runs along the entire length of each wall. At the ends are two small temples, the larger at the north end with sculptures including Chac masks and pictures of sacrificial rites. Beside the southeast wall (shown in Fig.1) is the Temple of the Jaguars with rooms on two floors, with the upper containing painted frescos of invading Toltecs.

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[Fig.1: The Ballcourt and Temple of the Jaguars at Chichén Itzá (photo: Athena Review).]

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