Posted by: Johan Normark | November 19, 2010

Decapitated ballgame player with connections to Göteborg

Earlier this week it was announced that a life-size Prehispanic sculpture of a decapitated ballgame player has been found at El Teúl in Zacatecas in northern Mexico. It dates to roughly AD 900-1100 and it appears to have been decapitated from the very beginning and perhaps the sculpture was a pedestal for sacrificed heads. It was located in the southeast part of a ballcourt. Fragments of a similar sculpture were found in the northern part of the same ballcourt.

The site is being investigated by INAH, under the direction of Peter Jiménez Betts and Laura Solar who both happens to be PhD students at the Department of Historical Studies in Göteborg which soon will be my workplace again.


WordPress has some problems with inserting links right now but here it is:



  1. Dear Johan: Great to hear from you on your site, and especially to know you are soon back in Göteborg. Please receive our best from el Teul.

    Yours truly,


  2. Hi,

    Congratulations to the great finds. We have a couple of ballcourts in the Cochuah region but I suspect we will never find anything like this even if we made full scale excavations. Anyway, perhaps your result could be presented at next year’s European Mayanist Conference in Copenhagen (four hours train ride from Göteborg)? The theme is: “The Maya in a Mesoamerican Context: Comparative Approaches to Maya Studies”. Although your site is not a Maya site it has connections to Teotihuacan which is a central focus for Jesper Nielsen who is one of the organizers of the conference. It would suit your world system ideas.

    When will you be back in Göteborg? As it look now I will be there for at least four to five years.




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