Archaeologists Jeffrey Blomster and Víctor Salazar Chávez have discovered Ballgame court situated at the Mexican site of Etlatongo. The duo started excavation of a 3400-year-old village in the mountains of Oaxaca in 2015. The ballgame court has been spotted at the center of the site, as reported by Science Advances.
Initially, the archaeologists were expecting to find a palace or a temple but instead, the team unearthed a flat stone floor that extended at least 46 meters (about half the length of a soccer field), flanked by low steps made from clay and stone.
The scientists have concluded that the mysterious structure was a court used in a famous ballgame played all over Mesoamerica.
The ballgame court mounded at least 1 meter tall enclosed this narrow area on either side, is 3,400 years old and some 800 years older than any other ballcourt earlier found anywhere in the world. As per the results of the radiocarbon dating report, the Etlatongo court was constructed between 1443 and 1305 B.C.E.
The discovery suggests the game is far more ancient and far more popular across Mesoamerica than scientists realized. However, the exact time when the game was played is yet unclear.
The court was used for about 175 years and during this time it was also renovated once.
Earlier, the ball court at the site of Paso de la Amada in the Mexican state of Chiapas, which was built about 1650 B.C.E was considered as the oldest one but the latest discovery has shifted the ancient history of this Mesoamerica further.