Tikal: Str. 5D-43

Ballcourt Structure 5D-43

"During this huge renovation episode [by the great Hasaw-Khan-K'awil or his father Nun- Bak-Chak at the beginning of the Late Classis] the people of Mutil [Tikal] built a new ballcourt and an extraordinary radial building in the East Plaza over the floor that had buried the twin-pyramid complex.

They placed this ballcourt near the palace of Toh-Chak-Ich'ak, the man who had led them to glory centuries earlier.

Today the forest at the edge of the East Plaza shrouds the playing alley, leaving the strange little end temple (5D-43) to stand in lonely isolation against the eastern end of the Central Acropolis."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings, p. 70


Tikal, Structure 5D-43

"In Mesoamerica, the ballgame had a sacred function related directly to the myths of Creation and Origin. The Maize God died and was reborn in the ballcourt.

The Maya defined the ballcourt as a crack in the top of a mountain or in the carapace of the Cosmic Turtle, because these were also conceived as rebirth places of the Maize God. People went down this crack to contact their ancestors and consult oracular deities.

The Maya and other mesoamericans negotiated and sealed alliances in the ballcourt, and captured kings died by sacrifice in the ballcourt."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings, p. 73