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George Washington University Professor’s Research on Ancient Ballgame Reveals More about Early Mesoamerican Society
GW Anthropology Professor Jeffrey Blomster’s Research Featured in PNAS Journal
May 8, 2012
WASHINGTON-George Washington University Professor Jeffrey P. Blomster’s latest research explores the importance of the ballgame to ancient Mesoamerican societies. Dr. Blomster’s findings show how the discovery of a ballplayer figurine in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca demonstrates the early participation of the region in the iconography and ideology of the game, a point that had not been previously documented by other researchers. Dr. Blomster’s paper, Early evidence of the ballgame in Oaxaca, Mexico, is featured in the latest issue of Proceedings in the National Academies of Science (PNAS).
Dr. Blomster, GW associate professor of anthropology, has spent 20 years researching the origin of complex societies in Mesoamerica. The participation of early Mixtec societies in ballgame imagery is a new aspect of his research. For the journal publication, Dr. Blomster worked with undergraduate students Izack Nacheman and Joseph DiVirgilio to create artistic renditions of the figurine artifacts found in Mexico.
While early games used a hard rubber ball, the ballgames Dr. Blomster researches bear little resemblance to today’s Major League Baseball. . . . read complete report