Visiting the Mesoamerica Galleries at Penn Museum

Visiting the Mesoamerica Galleries at Penn Museum

Hey Everyone! I hope you’re all finding a way to keep yourself occupied with this snow! I took a trip to the Penn Museum! This time I explored the Mesoamerican section of the museum. Mesoamerica is divided into four periods. The first is the hunting and gathering period, which lasted from 10,000 B.C. to 1500 B.C. Second is the Pre-Classic or Formative, lasting from 1500 B.C. to 300 A.D. Next is the Classic period, which lasted from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D. Last is the Post-Classic  period, which lasted from 900 A.D. to 1500 A.D.

I hope some of you have been watching the Olympics because it turns out that the Mesoamericans had a game of their own! It’s a ball game that is sort of a mixture between soccer and Quidditch (if you’re a Harry Potter fan)! The teams played with a solid rubbery ball and could have up to eleven players. The players could only use their knees, hips or elbows while handling the ball. The object was to get the ball into a large stone ring which was mounted up on a sloped wall. Archaeologists think that the ball players wore cloth and/or rubber padding.  They also think that the stone belts (called yokes) that were excavated (like the one in the picture) could either have been molds into which hot rubber was poured to make the rubber padding belts, or a prize for the winner to wear during a ceremony.
Keep warm and make sure that you take a trip to the Penn Museum and check out their new exhibition Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now, opening on March 1st!

READY TO VISIT the Penn Museum? Check out the Penn Museum profile page for the hours you can use your STAMP pass!

This post was written by Danielle Romano, a STAMP Teen Council member. Danielle attends Girard Academic Music Program.