From the ashes of the Mayan rulers they made balls for playing pelota

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 Mayan ashes were used to make pelota balls< /p>

The charred human remains found in the ruins of a Mayan city have led to a new theory about the death rites of an ancient civilization.

Archaeologist Juan Yadeun Angulo put forward this hypothesis after as he discovered urns with human ashes, rubber and roots in a Mayan temple in Mexico.

Juan Yadeun Angulo, an archaeologist at the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH), examines a recently discovered crypt under the Temple of the Sun at the archaeological site of Tonina in southern Mexico.

Inside the underground crypt and its vestibule, archaeologists discovered 400 urns containing a mixture of human ash, coal, rubber and plant roots.

The scientist believes that the crypt was used to burn the bodies of the dead during a religious ritual. Then, according to the theory, the ashes were added to other organic material to make heavy balls used in pelota, a team game played by the Maya thousands of years ago.

The Tonin archaeological site may not be as well known as like the Mayan ruins in Palenque, but this is an impressive complex built on a hill in the jungles of Chiapas. Among the buildings that have survived to this day is a sunken ball court where the Maya played pelota.

Clues supporting this theory have been found by archaeologists on carved stones located on the playing field.

Images and inscriptions on the stones have led archaeologists to suggest that the bodies of three rulers who died between 722 and 776 AD were taken to the “cave of the dead”; for their “reincarnation”.

The archaeologist believes that the Maya wanted the bodies of their rulers to “become a life force, something that would inspire their people”, and therefore added their ashes into rubber, from which huge balls were made for the game, which the players pushed with their hips.

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