Chichen Itza

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Recently, a stone scoreboard used in an ancient soccer-like ball game has been discovered at the famed Mayan Chichen Itza archaeological site in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

Why in news?

  • The circular piece, measuring just over 32 centimetres in diameter and weighing 40 kilograms displays hieroglyphic writing surrounding two players standing next to a ball that was discovered on this site.

About Chichen Itza:

  • It was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. 
  • This city was established during the Classic period close to two natural cavities (cenotes or chenes), which gave the town its name.
  • Mayan people ruled for over 1,000 years and left their mark on the city. 
  • It is thought to have been a religious, military, political, and commercial centre that at its peak would have been home to 35,000 people.
  • It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

Key facts about the Yucatan peninsula

  • It is a Northeastern projection of Central America which is lying between the Gulf of Mexico to the west and north and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
  • The peninsula is almost wholly composed of beds of coralline and porous limestone rocks.


Q1) What is a peninsula?

A peninsula is a landform that is surrounded by water on three sides but connected to a larger landmass on one side. Peninsulas can vary in size, ranging from small pieces of land jutting out into a body of water to large landmasses that extend for hundreds of miles.

Source: At Mexico's Chichen Itza, archaeologists discover Mayan scoreboard