(CNN) — Archaeologists said this week that a stone tablet used in an ancient soccer-like ball game was discovered at the famous Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
It is a circular shape with a diameter of 32 centimeters and a weight of 40 kilograms. According to a report by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the stone shows hieroglyphic writing surrounding two players standing near a ball.
“It is rare to find hieroglyphic writing at this Mayan site, much less a complete text,” said Francisco Perez, one of the archaeologists coordinating the excavations at the Chichansop complex, also known as Casa Colorada.
The stone, believed to be a Mayan sports scoreboard, dates to between 800 and 900 AD.
The ball game is a traditional practice of Mesoamerican peoples and is believed to have had a ritual background.
INAH researchers are now preparing to take high-resolution photographs to analyze the text and images in detail. Also, they prepare it for security.
The Chichen Itza complex is one of the major archaeological centers of the Mayan civilization on the Yucatan Peninsula. It has also been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
According to official data, about two million people visit the site every year.