Royal BC Museum: Stone Hammers, Mayan Balls and Metal Pipes

KorbenDallas

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Royal BC Museum and Archives
Victoria, BC, Canada

royal_bc_museum.jpg

Royal BC Museum and Archives

I enjoy visiting history museums now and then. Where else can we see such a concentration of lies situated in the same proximity? Naturally could not bypass an opportunity to visit the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. In addition to their every day "natural history" stuff, it had a featured exhibition which was:
There was a whole bunch of Mayan exhibits out there, but here are a few worth mentioning on our forum.

Mayan Ball Game

The Mesoamerican ballgame was a sport with ritual associations played since 1400 BC by the pre-Columbian people of Ancient Mesoamerica. The sport had different versions in different places during the millennia, and a newer more modern version of the game, ulama, is still played in a few places by the indigenous population.
  • The rules of the game are not known, but judging from its descendant, ulama, they were probably similar to racquetball, where the aim is to keep the ball in play. The stone ballcourt goals are a late addition to the game.
  • In the most common theory of the game, the players struck the ball with their hips, although some versions allowed the use of forearms, rackets, bats, or handstones. The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed as much as 4 kg (9 lbs), and sizes differed greatly over time or according to the version played.
  • Mesoamerican ballgame - Wikipedia
  • Mesoamerican rubber balls - Wikipedia
KD: It appears that our knowledge about this game is nothing but a speculation. We either "do not know," "likely" it, or have "a theory."

The Ball
While the narrative tells us that the max weight of the ball was like 9 pounds, I have my reasons to question that. Below you can see a picture, of the authentic game ball. I did not see anything saying that it was a replica, therefore we have to consider it an authentic one. As you can see, visitors were allowed to stick their hands inside the plastic glass box and pick it up. Well this thing was at least 10 inches wide and probably weighed like 15 pounds. It definitely was rubbery to the touch, but I am not sure it was capable of any serious jumping. It felt like it was a rubberized cannon ball. One thing for sure, I would get the hell out of the way if this thing was coming my way.

If you wanna have a little laugh, watch what it feels like to kick a medicine ball of similar size:
I understand, that players allegedly struck the ball with their hips, but you judge for yourself whether your own hips could stand such a beating.

mayan_ball.jpg

Basically, no matter which way they played this ball above, it sure could not involve any hitting, or kicking. You can only pick it up and through it. If that ball hits a person while in flight, that person would be knocked out cold.

ball_game.jpg

This is most definitely a good show for tourists, but how much in common this show has with the actual ancient ball game, I do not know.

juego-de-pelota-chichen-itza.jpg


The Yoke
So, this thing below is approximately 18 inches long, made of stone and looks like it could weigh good 50 pounds. It was probably worn on the hips, right?

mayan_yoke_1.jpg


mayan_yoke_2.jpg

mayan_yoke_3.jpgmayan_yoke_4.jpg
The Yoke did not appear to be big enough to go around hips, but hey, that is what the narrative tells us. Them players were running around with a 50 pound dumb bell on their hips while kicking a 15 pound ball around. I certainly hope this is not how this "yoke" was worn...

Playing-Ball-in-Ancient-Belize.jpg

Of course, our wonderful historians can not come to a consensus, whether this yoke was worn during regular games, or was just a ceremonial replica. The BC Museum stated that the yoke was "probably" worn. In this video below, a different historian says that these stone yokes were ceremonial in nature.


I like how the Yoke in the video above was made of diorite. May be she knows how to make one of those too?

Metal Pipe
altar_mayan.jpg

Once again, the label above states nothing pertaining to the below altar being some sort of a replica, hence we assume the altar is authentic.

mayan_pipe_2.jpg

I am not sure what Mayans needed a metal pipe inside of one of their altars for, but what do I know?

mayan_pipe_1.jpg

Metallurgy in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
  • The emergence of metallurgy in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica occurred relatively late in the region's history, with distinctive works of metal apparent in West Mexico by roughly AD 800, and perhaps as early as AD 600. Metallurgical techniques likely diffused northward from regions in Central or South America via maritime trade routes; recipients of these metallurgical technologies apparently exploited a wide range of material, including alloys of copper-silver, copper-arsenic, copper-tin and copper-arsenic-tin.
Phase 1: AD 600–1200/1300
  • West Mexican smiths worked primarily in copper during the initial period, with some low-arsenic alloys, as well as occasional employment of silver and gold. Lost-wax cast bells were introduced from lower Central America and Colombia during this phase, along with several classes of cold-worked ornaments and hand tools, such as needles and tweezers. The prototypes for these small, often utilitarian items appear rooted in southern Ecuador and northern Peru.[8]Small copper rings, generally found in burial contexts, are also common to Ecuador and Western Mexico and are abundant during this phase.
  • Excavated assemblages from the initial phase indicate that lost-wax cast bells also occupied a substantial portion of West Mexican artisans' efforts. Unlike similar bells recovered from coastal Ecuador, West Mexican bells were cast, rather than worked, metal. Typically composed of a smooth, suspended metal shell encasing an interior clapper, the West Mexican bells were generally fashioned from copper alloys and bore particular resemblance to bells made in Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
Source: Metallurgy in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica - Wikipedia

mayan_pipe_3.jpg

No pipe touching was allowed, but it sure was no gold, or copper. It appeared to have some light rust about it, and appeared to have the same altar material inside of it. You judge for yourself, but it looked like a piece of an iron pipe. May be iron piping was required for ancient Mayan altars, I do not know. What I do know, is that the exhibit did not mention the pipe, or the material the said pipe was made of.

Pretty sure, there will be some plausible explanation for the existence of this pipe, but what else is new?

Stone Hammers
The general natural history portion of the museum was located on the third floor, if I remember correctly, while the Mayan exhibit was hosted on the second. The third floor contained your average natural history "local area" related stuff. Several wonderful stone hammers attracted my attention.

hammer_8.jpg

I apologize beforehand, but some of these hammers looked like no hammers at all.

hammers.jpg

This is the way it was supposed to work, I guess.

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Hand Mauls
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hammer_68.jpg


Stone Hammer Heads
hammer_7.jpg

I guess this is what this hammer head was supposed to look like when was attached to a handle.

hammer_10.jpg

Apparently you can either split wood with it, or play gulf, I'm not really sure.

hammer_11.jpg

Personally, I think this setup will fall apart after the first swing. If you think otherwise, please do not hesitate to voice your opinion.

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KD: I will say it how I see it. The curators of the Royal BS Museum are full of shit. This is the general problem we face as a society. We do not question what we are shown, we simply believe it. May be it is about time we changed our approach. As in SHOW US:
  • Show us how to play this game with a rubberized cannon ball, while wearing a stone horseshoe in your crutch.
mayan_ball_3.jpg

  • Show us how to split a log using this specific hammer setup.
hammer_10-1.jpg

  • Show us how they were making these "hammers" out of granite and diorite, or these ones here.
hammer_71.jpg

P.S. Will be visiting our Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.
 

Sawdy

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I went on a tour that took me to that same museum for the DaVinci exhibit in the 90s. Too bad I didn't question things like I do now. Great post and commentary!
 

Timeshifter

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Oh, our history experts...

We think, we imagine, it could have, it might have, maybe, probably, possibly...

Imagine any of this bullshit in a court of law?

People see the news, walk in to the museum and lap it up. To be fair (and I was guilty until fairly recently) humans just lap it up, believe the 'experts' without question.

I was once his straight in the face with a football (soccer) from the 1950's, a 'casey' we called them (this happened in the 70s). Probably no more than a pound in weight, and it knocked me clean to the ground.

casey.jpg

No way, IMO were those sports stuff.

EDIT: Unless that is, the Humans of the purposed era were much stronger than we are currently...


And dildo hammers?

They haven't a scooby doo have they?

I wonder, if any budding historians ever question this stuff, surely someone must?
 
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Obertryn

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Wait a minute, you can ONLY use your hips?

I've heard of this sport before but I could've sworn it was originally played with hips, knees and elbows. I remember it specifically because the history book where I gleaned it from made sure to emphasize that you could use basically anything other than your hands, feet and head.
 

HulkSmash

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Great thread KD. I am in agreement with you in saying the given narrative is total BS. No way in hell these stone hip guards were worn while playing, no way that ball was able to be struck by anything really, to get up into those hoops. Ever tried to hit a basketball with a baseball bat? Yeah it can be done, but the ball does not go very far, and the reverberation in the bat is crazy. Have you seen some of the actual 'hoops' in these supposed ball courts? They are pretty high up. And if I remember correctly, the hoop diameter is almost exactly the width of the ball. Yeah, like someone would be able to hip-check the ball, up high and perfectly into the circle. Nope. Not buying it. I remember doing a report in college about these ball courts and having the same questions arise. The gear was way too heavy, the ball was way too heavy. They are making this shit up.

In regards to the stone hammers, I worked as an archaeologist for a while, and learned how to flint knap, and build some of these stone hammers and axes. One of the biggest problems was keeping the head attached to the shaft while using it. Its very difficult to keep a couple pounds hammer head from moving around on the end of the shaft while using it. It was a very difficult process of using gut or hide threads, keeping them tight enough, to keep the head from moving while striking something hard. Sure it can be done, and was, but the heavier the head, the more threading had to be used. I could never get the head to stay firm on the shaft. Water definitely helped with the gut/leather, but when I went to give it a good swing, when it struck, it would move the head out of alignment. What a pita. I would not have been asked to be a toolmaker back in the day. Just my two cents.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Flint chips easily. Chiseling the below "hammer heads" out of something like granite is a totally different task.

hammer_head.jpg

Oh, and as far as flint tools go... there was this "Stone Bifaces" exhibit at the museum as well.

stone_bifaces.jpg

And here is what a flint, or chert sedimentary rock looks like when weathered.

Flint with white weathered crust
Flint_with_weathered_crust.jpg

Source
Essentially, those bifaces are supposed to be close to 10,000 years old, with some as old as 2.6 millions of years old. I am not even gonna talk about dumb and stupid humankind making these bifaces for over 2.5 millions of years with no Industrial Revolution in sight.

I simply want to know where the weathering is on these 10k+ year old flint bifaces shown in the BC museum? They allegedly spent some ungodly amount of time in the elements.

Personally, I think those were made for the specific purpose of supporting the narrative. It's either that, or the stone age ended 100 years ago tops.
 

Ishtar

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I doubt the “ball hoops” were used as that...probably for holding cables or a even security camera 😆

To quote this website: “Moreover, the vast majority of ball courts in the Maya area do not have hoops, Helmke added.”

It also has this image
226C9FAE-0517-46D9-9D80-12CC4EEBFFC9.jpeg

Look at the size of the players compared to the size of the “hipguard” compared to the size of the ball...
 

BrokenAgate

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I doubt the “ball hoops” were used as that...probably for holding cables or a even security camera 😆

To quote this website: “Moreover, the vast majority of ball courts in the Maya area do not have hoops, Helmke added.”

It also has this image
View attachment 24991

Look at the size of the players compared to the size of the “hipguard” compared to the size of the ball...
You'd think those gigantic headdresses would be a hindrance in a ball game. I have to question what we are really seeing here.
 

BStankman

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I have to question what we are really seeing here.
They told us their calendar was more accurate than the European one.
I am going to guess they are commemorating an eclipse here.

MayanCalendar.jpg
The phallic idols look like this to me, or some variant. Probably brought in by the Moors or Ottomans prior to the Spanish.

il_fullxfull.259728864.jpg andalus13th.gif
But there are accounts that the dark Americans were fond of ball games.

25020
 

JWW427

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Even as a boy I found this Mayan ball court rubbish just that...rubbish.
Idols, or what academia call "tools," may have been psychic emitters/amplifyers. The more advanced priest caste were losing their consciousness powers after each generation and may have needed band-aids of a sort. Just like the Horus wands in dynastic Egypt. It's a wild thought.
The hoops? No idea. But the ball game thing is the most childish of fabrications or exaggerations.

But... let's also consider that the Aztecs and Mayans may have been the less advanced "inheritors" of the pyramid culture, which I believe was Prediluvian or immediately post diluvian. If so, they degenerated and devolved into war, sacrifice, royal rule, and competition. The ball game may have been thought up as a way to use the courts and hoops that they did not fully understand. I wonder what the original use of these structures was?
It's akin to star forts. Reused in a crude way.

As for Mesoamerican culture as a whole, when I visited the Pyramid of the Sun outside Mexico City with friends, I climbed it with a group of tourists. One of them giddily said they couldn't believe the whole complex was built "just for rituals and human sacrifices."
When I reached the top, I just sat, hot and exhausted, and felt like crying.
The Aztecs said to the Spanish that they found this site old and abandoned, and didn't know who built it.

As Leonardo da Vinci said: "I awoke, only to find the rest of the world asleep."

JWW
 

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