El Tajin is best known for its many ball courts. There are at least 11 ball courts, and perhaps as many as 20 ball courts here. Although there are far more ball courts than there are at any other site, it is not their numbers, but the bas relief's on a few of them that makes them so important. Most of what archeologist think they know about the significance of the ball game comes from these sculptures.
This court (structures 17 & 27) shows the low sloping sides which may have been used for play, not for seating! The spectators sat on top.
The small mound that you can see at the end of the court forms a characteristic 3 structure ballcourt grouping. (Sometimes the end structure seems to be only slightly related.)
Above is one of the ballcourts (South ball court) with the famous carvings on the higher straight walls.
This court is between (or formed by) the sides of buildings 4 and 5. (It looks to me as though the structure on the left was only used for ballgame seating based on the many stairs. However, there was a problem excavating it so some steps may be from earlier layers.Oops, I forgot to mention that most structures at El Tajin seem to have never been built over, or built over only once.)
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