Prehistoric Dice Boards Found—Oldest Games in Americas?
New theory for mysterious 5,000-year-old semicircles in Mexico.
Mysterious holes arranged in c shapes—punched into clay floors at the Tlacuachero archaeological site in Mexico's Chiapas state (see map)—may have been dice-game scoreboards, according to archaeologist Barbara Voorhies.
If so, Voorhies added, the semicircles are the oldest known evidence of games in Mesoamerica, a region that stretches from Mexico to Costa Rica.
Previously, the oldest known evidence of games in Mesoamerica was a 3,600-year-old ball court located not far from Chiapas.
Voorhies first found one of the arcs in 1988, when she discovered a buried floor within a Chantuto shell mound, a large ancient pile of discarded seafood shells and other debris. The Chantuto people were foragers who lived along the coast of what is now southern