In an ancient Mayan arena, enemies of notorious King Yax KÕuk Mo square off in a ball game that appears much like modern soccer. But in this fateful contest, winners liveÑand losers lose their heads.
The Maya was a Mesoamerican civilization, the only culture known with a fully developed written language in the pre-Columbian Americas. The Maya also had highly developed art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. The culture was initially established during the Pre-Classic period (2000 BC to CE 250), many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (CE 250 to 900), and continued until the arrival of the Spanish.