Sunday, 4 July 2010

Were Mesoamericans kicking bouncy rubber balls 3000 years ago?

The pyramids of the Mayans speak of advanced culture. Image courtesy of Sergio Blázquez, Wikipedia. The Mayans could probably also make bouncy rubber balls.

Joel Kontinen

Mesoamericans are known to have played a ball game resembling soccer thousands of years ago. A new study reveals an intriguing detail of how they made their balls.

The Aztecks, Olmec, and Maya might well have kicked a bouncy rubber ball 3000 years ago, if researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have interpreted their data correctly. They believe that the Mesoamericans knew how to mix the juice they got from morning glory vines with the latex they harvested from natural rubber trees to make the rubber more durable and bouncy.

The Aztecs also made durable sandals from rubber.

Popular culture that draws inspiration from Darwinian evolution has tried to convince us that ancient men were simple and uncivilised, although for instance they knew how to build sophisticated structures such as the pyramids and were no simpletons in other areas of their lives, either.

This might be a big surprise for Darwinists who believe that humans gradually evolved from ape-like ancestors and after that lived for ages in caves.

However, the Bible tells us that humans have been intelligent and innovative from the beginning. Many discoveries support the Genesis account of the skills of our ancestors.

You can see a photo of an ancient rubber ball on the National Geographic website.


Kaufman, Rachel. 2010. Aztec, Maya Were Rubber-Making Masters? National Geographic News (28 June).