Patolli is a “dice game” found in Classic and Postclassic period (CE 250-900/1000, CE 900/1000-1492) contexts throughout Mesoamerica. This paper provides an overview of ethnohistoric sources and previous archaeological research on patolli to contextualize recent discoveries of boards and other graffiti at the Classic Maya centre of Xunantunich, Belize. We examine the placement of patolli boards relative to graffiti figures within two galleries in the site’s north palace complex to understand their relationship with each other and their possible significance within the centre itself. Finally, we present possible interpretations for patolli and graffiti from the Terminal Classic Maya centre of Xunantunich, Belize ranging from commemoration, competition, and divination or ritually related activities.
Keywords: Ancient Maya, Aztec, Graffiti, Patolli
How to Cite:
Fitzmaurice, R. & Watkins, T. B. & Awe, J. J., (2021) “Play and Purpose: The Relationship Between Patolli and Graffiti at Xunantunich, Belize”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 31(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2041-9015.1286