MÉXICO. VERACRUZ. Early Classic Maya, AD 200–400. Carved gray granite. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
This granite ballgame yoke or belt from Veracruz dates to AD 200–400. It is carved with an abstract image of a toad. The ballgame, played by two opposing sides with a solid rubber ball, was prevalent throughout the cultures of Mesoamerica. To protect their ribs and torsos, players would wear a yoke of leather or wood around their waists. Carved stone yokes, such as this one, are probably replicas of those worn during an actual game.