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The Cydonia Institute                                                                                                  Vol. 18  No. 1   ◘
Ball court Hacha on Mars 
by George J. Haas
April 2015

While the Curiosity rover, was traveling through the John Klein site within the Yellowknife Bay1 area of Mars it snapped this picture on SOL 172 with its left camera2 (Figure 1).


 
Figure 1
 
Mars rover Curiosity Sol 172, MAST_LEFT (January 30, 2013)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.
 

A second view of the area was acquired by the right camera (Figure 2). Notice the stone in the upper left hand corner of the image that resembles a profiled head. This formation was brought to the author’s attention by independent Mars researcher Rami Bar IIan in November of 2014.3

 
 
 

Figure 2

Profiled head (Boxed)
Mars rover Curiosity Sol 172, MAST_RIGHT (January 30, 2013)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/The Cydonia Institute.
 

The profiled head has an overall almond-shape with highly modeled facial features that include a large eye socket and prominent nose and cheek bone (Figure 3).  There is a short chin and a pair of full lip. The head has an arching forehead that extends down into the cheek area obscuring the ear, like a helmet.


 
 
Figure 3
Profiled head (detail)
Mars rover Curiosity Sol 172 MAST_RIGHT (January 30, 2013)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/The Cydonia Institute.
 

The narrow design of the profiled head strongly resembles the stone hacha’s produced by many of the Mesoamerican cultures. Located in the British Museum is a Zapotec Hacha that strongly resembles the head seen on Mars (Figure 4).

 
 
Figure 4
 
Martian profiled head compared to Pre-columbian ball court hacha
Left: Profiled head. Sol 172 MAST_RIGHT. Rotated and greyscale by The Cydonia Institute.
Right: Zapotec Hacha (British Museum).
 

Stone hacha’s were produced as narrow head-shaped axe-heads, hence the name, which is derived from the Spanish word for axe. They were worn during Mesoamerican ball games as an appendage to the U-shaped yoke, which was worn around the ball player’s waist.4

Here is a second example of a stone Hacha produced by the Olmec (Figure 6). Notice the alignment of the chin with the lower lip, the empty eye socket and the placement of the helmet’s cheek guard.


 
 
Figure 6
 
Martian profiled head compared to Pre-columbian ball court hacha.
Left: Profiled head. Sol 172 MAST_RIGHT. Rotated and greyscale by The Cydonia Institute.
Right: Olmec hecha (Veracruz).
 

Notes

1. Emily Lakdawalla,A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit, The Planetary Society, 2013/02/04. Link: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/0204-curiosity-sol-177-new-rover-self-portrait.html

2.  Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover, Raw images, Sol 172, Jan 30, 2013. http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=#/?slide=172.
 
3. Rami Bar Ilan, Facebook, November 19, 2014.https://www.facebook.com/rami.barilan?fref=nf.
 
4. E. Michael Whittington, The Sport of Life and Death, Mesoamerican Ballgame, (Thames & Hudson, 2002), 59.
 
 


 
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