SPIRALS, ROPES, AND FEATHERS: The iconography of rubber balls in Mesoamerican art. Stone, A. J. Ancient Mesoamerica, 13(1):21–39, January, 2002.
SPIRALS, ROPES, AND FEATHERS: The iconography of rubber balls in Mesoamerican art [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Rubber had important utilitarian, symbolic, and ritual roles in ancient Mesoamerica. Among the latter is the use of rubber balls as burnt offerings. This paper examines characteristic iconographic manifestations of rubber-ball offerings in Mesoamerican art. One of these, the spiral, seen in the Postclassic Maya codices, is shown to have had greater temporal and geographic distribution than previously thought. Another is the Standard Rubber Offering, a widespread motif in Mesoamerican art that links rubber balls to feathers and rope bindings. In considering why rubber balls were shown bound in rope, the paper examines the physical properties of natural rubber. Understanding the iconographic nuances of rubber balls as ritual offerings sheds new light on the symbolism of rubber balls in ballgame scenes and allows identification of certain images as rubber balls that were previously unrecognized.
@article{stone_spirals_2002,
	title = {{SPIRALS}, {ROPES}, {AND} {FEATHERS}: {The} iconography of rubber balls in {Mesoamerican} art},
	volume = {13},
	issn = {1469-1787, 0956-5361},
	shorttitle = {{SPIRALS}, {ROPES}, {AND} {FEATHERS}},
	url = {https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/F0C4D81B6484FE6D6CF4BF7F87920E4D},
	doi = {10.1017/S0956536102131026},
	abstract = {Rubber had important utilitarian, symbolic, and ritual roles
in ancient Mesoamerica. Among the latter is the use of rubber
balls as burnt offerings. This paper examines characteristic
iconographic manifestations of rubber-ball offerings in
Mesoamerican art. One of these, the spiral, seen in the Postclassic
Maya codices, is shown to have had greater temporal and geographic
distribution than previously thought. Another is the Standard
Rubber Offering, a widespread motif in Mesoamerican art that
links rubber balls to feathers and rope bindings. In considering
why rubber balls were shown bound in rope, the paper examines
the physical properties of natural rubber. Understanding the
iconographic nuances of rubber balls as ritual offerings sheds
 new light on the symbolism of rubber balls in ballgame scenes
and allows identification of certain images as rubber balls
that were previously unrecognized.},
	number = {1},
	urldate = {2017-12-13},
	journal = {Ancient Mesoamerica},
	author = {Stone, Andrea J.},
	month = jan,
	year = {2002},
	pages = {21--39}
}
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