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Patolli DLP Game   

Period Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Region Central America


Patolli is a name which is used to refer to several different games in Mesoamerica. This game, which takes the shape of square or circular circuit of spaces with the midpoints of the sides connected by a crossed track, is the most common, older, and more widespread game of the region.


Square track, nine squares per side, nine in each crossed central track. Loops on the corners with three spaces in each loop. Four beans used as dice.

These rules were taken from the Historical Information ruleset.

All Rulesets

Incomplete rulesets
Historical Information Rules from DLP Evidence.
Type 1 Board with looped corners.
Type 2 Square board.
Type 3 Circular board.
Tula Type Type found at Tula, Mexico.




Browse all concepts for Patolli here.


Swezey and Bittman 1983.

Evidence Map

50 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Patolli here.

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Acosta, J. 1960. "La Doceava Temporada de Exploraciones en Tula, Hidalgo." Anales del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e HIstoria 42(13): 29-58.

Codex Borbonicus.

Codex Borgia.

Codex Tonalámatl de Aubin.

Codex Vaticanus B.

Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus I.

Depaulis, T. 2018. "Ancient American Board Games I: From Teotihuacan to the Great Plains." Board Game Studies 12: 29-55.

Feachem, R. 1940. "The Bay Islands, Gulf of Honduras." The Geographical Journal 96(3): 181-189.

Fecher, F. 2019. "Patolli Petroglyphs in Northeast Honduras." Latin American Antiquity 30(3): 624-629.

Gallegos Gómora, M. 1994. "Un patolli prehispánico en Calakmul, Campeche." Revista Española de Antropología Americana 29: 9-24.

Graham, E. 1994. The Highlands of the Lowlands: Environment and Archaeology in the Stann Creek District, Belize, Central America. Madison: Prehistory Press.

Harrison, E. 2000. "Structure C-6: Excavation of an Elite Compound. In B. Houk (ed), The 1998 and 1999 Seasons of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project. Austin: University of Texas, 71-93.

Hohmann. H. 1987. "A Patolli Design at Becán, Campeche." Mexicon 9(3): 56-57.

Lowe, G. 1959. Archaeological Exploration of the Upper Grijalva River, Chiapas, Mexico. Orinda, CA: New World Archaeological Foundation.

Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes. 2015. "Se realiza en Petén presentación de de hallazgo arqueológico Maya. Noticias, posted July 9, 2015. Gobierno de Guatemala. Accessed 13 July 2020.

Morales, P and V. Fialko. 2010. "Investigación arqueologica y consolidacion del edificio B-18 del sitio Naranjo: avances de la temporada 2009. In B. Arroyo, A. Linares and L. Paiz (eds), XIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqeológicas en Guatemala, 2009. Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, 497-509.

Mountjoy, J. and J. Smith. 1985. "An Archaeological Patolli from Tomatlán, Jalisco, Mexico." In W. Folan (ed.), Contributions to the Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Greater Mesoamerica: Essays in Honor of Carroll L. Riley. CArbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 240-262.

Olmos Curiel, A. G. 2010. Los petrograbdos de Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán: un sistema de comunicación gráfica. MA Thesis, El Colegio de Michoacán A.C.

Ruppert, K. 1943. The Mercado. Chichén Itzá, Yucatán. Washington: Carnegie Institution.

Ruz Lhuillier, A. 1951. "Exploraciones en Palenque: 19950." Anales del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia 33(5): 25-46.

Smith, A. 1977. "Patolli, at the Ruins of Seibal, Petèn, Guatemala." In N. Hammond (ed.), Social Process in Maya Prehistory: Studies in Honor of Sir Eric Thompson. London: Academic Press, 349-363.

Swezey, W. and B. Bittman. 1983. "El rectángulo de cintas y el patolli: nueva evidencia de la antiguuedad, distribucíon, variedad y formas de practicar este juego precolumbino." Mesoamérica 6:374-416.

Tozzer, A. 1913. A Preliminary Study of the Prehistoric Ruins of Nakum, Guatemala. Cambridge: Peabody Museum.

Trik, H. and M. Kampen. 1983. The Graffiti of Tikal. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Walden, J. and B. Voorhies. 2017. "Ancient May Patolli." In B. Voorhies, (ed), Prehistoric Games of North American Indians. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 197-218/

Wanyerka, P. 1999. "Pecked Cross and Patolli Petroglyphs of the Lagarto Ruins, Stann Creek District, Belize." Mexicon 21: 108-112.

Watkins, T, C. Ebert, G. Saldaña, J. Can, and J. Awe. 2020. "Continued Investigation of Graffiti at Plaza A-III: The 2019 Excavations at Structure A13." In C. Ebert, J. Walden, J. Hoggarth and J. Awe (eds), The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project: A Report of the 2019 Field Season. Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University, 125-136.

Watkins, T, J. Awe, C. Helmke, R. Fitzmaurice. 2018. "Classic Maya Palaces and the Roles within the Greater Ceremonial Center: Results from the 2017 Field Season Xunantunich, Belize." In C. Ebert, J. Hoggarth and J. Awe (eds.) The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project: A Report of the 2017 Field Season. Waco: Institute of Archaeology, 333-347.



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