Thursday, April 28, 2016

X Is for Xtoloc Cenote #storysettings #AtoZChallenge

     Cenotes, or sacred wells, are found on the Yucatan peninsula and were central to Mayan worship. The Yucatán peninsula is primarily limestone and has few above ground streams, so cenotes provide access to underground river systems and aquifers.  Ancient Maya sacrificed objects (and possibly human beings) into the cenote as offerings to the Maya rain god Chaac, as well as using the water for purification rites. There are many cenotes scattered across the peninsula; one of the most important, Xtoloc, is at Chichén Itzá.
     Modern day excavation and exploration began in 1904. Items which would normally deteriorate (like wood and textiles) had been well preserved in the cold, dark water. Also found were weapons, statuettes, pottery, tools, jewelry as well as animal and human remains. Certain stones, shells and items not indigenous to the area were also found in quantity, indicating that people had probably traveled from distant areas to worship at the cenote.
     I'm sharing a clip from a National Geographic show on Chichén Itzá which shows underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda descending into the depths via a rope and pulley system to explore the cenote. I couldn't help thinking what a great setting this would be for a novel or movie!


  1. strange, thanks for sharing

    1. Courageous guy, being lowered by a simple rope and pulley into a pitch black hole filled with water!