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by Coach Bear
March 3, 2003
The legendary Sacred Cenote of Chichén ltzá was special to the people for its religious and social significance. On occasions, the sacrifice of human life was part of the offerings made to the god of water. Nevertheless, it was not as common as had earlier been imagined. It would seem that the early inhabitants preferred to offer semi-precious stones, metal, and clay objects to the gods of water. All of the offerings which were found were either broken or damaged as a part of the sacrificial ceremony. The objects and the occasional human victims (young girls, boys, or warriors) were thrown to the cenote from the platform next to the altar, which is still in partial existence. Part of this temple was adopted as a ritual bath, where the participants were purified.
This was a far cry from earlier stories of men, women, and children being thrown in as sacrifices. Even though the story was less exciting, we left for another area having a greater respect for the Maya. I can't wait to get back.
From journal Back Into the Land of the Gods: Chichen Itza
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
November 16, 2000
This particular well was not used for daily water consumption. Its name means "well of the sacrifices" and it was only used for religious ceremonies to honor Chac, the rain god who was believed to live in the water. Those who were given the honor of being sacrificed to Chac would first purify themselves with a steam bath and were then taken to the large well where they plunged over 70 feet into the water below. The well’s diameter is over
60 yards at its widest point and the sides are so smooth and steep that even those who survived the deep water and muddy bottom would not have been able to get out.
Dredging of the well has resulted in lots of jewelry ,religious objects and human bones being recovered.
The well is separated from the main site by a road leading from Kulkulkan’s pyramid. It’s not a long walk
and makes for a nice break from the crowds at the main site.
From journal Centuries Old Chichen Itza