The pyramid of Kukulcan dominates the center of the Chichen Itza. Credit: Wikipedia/Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 4.0.D.Schwen

Exploring a cave located beneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá archaeologists discovered a sacrificial chamber, likely last visited by humans a thousand years ago.

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According to Maya mythology, caves and sinkholes were the gates to the underworld Xibalba. This “place of fear”, as the name is roughly translated, was also an important source of freshwater for the Mayans, which dominated the limestone plateau of the Yucatán Peninsula from 2000 BCE to 1600 CE. The northern region of Yucatán is a seasonal desert, with a pronounced winter dry season. The heavy summer rains tend to dissolve the local limestone bedrock, forming karst caves.

In 1966 locals showed the entrance to a cave located beneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá to the archaeologist Víctor Segovia Pinto. However, at the time he didn’t explore the narrow passage and just sealed it off. Fifty years later a research team associated with the Great Maya Aquifer Project entered the Balamkú-Cave, exploring the underground system of passages and chambers. In a chamber located at the end of a 1,300 feet long passage, the archaeologists discovered more than 155 artifacts. The artifacts, mostly ceremonial vessels showing deities associated with rain, figures of the holy jaguar or just tools of daily use, were apparently shattered during sacrificial rituals. Many are covered by a thick layer of carbonate, deposited here by the groundwater over many centuries. Based on the artistic style of the sacrificial vessels and figures, the archaeologists dated the artifacts to the 7th and 10th century.

Ceremonial vessel with the face of the Toltec rain god Tláloc covered by cave deposits.Ortega,K.

During the mid-1990s, scholars began to propose that a consistently dry climate between 800 and 1000 CE causing extended drought and lack of water on the Yucatán Peninsula was the principal cause of the collapse of the major Mayan centers. The archaeological discoveries in the Balamkú-Cave could fit into this scenario. Apparently, around 700 to 1000 CE the inhabitants of Chichén Itzá repeatedly crawled into the narrow passage to reach the sacrificial chamber and to deposit there artifacts dedicated to the rain god Tláloc. Maybe this was part of a ritual to appease the deities and ask for rain, but none came.

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The pyramid of Kukulcan controls the center of the Chichen Itza. Credit: Wikipedia/Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 4.0. D.Schwen

(****************************** )Checking out a cavern situated underneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá archaeologists found a sacrificial chamber, most likely last gone to by human beings a thousand years back.

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According to Maya folklore, caverns and sinkholes were evictions to the underworld Xibalba. This “location of worry”, as the name is approximately equated, was likewise a crucial source of freshwater for the Mayans, which controlled the limestone plateau of the Yucatán Peninsula from 2000 BCE to 1600 CE. The northern area of Yucatán is a seasonal desert, with a noticable winter season dry season. The heavy summer season rains tend to liquify the regional limestone bedrock, forming karst caverns.

In 1966 residents revealed the entryway to a cavern situated underneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá to the archaeologist Víctor Segovia Pinto. Nevertheless, at the time he didn’t check out the narrow passage and simply sealed it off. Fifty years later on a research study group related to the Terrific Maya Aquifer Task went into the Balamkú-Cave, checking out the underground system of passages and chambers. In a chamber situated at the end of a 1,300 feet long passage, the archaeologists found more than 155 artifacts. The artifacts, primarily ritualistic vessels revealing divine beings related to rain, figures of the holy jaguar or simply tools of everyday usage, were obviously shattered throughout sacrificial routines. Numerous are covered by a thick layer of carbonate, transferred here by the groundwater over numerous centuries. Based upon the creative design of the sacrificial vessels and figures, the archaeologists dated the artifacts to the 7th and 10 th century.

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Ritualistic vessel with the
face of the Toltec rain god Tláloc covered by cavern deposits.

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Throughout the mid -1990 s, scholars started to propose that a regularly dry environment in between(*********************************************************** )and 1000 CE triggering extended dry spell and absence of water on the Yucatán Peninsula was the primary reason for the collapse of the significant Mayan(******************************** )centers. The historical discoveries in the Balamkú-Cave might suit this circumstance. Obviously, around 700 to 1000 CE the residents of Chichén Itzá consistently crawled into the narrow passage to reach the sacrificial chamber and to deposit there artifacts devoted to the rain god Tláloc. Perhaps this belonged to a routine to calm the divine beings and request for rain, however none came.

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The pyramid of Kukulcan controls the center of the Chichen Itza. Credit: Wikipedia/Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 4.0. D.Schwen

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Checking out a cavern situated underneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá archaeologists found a sacrificial chamber, most likely last gone to by human beings a thousand years back.

. POST CONTINUES AFTER AD

.

According to Maya folklore, caverns and sinkholes were evictions to the underworld Xibalba. This “location of worry”, as the name is approximately equated, was likewise a crucial source of freshwater for the Mayans, which controlled the limestone plateau of the Yucatán Peninsula from 2000 BCE to 1600 CE. The northern area of Yucatán is a seasonal desert, with a noticable winter season dry season. The heavy summer season rains tend to liquify the regional limestone bedrock, forming karst caverns.

In 1966 residents revealed the entryway to a cavern situated underneath the Maya city of Chichén Itzá to the archaeologist Víctor Segovia Pinto. Nevertheless, at the time he didn’t check out the narrow passage and simply sealed it off. Fifty years later on a research study group related to the Terrific Maya Aquifer Task went into the Balamkú-Cave, checking out the underground system of passages and chambers. In a chamber situated at the end of a 1, 300 feet long passage, the archaeologists found more than 155 artifacts. The artifacts, primarily ritualistic vessels revealing divine beings related to rain, figures of the holy jaguar or simply tools of everyday usage, were obviously shattered throughout sacrificial routines. Numerous are covered by a thick layer of carbonate, transferred here by the groundwater over numerous centuries. Based upon the creative design of the sacrificial vessels and figures, the archaeologists dated the artifacts to the 7th and 10 th century.

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.

Ritualistic vessel with the face of the Toltec rain god Tláloc covered by cavern deposits. Ortega, K.

.

.

Throughout the mid – 1990 s, scholars started to propose that a regularly dry environment in between 800 and 1000 CE triggering extended dry spell and absence of water on the Yucatán Peninsula was the primary reason for the collapse of the significant Mayan centers. The historical discoveries in the Balamkú-Cave might suit this circumstance. Obviously, around 700 to 1000 CE the residents of Chichén Itzá consistently crawled into the narrow passage to reach the sacrificial chamber and to deposit there artifacts devoted to the rain god Tláloc. Perhaps this belonged to a routine to calm the divine beings and request for rain, however none came.

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