Chichén Itzá (16)

Source: WTL photograph.
Notes: This is a picture of part of the Sacred Well (Cenote Sagrado), which is found 300 meters from the central plaza of Chichén Itzá. It is about 60 meters in diameter. From the level ground at the top down to the top of the water is 20 meters. The water is about 13 meters deep, and there are another 3 meters of mud at the bottom. This sink hole was used not for drinking water but for ritual purposes in honor of the god of Rain (Chac / Tláloc). During droughts sacrificial victims (often virgins) were thrown into the pit along with valuable objects, both of which were offered in order to propitiate the god. Bones of men, women, and children along with objects of jade, shell, carved bone, ceramic bowls, gold and copper jewelry, plates, cups, masks, necklaces, rings, bells, buttons, and axes have all been found in this Cenote. Near this Cenote are remains of what was probably a steam bath used in connection with this sacrificial rituals performed, probably from 1200 to 1500, at this site.