Cenote’s: The Wells of Sacrifice


I heard about these watching some documentaries and reading articles related to the Mayan civilisation – It (still) never fails to surprise me that most people haven’t heard of these phenomena. Associated mostly in Mexico, they were believed to be a way of communicating with Gods and ancestors, one in particular being the Maya rain God, Chaac.

As the title suggest, the look-a-like lakes were used by Mayans; sacrificing human beings and objects such as weaponry, gold and cooking utensils. One of the most famous Cenote’s is known as the ‘Sacred Cenote‘, located at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, in the northern Yucatan Peninsula.

ImageNot only do these cenote’s offer insight into Ancient cultures but they also offer people a intriguing insight into the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is well documented and believe that a meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs, but where did the meteorite hit?


The Chicxulub crater is a strong candidate for this and is now known as the site of the extinction of the dinosaurs. Cenote’s sit around the edge of the trough of the crater, indidated by the white dots, other colours indicate different rock types. This information helps us to explain the semi-circle-like distribution of cenote’s in the peninsula.

Another note of interest surrounding cenote’s is that a majority of them are connected underwater, a natural habitat for cave divers who want to explore the underwater tunnels and caves, some stretching up to 61 miles! Most of the underwater territory hasn’t been mapped yet but it’s slowly getting there!



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