This sacred Mayan place also known as the Water Well of the Sacrifices or Cenote Chenkú, is a natural water hole that was the main source of fresh water for the Maya civilization that established its home place at Chichén itzá.
At this sacred well, the Mayas performed many sacrifices including human ones. Archeologists recovered bones and artifacts from this sacred well, that now a days, are one of the best examples of excellent manufacturing and artistic capabilities of the Maya people.
From the samples recovered from the Sacred Well at the Chichén itzá ruins archaeologists saw that many of the sacrificed people had violent marks that were perpetrated at the moment of death. Also in 93% of the sacrifices mentioned in the documents of Sotuta y Homún-Hocabá (areas in the region,) heart extraction and disposal of it in a cenote was very common.
Overall the Yucatan peninsula possesses many natural water holes throughout the region. You may visit any while traveling by simply following signs you can see on the road while driving. This region does not have any rivers therefore its main source of water for people of a particular region were these types of water wells.
A cenote was considered of great importance and was the center of temples and rituals offered to the fertility and the rain gods. Chichén itzá is the best example of the importance these water wells with an impressive temple close by the Sacred Well called “El Castillo” where religious celebrations took place.
Edward Thompson from The United States was the first successful explorer of the Sacred Well. He recovered many artifacts, textiles, human remains and pieces of jade, and precious shell that remain at the Peabody Museum, in Cambridge, MA. His explorations concluded in 1909.
When visiting Chichén itzá make sure you see the Sacred Well as it is impressive and filled with ancient Mayan history. Just imagine… all that happened there as a way to worship the gods…
Chichén itzá Tours
I normally plan ahead and try to read what other visitors have to say about a particular site, region and tours.
I found advance planning to be quite rewarding because it makes our trips very smooth, and don’t get me wrong, we like adventure but hate wasting our time trying to find the places we want to go to and realizing we could have done many more things in advance that would have made our trip way more successful.
That is why I like Trip Advisor. I has many reviews by folks like you and me and you can look at everything there from finding a hotel to booking a tour company! Again, did I mention the reviews? Yes, invaluable…I am not talking about just a couple reviews, they are actually in the thousands for many Chichén itzá tours.