The "cenotes" or sinkholes mentioned in the article below are abundant
throughout the region. Some of them are quite deep, but each has
interesting finds at the bottom of the well.

at the bottom there's a cool pic of a cenote in the merida area taken by Joe Miller

Maya Warrior Pygmies

The Mayan Indians are a very interesting and mysterious people. Their
civilization is still being studied. If you have any direct ancestral ties
it is especially insightful. The Mayan Indians despite their unfortunate
deaths in most Central America and Mexico still can be found living today.
Their periods beginning with the Formative or Pre-Classic Period was 2000
B.C. to A.D. 300. The Classic Period was 300 A.D. to 900 A.D. and subsequent
civilization Post Classic (A.D. 900 to conquest). Their tribes were divided
from geological areas ranging from parts of Southern Mexico, Guatemala,
Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. They functioned like many other
civilizations in those times with religion playing a major role. The belief
system was polytheistic therefore it was very interesting in how they
functioned in life in respect to what they believed the gods would send as
direct messages. K'imil, the Death God, Itzamma', the God of learning and
science, and the Maize God were all very strong gods whom the Mayan felt
adamant about in implementing and worshiping in their everyday lives. With
respect to this the Maya found great importance in weather, cultivation of
maize, change of seasons, and rain. The pyramid workmanship can be compared
to the pyramids of Egypt. These pyramids are amazingly beautiful and
meticulously engineered for each specific purpose in their community plazas.
Particularly the one at Chichen Itza temple of the warriors its' display of
battle scenes and village life marked life as early as 5th century A.D. This
place is also where they buried sacrificial offerings to their gods. The
cenotes (sinkholes) below had not only children skeletons, but adult women
and men skeletons as well. Findings also revealed skeletons of animals, gold
objects and jade. Not surprisingly these sacrifices occurred at the most
stressful times in the Mayan society. The Mayan Indians suffered gravely
from their lifestyle of constant wars, drought and over usage of limited
natural resources. Many scholars have found similarities of the Mayan life
to that of the American life. The goal in history is to find similarities in
ourselves, where we originated, and how we became what we are presently. It's
actually quite simple. Everyone placed on this Earth has a purpose in life.
The Mayan was looking for theirs, through the only ways they knew how. Art
was reflective of their lifestyle and culture. The hieroglyphs tell many
stories of life, of war and of kings. Ironically it was an American lawyer
in 1839 while working for the U.S. State Department who found the remains of
a lost city named Copan in Northern Honduras which he later purchased for
further exploration. Many scholars since Mr. Stephens have studied,
researched, and wondered about the Mayan Indians. They had so many
accomplishments and discoveries, many are still with us today!

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