cenot

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Deep in the Mexican jungle, lies an underwater cave called the Angelita Cenote. The pool is 200 feet deep and even contains a separate river that runs along the bottom on the underwater cave. This is due to the different levels of salinity in the water, causing denser water to sink to the bottom.

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Chablé

Spread across 750 acres of natural Mayan forest on Mexico’s famed Yucatán Peninsula, Chablé Resort is a 5-star hacienda style retreat with 38 private pool villas, organic cuisine, and a breathtaking spa built alongside a mythical cenote.

Framed by lush tropical gardens, the resort’s expansive casitas and suites are serene oases of style, luxury, and tranquility. A blend of traditional Mayan architecture and refined contemporary design, all units feature outdoor living rooms with glistening pools, hammocks, and alfresco showers.

Featuring 10,000 square feet of stunning outdoor-indoor living space – including its own gym, media room, and butler kitchen, the sumptuous Royal Presidential Suite is a true modern-day palace.

TripAdvisor

Secret Underground Cavern Thought by the Maya to be Portal to the Underworld

The ancient Maya who populated the Yucatan Peninsula in the first millennium AD believed that there were three ways for the living to enter Xibalba, the world of the dead: through deep caves, through competition in the Maya ball game, and through the sacred cenote (sinkholes). It was the cenotes that were most important to the ancient Maya religion, for through these underground caverns came life as well as death.

Read more…

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This Guy Went to Earth’s Most Remote Places So You Don’t Have To

Klaus Thymann obviously loves adventure. In just 24 days, Thymann dove 100 feet into a sinkhole, trekked one of two glaciers abutting a rainforest, and peered over the edge of an active volcano.

Thymann traveled thousands of miles around the world to visit three unusual and remote ecosystems for Timezone. “This planet still holds diverse environments that are full of surprises,” he says.

He spent weeks researching locations before choosing the Cenote Angelita sinkhole in the Yukatan, Mexico, Fox Glacier in New Zealand, and Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He set off in January, 2015, with a Hasselblad HD5 and HD4 and a Carl Zeiss lens.

(Continue Reading)

sciencedaily.com
The demise of the Maya civilization: Water shortage can destroy cultures: Interplay between society and hydrological effects
Water reservoirs provide relief during short periods of drought. They can, however, make a society even more vulnerable to major catastrophes, if the population keeps growing without changing their habits. New models suggest that this could have caused the demise of the Maya civilization.

I’m not copy/pasting the article because I don’t agree with the researchers, but if you want to click the link and read it that is up to you. Instead, what I want to say is that I don’t believe it is as simple as saying not enough water caused the abandonment (not collapse) of the Lowlands. Based on the press release, these researchers have failed to mention thriving Classic period city-states (Caracol, Chichen Itza, Uxmal), the creation and expansion of Postclassic city-states (Mayapan, Q'umarkaj, Mixco Viejo) the effects of deforestation (need wood for construction, tool making, cooking fires, and making plaster), the effects of changing trade routes (more coastal trade, Lowland cities could not tap into these networks easily), different water management strategies (not everyone used cenotes or built reservoirs) and effects of internal dynamics after the defeat of powerful city-states like Calakmul (the abandonment started around the same time), or a shift in sociopolitical power from a god-king to just a king that is sometimes supplemented with a council of lords.

I try to share informative discoveries and assessments of past Native peoples with you all. Sometimes I don’t know if it is accurate because I’m not an expert in everything, though I try to make a fair assessment. In this case, however, I do have a background in Maya archaeology and I can comment and point out possible inaccuracies. Without seeing more than a press release I cannot say anything more. Perhaps in the paper the researchers address all these issues, but I doubt they did or addressed them adequately. Whenever I read something on the abandonment, people tend to focus on just one cause rather than multiple. No model is going to be perfect and every model will need reassessment when new data emerges. That’s part of the science of archaeology. I’m just annoyed that pop-sci outlets are going to latch onto this to further push the idea that the Maya were some kind of ancient hippy jungle people who lived as one with nature and mysteriously disappeared into the jungle leaving us to wonder what happened, an idea that keeps popping up like a bad villain in a TV show.

Parallels can be drawn to the area I now study in West Mexico. Drought certainly played a role in the abandonment of Teuchitlan culture sites. Records in lake sediments in Nayarit as well as archaeology surveys and geomorphology work in the Magdalena Lake Basin have confirmed this drought. This is the same drought that would have affected the Bajio and Teotihuacan to the east. But whether or not drought is the key factor is yet to be determined. Instead it may well be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” with other underlying issues bubbling to the surface. Because at the end of the 6th century we don’t just see the abandonment of settlements, we see the abandonment of everything. They stop burying their dead in shaft tombs, they stop building guachimontones, they stop producing the same ceramic styles and forms, they start producing different stone tools, they stop producing hollow and solid ceramic figures which the region is known for, they start building tiered platforms and u-shaped elite residential structures, they even stop living near Classic period settlements and instead opt to live in completely different areas with no previous occupation. They turned their back on 800 years of cultural practices and tradition and I doubt that drought was sole reason.

/rant

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Cenotes are fresh water caverns mainly located in the Yucatan peninsula which were crucial to Mayan culture. Though they were used as a water source, cenotes held much greater significance (and still do since the Mayans are NOT dead) as an entrance to the underworld as well as a place used for religious ceremonies as well as a place to communicate with the gods. Tradition says with the blessing of the keeper of the cenote, one may enter and enjoy which I did! Truly a once in a life time spiritual experience! Clear clean water that seemed to have no bottom as caves beneath the water lead into darkness, the bright blue sky and tropical foliage above, a blessing in plain site!

Fragmento de poesía yucateca

Cuando el suelo se cansa y se hace estéril
junta su viejo polvo y se endurece
y otra vez se hace piedra y arde al fuego
y se hace cal y vive nueva vida.

Mía es el agua fresca de los pozos tranquilos
Y el agua honda de los cenotes encantados;
mío es el cielo en que el sol de mi linaje
resbala calentando el día,
y en que la noche enciende sus luceros
desde donde me ven los ojos de mis dioses antiguos.

Mi tierra es mía y de mis hermanos,
los que nacieron de nuestra misma madre
y vieron crecer en sus caminos la marca de sus pies.

Yaxcabá #Yucatán ⛪

📷 @oswaldomatu

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