Archaeologists Find Dozens of Artifacts in Chichen Itza Sinkhole

February 8th, 2012 by ejalbright

Pots, many believed older than 1,000 years, litter the floor of a cenote near Chichen Itza (SIPSE photo)

[UPDATE: Photos of many of the artifacts that have been recovered can be found HERE.]

Archaeologists have discovered dozens of intact vases from before the time of Columbus at the bottom of a water-filled sinkhole, known as a cenote, that had once been part of the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza.

Archaeologist Sergio Grosjean Abimerhi told the media that some of the vases are part of the ancient Maya civilization that once thrived at Chichen Itza well before Columbus’s arrival in the New World.

“No doubt, after the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza and X’lakah cenote, located at the site of Dzibilchaltun, this is the greatest number of vessels have been found in the history of underwater exploration in the Maya world,” he said.

Many of the pots recovered from the Sacred Cenote, for example, were damaged in the exavation; the pots in this new cenote, which was not identified other than as being in the vicinity of Chichen Itza, have not been disturbed and are mostly intact.

Access to this cenote must be made by rappelling from the top. The cenote has been described as 51 meters across, about one-quarter the size of Chichen’s Sacred Cenote, but deeper at 35 meters.

Several months ago INAH reported finding numerous skeletons in a cenote near Chichen Itza. It is not known if this find is from the same cenote.

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