Exploring Maya Ritual Caves: Dark Secrets from the Maya Underworld
Exploring Maya Ritual Caves offers a rare survey and explication of most of the known ancient Maya ritual caves in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. The caves were the Maya underworld, where rituals, including animal and human sacrifice, were carried out. The Maya cave cult and mythology, construction and modification of the caves, and cult art and artifacts are discussed. Chládek, an intrepid explorer, then describes important caves that he has recently visited and provides photos of their wonders.
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Actun Tunichil Muknal alcove Alta Verapaz altar ancient Maya artifacts Blue Creek bones boulder built burial burned Calcehtok Cancuén canoe carved Cave Branch cave entrance cave’s caverns ceramic ceremonies Chaak Chac chamber Chiapas Chichén Itzá Chiquibul classic period climbed copal dark deep Earth Witz elite figure flowstone glyphs gods Gruta Guatemala Hero Twins Highlands hike huge human Hunahpu inside Jaguar jungle K’iche karst karstic kilometers late classic ledge limestone located looters Lords Lowland Maize mask Maya Mountains Mesoamerica metate meters Mexico Monster Naj Tunich Naj Tunich Cave niche offerings ollas Olmec paintings passage perhaps Petén petroglyphs platform pool Popol Vuh postclassic pottery preclassic pyramid Quintana Roo rain rimstone River Roaring Fork River rock sacred sacrifices sacrificial victims shamans shards shrine sinkhole skeletons skull slope speleothems stalactites stalagmites stela stone symbol Tancah tapir temples Teotihuacan tombs tree underground underworld vessels walls western Belize Xibalba Yucatán