cenote

cenote

[suh-noh-tee]
noun
a deep natural well or sinkhole, especially in Central America, formed by the collapse of surface limestone that exposes ground water underneath, and sometimes used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings.

Origin:
1835–45; < Mexican Spanish < Yucatec Mayan

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cenote (sɪˈnəʊteɪ)
 
n
(esp in the Yucatán peninsula) a natural well formed by the collapse of an overlying limestone crust: often used as a sacrificial site by the Mayas
 
[C19: via Mexican Spanish from Maya conot]

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cenote

(from Maya dz'onot), natural well or reservoir, common in the Yucatan Peninsula, formed when a limestone surface collapses, exposing water underneath. The major source of water in modern and ancient Yucatan, cenotes are also associated with the cult of the rain gods, or Chacs. In ancient times, notably at Chichen Itza, precious objects, such as jade, gold, copper, and incense and also human beings, usually children, were thrown into the cenotes as offerings. A survivor was believed to bring a message from the gods about the year's crops

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