Archaeological Discovery

Volume 12, Issue 2 (April 2024)

ISSN Print: 2331-1959   ISSN Online: 2331-1967

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.93  Citations  

Cenote Xbis: The House of Rain

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DOI: 10.4236/ad.2024.122005    51 Downloads   214 Views  


This article reports on a sacbe discovered by the Gran Aquífero Maya in the cave/cenote of Xbis, Hoctún, Yucatán, Mexico. The sacbe is the first reported example of a ritual roadway constructed in a Maya cave. The current study details how the construction incorporated elements of the natural cavescape to create Xbis as a significant sacred landmark. The sacbe led to a large pool of water and was constructed into the pool, allowing passage to a large speleothem column without entering the water. Ethnographic data suggests that such cave formations may have been the physical representation of a deity and were the focus of ritual. In addition, water droplets falling from thousands of active stalactites created the effect that it is always raining in the cave. It is proposed that the cave was appropriated and elaborated by elites for ritual because it proclaimed their control over the forces of nature.

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Brady, J. and Anda, G. (2024) Cenote Xbis: The House of Rain. Archaeological Discovery, 12, 83-92. doi: 10.4236/ad.2024.122005.

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