Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Chaa Creek Chultun.
A Chultun is a subterranean chamber carved out of soft limestone bedrock with a narrow cylindrical opening that are vastly found in Central America primarily in locations near Maya archaeological sites.
The term “Chultun” is thought to be derived by the Maya word Chul, meaning either “wet” or “becoming wet” or possibly “tsul” meaning to “clean out or excavate” and the word tun meaning “rock” or “stone” thus chultun meaning “wet rock” or “rock that becomes wet” or perhaps more loosely “rock place that becomes wet”. The term “Chultun” in modern Yucatecan Maya is used to refer to a hole in the ground that is wet or contains water.
The Chaa Creek Chultun, located near the the lodge’s gift shop was found to comprise of three special secret sections. A total of 1049 ceramic shards and lithic flakes were excavated from the surface unit, and from within. The historical Maya discoveries that were found date between 300 and 900 A.D and archaeologists believe that this Chultun could have been used as a Maya burial site as human remains were also unearthed.
The use of Chultuns have long been a source of debate. Archaeologists have suggested that particular uses varied by region and some of its main purpose may have been for food storage, ritual offerings, or burials. Whether these were their actual uses, it still remains a mystery today!
Photo taken by Naturalist Guide: David Juarez