5 Weird Facts about Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
The ATM Cave is not only one of the most visited caves in Belize but also one of the weirdest caves in Maya cosmology. In this blog post, we examine 5 weird facts about the ATM Cave.
1.) The ATM Cave was used as a sacred place during the Classic period (AD 250-909) by the ancient Maya who believed that the Gods who provided rain and agricultural fertility resided in this cave.
2.) The ATM Cave contains a stelae chamber which was used by high status individuals to perform rituals where they cut themselves with obsidian blades to offer their blood to the gods.
3.) The ATM Cave contains the skeletal remains of a young woman “The Crystal Maiden” who is believed to have been clubbed and left for dead and with the passage of time her bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized appearance.
4.) The ATM Cave was used to sacrifice humans in the hopes of appeasing the gods and bringing fertility to the land. For example more than 14 skeletal remains have been discovered in the ATM’s main chamber.
5.) It is believed that the Maya modified the ATM Cave to create altars for the sacred offerings and to create silhouettes of faces and animals to project a shadow image into the cave.
Want to know more about the ATM Cave? Visit our tours page Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave to find out more information.