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Of the two cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the most famous.
According to post-Conquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac.
One possible translation for Itza is "enchanter (or enchantment) of the water," The name is spelled Chichén Itzá in Spanish, and the accents are sometimes maintained in other languages to show that both parts of the name are stressed on their final syllable.
Several archaeologists in the late 1980s suggested that unlike previous Maya polities of the Early Classic, Chichen Itza may not have been governed by an individual ruler or a single dynastic lineage.The current belief trend in Maya scholarship is toward the more traditional model of the Maya kingdoms of the Classic Period southern lowlands in Mexico.Chichen Itza was able to obtain locally unavailable resources from distant areas such as obsidian from central Mexico and gold from southern Central America.Between AD 9 Chichen Itza expanded to become a powerful regional capital controlling north and central Yucatán. Its final layout was developed after 900 AD, and the 10th century saw the rise of the city as a regional capital controlling the area from central Yucatán to the north coast, with its power extending down the east and west coasts of the peninsula.The Late Classic city was centered upon the area to the southwest of the Xtoloc cenote, with the main architecture represented by the substructures now underlying the Las Monjas and Observatorio and the basal platform upon which they were built.