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The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is found deep in the jungles of Belize, but you have to be willing to hike, swim and climb to reach it. The site holds great significance for the ancient Maya, and was discovered in 1989. Archaeologist Jaime Awe and his team spent years researching the site, and it was opened to the public in 1998. It is home to dozens of skeletons, including the Crystal Maiden. Though tourists do visit the site, it has not been widely seen and photography and video were banned a few years ago. Awe visited the cave with National Geographic in 2017 during filming for his new series One Strange Rock.
Awe discussed the importance of the cave to Maya civilization and the world, telling Nat Geo, “They’re portals to the underworld, to where important gods resided. We also see human sacrifice. Things must have been really difficult for the Maya to be doing this. The Maya certainly contributed to their own demise.”Read the full story at National Geographic