This is a rather jumbled overview of the largest archeological expedition ever attempted in the western hemisphere into the heart of Yucatan to the Mayan ceremonial center at Chichen Itza. The object was to drain the sacrificial well of ""Chac,"" the rain god, and dredge up what had been thrown there. Understandably the well was regarded as a natural ""time capsule"" which might yield up objects spanning fifteen centuries. With a bevy of scientists, engineers, archeologists and scuba divers, everything was carefully accounted for. Except for Chac, who, as it turned out, didn't take kindly to non-worshipping strangers. It poured. . . for days. They struggled knee-deep in mud, steam and streams of bats and insects. The enormous 186 foot well turned out to be fed by underground streams. Its acidic content was enough to melt the equipment. But after months of frustrated efforts and near-fatal accidents (one a devastating episode when chlorine gas escaped) Chac capitulated and they started dredging up the past. It's more a saga of heroic enterprise than an assessment of Mayan culture (Mr. Ediger is not an archeologist). Technology triumphant for those who appreciate it.