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ANALY918. and ceilings being plastered, and the floors of hard mor.
tar. Their only opening is a circular hole at the top, barely large enough to admit a man. The object of these chambers is unknown. Some have supposed them intended as cisterns, or reservoirs ;.and others, that they were built for granaries, or storehouses.
12. 'South and south-east of Uxmal is a large extent of southwest of country which is literally covered with ruins, but few of 8. Al Labna. which have yet been thoroughly explored. At Labnaa. See Map, there are several curious structures as extraordinary as
those of Uxmal, one of which is represented by the following engraving.
1. Ruins, south and
BUILDING AT LABNA, 40 feet high, placed on an artificial elevation 45 feet high.
8. Description 13. "This building, which stands on an artificial mound, of the build ing. faced with stone, forty-five feet high, rises nearly forty
feet above the summit of the mound, making in all a height of more than eighty feet. The building is forty three feet in front, and twenty in depth; and the exterior walls were once covered with colossal figures and ornaments in stucco, most of which are now broken and in fragments. Along the top, standing out on the wall, is a row of death's heads; and underneath are two lines of human figures, of which scattered arms and legs alone
remain. 4. Ruins at 14. *At Kewick, a short distance south of Labna, are b. See Map, numerous ancient buildings, now mostly in ruins, but re.
markable for the neatness and simplicity of their archi. tecture, and the grandeur of their proportions. An en. graving of the principal doorway of one of these build. ings is given on the opposite page.
SUPPOSED ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN ANTIQUI
TIES, AND OF THE INDIAN TRIBES. 1. 'We have now closed our descriptive account of mobiler
this Chapter. American Antiquities, and shall proceed, in the same brief manner, to consider the question of their origin, and the origin of the Indian tribes.
With regard to most, if not all, of the ruined structures 2. The ruined found in Mexico, Yucatan, and Central America ; and can Mexico, also in Peru; there appears now but little difficulty in auributes satisfactorily ascribing their origin to the aborigines who the aborig. were in possession of those countries at the time of their discovery by Europeans. 'It is known that, at the time 3. Known to of the conquest of Mexico and the adjacent provinces, their posses edifices, similar to those whose ruins have been described, time of the were in the possession and actual occupation of the native conquest. inhabitants. Some of these structures already bore the marks of antiquity, while others were evidently of recent construction.
2. "The glowing accounts which Cortez and his companions gave of the existence of extensive cities, and counteerinen magnificent buildings and temples, in the actual use and and ni.comoccupation of the Indians, were so far beyond what could wohl discrec be conceived as the works of “ignorant savages,” that ern writere. modern historians, Robertson among the number, have been inclined to give little credit to their statements.
4. The ac
2. First discoveries in
4. The account given
ANALYSIS. 'But the wrecks of a former civilization which now strew
the plains of Yucatan and Central America, confirm the in favor of accounts of the early historians; for these buildings, whe
ther desolate or inhabited, were then there, and at least more perfect than they are now; and some of them were described as occupying the same localities where they have since been found.
3. ?When the Spaniards first discovered the coast of Yucatan. Yucatan, they observed, along its shores,“ villages in
which they could distinguish houses of stone that appeared 3. Herrera's white and lofty at a distance.” Herrera, a Spanish hisYucatan. torian, says of Yucatan,“The whole country is divided
into eighteen districts; and in all of them were so many and such stately stone buildings that it was amazing ; and the greatest wonder is, that having no use of any metal, they were able to raise such structures, which seem to have been temples ; for their houses were always of timber, and thatched."
4. “Another writer, Bernal Diaz, who accompanied the by Bernal expeditions of Cortez, speaks of the Indians of a large narives town in Yucatan, as being “ dressed in cotton mantles,".
and of their buildings as being “ constructed of lime and stone, with figures of serpents and of idols painted upon the walls.” ”At another place he saw “ two buildings of lime and stone, well constructed, each with steps, and an altar placed before certain figures, the representations of the gods of these Indians.” Approaching Mexico, he says,
appearances demonstrated that we had entered a new country; for the temples were very lofty; and, together with the terraced buildings, and the houses of the caciques, being plastered and whitewashed, appeared very well, ano resembled some of our towns in Spain."
5. "The city of Cholula was said to resemble Vallado. of Cholula.
lid. It “had at that time above a hundred lofty white 8. Generaltowers, which were the temples of their idols." *The the account Spanish historians speak repeatedly of buildings of lime sispankstine and stone, painted and sculptured ornaments, and plastered
walls ; idols, courts, strong walls, and lofty temples, with
high ranges of steps,—all the work of the Indians, the in9. The con; habitants of the country. In all these accounts we easily
recognize the ruined cdifices which have been recently discovered; and cannot doubt that they owe their origin to the ancestors of the Indians who now reside there-subdued -broken in spirit--and degraded, and still held in a sort of vassalage by the Spanish inhabitants.
6. Nor indeed is there any proof that the semi-civil. Sinirocollie ized inhabitants of Mexico, Yucatan, and Central Ameri.
ca, were a race different from the more savage tribes by
5. Of the buildings which he saw there.
6. Of the country near- (6 er Mexico.
7. Of the city
10. Supposed COmon ori.
which they were surrounded : but, on the contrary, there ANALYSIS. is much evidence in favor of their common origin, and in proof that the present tribes, or at least many of them, are but the dismembered fragments of former nations.
7. "The present natives of Yucatan and Central Amer. 1. Their sim, ica, after a remove of only three centuries from their
capacities. more civilized ancestors, present no diversities, in their natural capacities, to distinguish them from the race of the common Indian. 'And if the Mexicans and the Peru. 2. Supposed vians could have arisen from the savage state, it is not improbable that the present rude tribes may have remained which helvey in it; or, if the latter were once more civilized than at present,-as they have relapsed into barbarism–so others may have done.
8. "The anatomical structure of the skeletons found 3 Arratomical within the ancient mounds of the United States, does not and present differ more from that of the present Indians than tribes of pearances. the latter, admitted to be of the same race, differ from each other. In the physical appearance of all the American aborigines, embracing the semi-civilized Mexicans, the Peruvians, and the wandering savage tribes, there is a striking uniformity ; nor can any distinction of races here be made.
9. 'In their languages there is a general unity of struc- 4. Great anti ture, and a great similarity in grammatical forms, which perund of peoprove their common origin ; while the great diversity in 'ica. and the the words of the different languages, shows the great an. tiquity of the period of peopling America. rally uniform character of their religious opinions and lana mer rites, we discover original unity and an identity of origin; 5. By their while the diversities here found, likewise indicate the very opinions. early period of the separation and dispersion of tribes.
Throughout most of the American tribes have been found 6. By their traces of the pictorial delineations, and hieroglyphical sym. lineations. bols, by which the Mexicans and the Peruvians communi. cated ideas, and preserved the memory of events.*
10. "The mythological traditions of the savage tribes, 7. Hy the simand the semi-civilized nations, have general features of their iradi. resemblance,-generally implying a migration from some other country, --containing distinct allusions to a deluge --and attributing their knowledge of the arts to some fabulous teacher in remote ages. Throughout nearly the . By their whole continent, the dead were buried in a sitting pos. mute of uu ture; the smoking of tobacco was a prevalent custom, other seriring aud the calumet, or pipe of peace, was everywhere deemed analogies. sacred. And, in fine, the numerous and striking analogies
cosmon oregin of the aborigines,
'In the gene- shown by the
• See Mexican Iristory, page 50%.
3. Ancient structures
1. Ancient ed. inces in Met
ANALYSIS. between the barbarous and the cultivated tribes, are suffi
cient to justify the belief in their primitive relationship and common origin.
11. 'But whether the first inhabitants were rude and of the earliest inhabitants barbarous tribes, as has been generally supposed, or were
more enlightened than even the Mexicans and the Peru.
vians, is a point which cannot be so satisfactorily deter2. A civiliza: mined. "But, whichever may have been the case, it is to that of the certain that these nations were not the founders of civilizathe Perana tion on this continent; for they could point to antiquities
which were the remains of a former civilization.
12. "The Incas of Peru, at the time of the conquest, acthroughout knowledged the existence of ancient structures, of more
remote origin than the era of the foundation of their empire ; and these were undoubtedly the models from which they copied ; and throughout an extent of more than three thousand miles, in South America, ancient ruins have been discovered, which cannot be attributed to the Peruvians, and which afford indubitable evidence of the previous existence of a numerous, agricultural, and highly civilized people.
13. "The Mexicans attributed many ancient edifices in ico attribu. their country to the Toltecs, a people who are supposed to
have arrived in Mexico during the latter part of the sixth 5. May not century. It is said that the Toltecs came from the north; have been ine and it is highly probable, although but mere conjecture, works found that they previously occupied the valley of the Missis
sippi and the adjacent country, as far as the Alleghanies on the east, the Lakes on the north, and Florida on the south, and that they were the authors of the works whose remains have been found in the United States.
14. "But still another question arises : when, how, and who first set; by whom was America first settled ?-and who were the
ancestors of the present Indian tribes? We shall notice the most prominent of the many theories that have been advanced upon this subject, and close with that which ap
pears to us the most reasonable. . Beliered by *It is believed by many that the ancients were not un. the ancients acquainted with the American continent; and there are quainted with indeed some plausible reasons for believing that an exten.
sive island, or continent, once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and America, but which afterwards disappeared.
15. 'In a dialogue written by Theopompus, a learned historian who lived in the time of. Alexander the Great,
one of the speakers gives an account of a continent of very The Cam great dimensions, larger than either Asia or Africa, and
" situated beyond these in the ocean. It is said that Hanno,
icd to the Toltecs.
in the United
6. Another questiun:
8. A dlalogue by Theuponi