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Vestiges of the Mayas or, Facts Tending to Prove that Communications and Intimate Relations Must Have Existed, in very Remote Times, Between the Inhabitants of Mayab and Those of Asia and Africa   By: (1826-1908)

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Transcriber's Note

A number of typographical errors have been maintained in this version of this book. They have been marked with a [TN ], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the end of the text. Inconsistent spelling, hyphenation, and capitalization have been maintained. A list of inconsistently spelled, hyphenated, and capitalized words is found in a list at the end of the text.

Oe ligatures have been expanded. The following codes are used for characters that are not available in the character set used for this book:

[sun] Sun symbol [=a] a with macron [c] open o [C] open O

VESTIGES OF THE MAYAS,

OR,

Facts tending to prove that Communications and Intimate Relations must have existed, in very remote times, between the inhabitants of

MAYAB

AND THOSE OF

ASIA AND AFRICA.

BY

AUGUSTUS LE PLONGEON, M. D.,

Member of the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, Mass., of the California Academy of Sciences, and several other Scientific Societies. Author of various Essays and Scientific Works.

NEW YORK: JOHN POLHEMUS, PRINTER AND STATIONER, 102 NASSAU STREET.

1881.

To

MR. PIERRE LORILLARD.

Who deserves the thanks of the students of American Archæology more than you, for the interest manifested in the explorations of the ruined monuments of Central America, handiwork of the races that inhabited this continent in remote ages, and the material help given by you to Foreign and American explorers in that field of investigations?

Accept, then, my personal thanks, with the dedication of this small Essay. It forms part of the result of many years' study and hardships among the ruined cities of the Incas, in Peru, and of the Mayas in Yucatan.

Yours very respectfully,

AUGUSTUS LE PLONGEON, M. D.

NEW YORK, December 15, 1881 .

Entered according to an Act of Congress, in December, 1881,

BY AUGUSTUS LE PLONGEON,

In the Office of the LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS in Washington, D.C.

VESTIGES OF THE MAYAS.

Yucatan is the peninsula which divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. It is comprised between the 17° 30´ and 21° 50´, of latitude north, and the 88° and 91° of longitude west from the Greenwich meridian.

The whole peninsula is of fossiferous limestone formation. Elevated a few feet only above the sea, on the coasts, it gradually raises toward the interior, to a maximum height of above 70 feet. A bird's eye view, from a lofty building, impresses the beholder with the idea that he is looking on an immense sea of verdure, having the horizon for boundary; without a hill, not even a hillock, to break the monotony of the landscape. Here and there clusters of palm trees, or artificial mounds, covered with shrubs, loom above the green dead level as islets, over that expanse of green foliage, affording a momentary relief to the eyes growing tired of so much sameness.

About fifty miles from the northwestern coast begins a low, narrow range of hills, whose highest point is not much above 500 feet. It traverses the peninsula in a direction a little south from east, commencing a few miles north from the ruined city of Uxmal, and terminating some distance from the eastern coast, opposite to the magnificent bay of Ascension.

Lately I have noticed that some veins of red oxide of iron exist among these hills quarries of marble must also be found there; since the sculptured ornaments that adorn the facade of all the monuments at Uxmal are of that stone. To day the inhabitants of Yucatan are even ignorant of the existence of these minerals in their country, and ocher to paint, and marble slabs to floor their houses, are imported from abroad. I have also discovered veins of good lithographic stones that could be worked at comparatively little expense.

The surface of the country is undulating; its stony waves recall forcibly to the mind the heavy swell of mid ocean... Continue reading book >>




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