Sidor som bilder
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fered from exposure, and the hieroglyphics are perfect, though the stone is cracked lengthwise through the middle, as indicated in the engraving. The impression made upon our minds by these speaking but unintelligible tablets I shall not attempt to describe. From some unaccountable cause they have never before been presented to the public. Captains Del Rio and Dupaix both refer to them, but in very few words, and neither of them has given a single drawing. Acting under a royal commission, and selected, doubtless, as fit men for the duties intrusted to them, they cannot have been ignorant or insensible of their value. It is my belief they did not give them because in both cases the artists attached to their expedition were incapable of the labour, and the steady, determined perseverance required for drawing such complicated, unintelligible, and anomalous characters. As at Copan, Mr. Catherwood divided his paper into squares; the original drawings were reduced, and the engravings corrected by himself, and I believe they are as true copies as the pencil can make : the real written records of a lost people. The Indians call this building an escuela or school, but our friends the padres called it a tribunal of justice, and these stones, they said, contained the tables of the law. There is one important fact to be noticed. The hieroglyphics are the same as were found at Copan and Quirigua. The intermediate country is now occupied by races of Indians speaking many different languages, and entirely unintelligible to each other; but there is room for the belief that the whole of this country was once occupied by the same race, speaking the same language, or, at least, having the same written characters. There is no staircase or other visible communication

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between the lower and upper parts of this building, and the only way of reaching the latter was by climbing a tree which grows close against the wall, and the branches of which spread over the roof. The roof is inclined, and the sides are covered with stucco ornaments, which, from exposure to the elements, and the assaults of trees and bushes, are faded and ruined, so that it was impossible to draw them; but enough remained to give the impression that, when perfect and painted, they must have been rich and imposing. Along the top was a range of pillars eighteen inches high and twelve apart, made of small pieces of stone laid in mortar, and covered with stucco, crowning which is a layer of flat projecting stones, having somewhat the appearance of a low open balustrade. In front of this building, at the foot of the pyramidal structure, is a small stream, part of which supplies the aqueduct before referred to. Crossing this, we come upon a broken stone terrace about sixty feet on the slope, with a level esplanade at the top, one hundred and ten feet in breadth, from which rises another pyramidal structure, now ruined and overgrown with trees; it is one hundred and thirty-four feet high on the slope, and on its summit is the building marked No. 2, like the first shrouded among trees, but presented in the engraving opposite as restored. The plate contains, as before, the ground-plan, front elevation, section, and front elevation on a smaller scale, with the pyramidal structure on which it stands. This building is fifty feet front, thirty-one feet deep, and has three doorways. The whole front was covered with stuccoed ornaments. The two outer piers contain hieroglyphics; one of the inner piers is fallen, and

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