Sidor som bilder

in ruin, contained twenty-two “round pillars:" though from the appearance of the ground-plan, it is almost demonstrated that the two rows of columns were continued around the entire platform-terrace, forming a grand Colonnade, like those of Palmyra, or that facing the church of St. Peter's at Rome, but a square instead of a circular area. The columns at Uxmal are given as “eighteen inches in diameter;" this multiplied by eight (the medium calculation) would give each an an altitude of twelve feet. On the plan (by measuring from the scale given) the line of one row of the columns extends one hundred and forty feet, its parallel the same ; each column is ten feet from its associate; the same distance exactly is between the parallel rows, thus proving a perfect knowledge of Architectural design l Pursuing the same scale of measurement (as the ground-plan authorizes), the entire Colonnade of Uxmal contained originally, two hundred and thirty circular columns / In the centre of the area in front of the Temple (and holding the same locality as the single Obelisk in front of St. Peter's, at Rome), is the ruin of the solitary “broken round Pillar,” and compared with the other columns on the Map, is six feet in diameter, and this multiplied by ten (for capital and ornament on the summit, perhaps originally an emblem of the Sun), would give this single column an altitude of sixty feet / This is a circular, not a square column. The foregone Architectural analysis is not given by Stephens, but we have taken as a basis the rude ground-plan given, and have thus resuscitated the

Colonnade of Uxmal, which formed the approach to the great Temple.” On the Map of the ruin now under consideration, and directly beneath the “round pillars,” is written the following sentence by Stephens himself, to illustrate the meaning of the circular dots on the plan,—the words are, “Remains of Columns s”

* Upon the preceding principle, for the convenience of reference, we have produced the following: and we predict, should any other Cities or Ruins be discovered in Yucutan, that they will possess the same general characteristics, and consequently will not injure this History, but will rather tend to support it.


First Terrace, 640 feet long on each of the four sides, 5 feet high, steps in centre on the several sides. First Platform, 20 feet broad. Second Terrace, 600 feet on each of the sides, 15 feet high, steps also in centre. Second Platform, 205 feet to base of third terrace. Third Terrace, 400 feet at base; 35 steps, six inches tread; entire depth 110 feet. Third Platform, 30 feet, to the front of the Temple; all the Terraces are cased with cut stone. Façade of Temple, 320 feet : walls to first Cornice 25 feet high. Three doorways, centre, 8 feet 6 inches wide, 8 feet 10 inches high; the two lateral doorways the same height as the centre, and 6 feet 6 inches wide. Colonnade, or Second Platform, composed of 230 circular columns, each 12 feet high, and 18 inches in diameter; in two rows; the columns 10 feet apart. The Single Altar-Column, 6 feet diameter, and 60 feet high, in centre of area. Base of First Terrace, 2560 feet! Sculptured walls of the Temple, 40,960 superficial feet! The Three Artificial Terraces contain 72,800 cubit feet! G. J.

How can he then reconcile from his own descriptions, that “not one Column has been found 7” “If," says he, “this Architecture had been derived from the Egyptians, so striking and important a feature [i. e. circular Columns] would never have been thrown aside.” Well then, the “important feature” has not “been thrown aside,” and consequently from his own reasoning, the Architecture was (conjoined with the pyramidal bases) derived from the Egyptian.” We believe distinctly, that the Architecture was “derived from"—in other words—borrowed from,-the edifices of the Nile;—but, not built by the Egyptians themselves. In regard to another branch of Art, he commits himself in the same manner as when writing of Architecture. “Next, as to Sculpture. The idea of resemblance in this particular has been so often and so confidently expressed, that I almost hesitate to declare the total want of similarity.” There should indeed be hesitation upon a subject, so capable of denying a conclusion, directly opposed to occular demonstration. “If there be any resemblance [to the Egyptian] at all striking, it is only that the figures are in profile, and this is equally true of allgood Sculpture in bas-relief.” Why does he select “bas-relievo” only,–why not bring forth alto-relievo, also, for they are both found in Egypt and America. The Altar at Copan, and the walls at Palenque present profile figures and in bas-relievo-so does the Vocal Memnon of Thebes, and the walls of Egypt: at Palenque the two figures grouped at the Altar (of Casa, No. 3) are in profile, and face to face, with the Mask of Saturn between them, and holding the same general position as the two figures of the Vocal Memnon, who are also face to face, and in profile-but instead of the mask, they have the Egyptian Tau T between them, and in the act of binding it with the lotus plant. But he objects to similitude apparently from the want of analogy in the physiognomy, or profile characteristics of the relative figures of Egypt and America. This certainly then must prove that they were a different people; this we distinctly believe ;-but, that that people had knowledge of Egyptian Architecture and Sculpture, from commercial intercourse with the Nile. Alto-Relievo Sculpture is in America and Egypt :—in the former country, on the Idol-columns of Copan ; in the latter nation, upon the Capitals of the Temple Columns;– and in both countries the faces are not in profile, but full front. The profile figures being on Temples, were supposed to be deified, and consequently the facial outlines were represented different from human outline. Again :—What are the Obelisks of Egypt? Are they not square columns for the facility of Sculpture ? and of what form are the isolated columns at Copan 2 Are they not square, and for the same purpose of facility in Sculpture with which they are covered, and with workmanship “ as fine as that of Egypt 2" This is a point that Mr. Stephens has passed over without even a comment! The Columns of Copan stand detached and solitary, the Obelisks of Egypt do the same, and both are square (or four-sided) and covered with the art of the Sculptor. The analogy of being derived from the Nile is perfect, for in what other Ruins but those of Egypt, and Ancient America, is the square sculptured Column to be found 2 He affects to despise the Idol-Obelisks of Copan, because they do not tower in a single stone, “ninety-feet” in height like those of Egypt, that they could not “be derived from" the latter country, because they are only onesixth of the altitude of their prototypes Has Mr. Stephens then travelled amid the giant Ruins of Memphis and Thebes, and gazed upon the Pyramids of Ghizeh, unconscious of their history, as of the Ruins in America? Has he yet to learn, that captives and prisoners of war, numbering their thousands, by tens and hundreds, built the former ? Freemen built the latter, and consequently they are less in grandeur / Strange and original as this assertion may appear, it is no less philosophically, than historically true. What points out Egypt from the wreck of Empires, even at this day?—her Colossal Pyramids and Temples! What preserves ancient Rome amid all the Ruins of Italy, and in present grandeur”—her giant Coliseum! Who built these wonders of even the modern world? Cheops and Sesostris, Vespasian and Titus? They indeed commanded that they should be erected as trophies of their power —but, who were the workmen, the actual builders and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »