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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/12

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PREFACE.

casual observer. Photography may in the next few years do something towards enabling stay-at-home travellers to do a good deal towards this, but photography will never do all, and local knowledge is indispensable for the exact determination of many now obscure questions. The problem is in fact identical with that presented to Indian antiquaries some thirty years ago. At that time we knew less of the history of Indian architecture than we now know of American, but at the present day the date of every building and every cave in India can be determined with almost absolute certainty to within fifty, or at the outside one hundred, years; the sequence is everywhere certain, and all can be referred to the race and religion that practised that peculiar style. In America there are the same strongly-marked local peculiarities of style as in India, accompanied by equally easily detected affinities or differences, and what has been done for India could, I am convinced, easily be accomplished for America, and even with more satisfactory and more important results to the history and ethnography of that great country.

The subject is well worthy of the attention of any one who may undertake it, as it is the only means we now know of by which the ancient history of the country can be recovered from the darkness that now enshrouds it, and the connection of the Old World with the New—if any existed—can be traced, but it is practically the only chapter in the history of architecture which remains to be written.

Notwithstanding this paucity of new material, the completion of M. Place's great work on Khorsabad, Wood's explorations at Ephesus, Dr. Tristram's travels in Moab, with other minor works, and new photographs of other places, have furnished some twenty or thirty woodcuts to this work, either of new examples or in substitution for less perfect illustrations. More than this, the experience gained in the interval from reading, and personal familiarity with buildings not before visited, especially in Italy, have enabled me to add considerably to the text, and to correct or modify impressions based on less perfect infonnation. These, with a careful revision of the text throughout, will, it is hoped, be found to render this edition an improvement to a considerable extent over that which preceded it.

As mentioned in the preface to the volume containing the History of the Modern Styles of Architecture, the scheme of the present