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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/645

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MEXICO AND ITS ANTIQUITIES.

ject of "Prehistoric Art in America," has given a graphical description of the Mexican ruins as a whole. "The massive constructions in Mexico and Peru," he says, "the immense spread of the bases and the PSM V24 D645 Quetzalcoatl.jpgFig. 7.—Quetzalcoatl.inclination of the walls, give a pyramidal tendency and an appearance of stability and durability that force us to think of Egypt. Palenque, with its palaces, and Tiaguanuco, or Huanucho-Viejo, in Peru, with their monumental portals and their not numerous openings in the form of the tau, for the admittance of light, their walls covered with bright-red paint, and their figures always in profile, would not be out of place on the banks of the Nile. The bas-reliefs of Chichen-Itza resemble those of Babylon and Nineveh in richness of ornamentation. The meanderings of the friezes of Mitla, of the Casa del Gobernador, and the Casa de Monjas, at Uxmal, are of a kind with those of Greek art. The porch of Kabah, an aqueduct on the Rodadero, at Cuzco, might have stood on the Roman Campagna. The figures with which the temple of Xochicalco (Mexico) was adorned were represented sitting with crossed legs in the traditional attitude

PSM V24 D645 Feathered serpent.jpg
Fig. 8.—Feathered Serpent.

of Buddha; and recently a Protestant missionary remarked upon the resemblances between the edifices at Chichen-Itza and the topes or dagobas he had seen at Anaradjapora, the ancient capital of Ceylon. The pyramids are certainly the most salient feature in this ancient architecture. The walls that still stand are composed of