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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/403

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MONTE ALBAN AND MITLA

makes one forget such trifles. The mountains on the right are rocky and are covered with yellow and green lichens. Those on the left have some trees and the valley between is fertile, and the people—as everywhere in Mexico—are happy and contented. Not to be forgotten are a couple of little villages where one can get pineapple cider and lemon ices.

Arriving at Mitla about noon, one is surprised at the comfortable hotel with neat, airy rooms, clean beds and excellent fare. Even a fastidious fault-finder could live there and. worry because he could find nothing to criticize.

After luncheon, a five minutes' walk brings us to the ruins. The crude remains on Monte Alban had prepared me for a disappointment at Mitla, but the first view removed any such anticipation. One can hardly realize that he is gazing upon ruins so old that no one knows their age or who built them. The reader will admit that Fig. 4 looks more like the finished work of an up-to-date architect than a ruin. This picture shows the general style of the exterior of all the Mitla ruins. Everywhere there is the same elaborate ornamentation.

The interior side of a building facing a large court is shown in Fig. 3. The stair has been partially restored, but otherwise the description made by Cortez applies equally well to-day. Through the entrances at the head of the stairs one catches glimpses of the rooms

PSM V73 D403 A well preserved corner on monte alban.png

Fig. 8. A well-preserved Corner.