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THE PYRAMIDS.

pidity, as usual in the afternoon, I began my survey in solitude. Close to the town, there are a number of heaps of rubbish, evidently ancient; and I found them, upon examination, to be chiefly composed of antique pottery, fragments of obsidian knives, and arrow heads; and the same description applies to a great portion of the surface of the plain between the town and the pyramids, which lie in close proximity to the road leading to Otumba.

As usual in this portion of the table land, the breathless heat of the morning had been succeeded in the afternoon by partial whirlwinds; and many moving pillars of dust, some of more than a hundred feet in height, were travelling over the country in every direction. One passed close to me, and I was surprised by the rapidity of the spiral movement, and the violence of the rushing sound accompanying it.

On nearing the vicinity of the pyramids, a mule path, which leaves the smaller of the two more to the northward, leads you in ten minutes' walk to the base of the House of the Sun.[1]

The distance between the two may be, perhaps, something short of half a mile.

Time—and who shall determine how many revolutions of the sun?—the alternate heat and rain of tropical summer and winter, the breath of the whirlwind, and the feet and hands of innumerable generations, have conspired to diminish the size of the huge mass of earth and stone, and to destroy the symmetry of its form. The angles have long ago lost their sharpness; and the different platforms or terraces much of their breadth; still, three of the four stories of which the great pyramid consisted are perfectly distinguishable, even at the distance of many miles. In the smaller, they are more difficult to recognise.

  1. The dimensions ordinarily given of the pyramids of San Juan Teotihuacan are the following. Tonatiuh Ytzagual—the House of the Sun: base line, 682 feet; perpendicular height, 180 feet. Mitzli Ytzagual—the House of the Moon: height, 144 feet; base,—