Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/167

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THE PYRAMIDS.

a passage inclining downward for about ten yards, when I found myself in a more open gallery, at the termination of which, not many paces distant, I found De Pourtales and M'Euen at the brink of two wells, which, considering the height at which we entered, might perhaps be in the centre of the pyramid. The latter valorously allowed himself to be lowered by a rope into the aperture on the left hand, to the depth of perhaps fifteen feet, without making any further discovery. The other pit was still shallower, and no signs of any other passage could be discovered. Both the walls of the passage and the sides of the wells, as far as we could see, were constructed of unburnt bricks; and a plentiful mouthful of dust was our only recompense. Other and more important cavities there may be, if they could be hit upon. No entrance has been discovered in the House of the Sun.

Of the Indians, to whom our adventure was a subject of both curiosity and awe, we purchased a hundred or more of those singular terra cotta heads, which, intermingled with fragments of obsidian knives and arrows, are discovered in such inexhaustible quantity in many parts of Mexico, but principally in the vicinity of these pyramids, and on the neighbouring plain of Otumba. I am not aware of any light having been thrown as yet, either upon the uses to which these models of the human countenance were put by the people with whose customs and ceremonies their fabric and use in such quantities were seemingly connected. By far the greater majority of those which came under my observation bore an extraordinary resemblance to one another, both in the strongly marked features of the face, the facial angle, and the height and formation of the forehead.

I should explain, that the hinder part of the head is never given in its full proportions, so that the phrenologist is quite at fault. The physiognomy has nothing in common with the present tribes of Indian descended from the Aztec race. Several of the heads were crowned with a broad and ornamented tiara or head dress; but in general there was no ornament about them; and with