Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/175

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PALENQUE AND THE PHANTOM CITY.

between the two, and such differences as would naturally arise between the writing of a language at epochs perhaps thousands of years apart. Regarding the stucco ornaments, which are characteristic of Palenque, Stephens says: "The roof (of the Temple of the Cross) shows two slopes, the lower one of which was richly ornamented with stucco figures, plants, and flowers, but mostly ruined. Among them were the fragments of a beautiful head and of two bodies, in justness of proportion and symmetry approaching the Greek models." The building containing this treasure, the Tablet, is on a pyramid 134 feet high on the

TLM D175 Temple of the cross.jpg

TEMPLE OF THE CROSS.

slope, from the top of which a view extends, over a vast forest, to the Laguna de Terminos and the Gulf of Mexico.

The country southwest of Yucatan, that portion of Guatemala west of the British colony of Belize, south of Campeche, and east of Chiapas and Tabasco, is an almost unexplored region. Here the aboriginal Indians roam with all the freedom of their ancestors before Spanish dominion. Somewhere in this wild region is situated the "mysterious city" described by Stephens and Morelet, said to have walls of silver which glisten so that they can be seen one hundred miles away, and to be still occu-