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tive as at any period prior to the conquest; in the morning the women brought out their calabashes of peppers, Chili beans, and fruit, and squatted down beneath the great tree, waiting for a customer, spinning industriously the while; and this they kept up all day long, chatting and gossiping till evening fell.

We devoted several days to the exploration of these ruins at Mitla, known to the world only through vague accounts given in archaeological works; and it is from the fact that their history

TLM D543 Court of the monoliths.jpg

is so obscure, and that no popular descriptions of them have been given, that I assume that my readers will be interested in a description of these "dwellings of the dead."

Mitla, says the eminent antiquarian, Bancroft, author of "The Native Races of the Pacific Coast," is probably the finest group in the whole Mexican territory. Here was a great religious centre, mentioned in the traditional annals of the Zapotecs, the original name of which seems to have been Lioba, or Loba,