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Image from page 482 of "The ancient cities of the New World : being travels and explorations in Mexico and Central America from 1857-1882" (1887)

Identifier: ancientcitiesofn00char

Title: The ancient cities of the New World : being travels and explorations in Mexico and Central America from 1857-1882

Year: 1887 (1880s)

Authors: Charnay, Désiré, 1828-1915

Subjects: Indians of Mexico Indians of Central America

Publisher: London : Chapman and Hall

Contributing Library: Getty Research Institute

Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation

  

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idenceor a fortress, is admirably situ-ated, and from the upper terracea magnificent view extendingover boundless woodlands isobtained. It should be borne inmind that in an unhealthy, burn-ing climate, dwellings on thesummits of pyramids were anecessity for health, pure air,absence of mosquitoes and otherdisagreeable insects ; that is thereason why we invariably findbuildings of any dimensions sup-ported on mounds and terraces.The palace we inhabit isbelow the temple and on the first grade of the hill or amphi-theatre. What remains of its decorations is like that of thetemple, but ruder and more dilapidated. The doors areirregular, of different size, with slanting or perpendicular jambsand niches distributed without any order. The decorative wallwhich crowned the building has fallen in ; the frieze is buta confusion of holes, niches, and projecting stones. The innerarrangement is rather peculiar, being a maze of narrow passages,small apartments having platforms of masonry covered over

 

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^^•^ MODEL OF ANCIENT TEMPLE. 446 The Ancient Cities of the New World. with plaster, which may have been used as beds. Another longnarrow platform, occupying the centre of the main passage,we thought was the dining-room, and was used as such. To therear, in a subterraneous portion which is reached by a very steeppassage, are two narrow apartments filled up to the ceiling, whichwere probably tombs. They reminded me of similar chambers atPalenque, in which I found skeletons and vases.

  

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Taken circa 1887