Image from page 106 of "The history of mankind" (1896)
Title: The history of mankind
Contributing Library: Wellesley College Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Wellesley College Library
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ings is afavourite symbol and theme for ornament from Egypt toJapan and Peru ; the portal of Ocosingo shows a typicaldevelopment of it. Grotesques of men and beasts, dis-torted and involved out of all knowledge, such as eventhe Maya writing displays, are often drawn with greatskill and boldness of caricature. The often-quoted ele-phants trunks on monuments at Uxmal, and on goldenfigures of men, may be explained either by the tapirssnout, or a comic elongation of the human feature.Deaths heads are among the most widespread subjects ;hewn in stone they form long friezes, and adorn theapproach to temples at Copan and elsewhere. A corre-sponding case is when the temple gapes upon thebeholder with a door shaped like a serpents jaws, or,as in a house at Palenque, the whole front forms ahorrible monster, whose mouth is the wide doorway, andthe bars of the sculptured lintel his teeth. If amid this abundance of images there comes to lightso little of any importance that, in countries where the
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