Volume 2 Page 303

A LAND OF MYSTERY BY H. P. B.
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 6, March, 1880, pp. 159-161]

Whether one surveys the imposing ruins of Memphis or Palmyra; stands at the foot of the great pyramid of Gizeh; wanders along the shores of the Nile; or ponders amid the desolate fastnesses of the long-lost and mysterious Petra; however clouded and misty the origin of these prehistoric relics may appear, one nevertheless finds at least certain fragments of firm ground upon which to build conjecture. Thick as may be the curtain behind which the history of these antiquities is hidden, still there are rents here and there through which one may catch glimpses of light. We are acquainted with the descendants of the builders. And, however superficially, we also know the story of the nations whose vestiges are scattered around us. Not so with the antiquities of the New World of the two Americas. There, all along the coast of Peru, all over the Isthmus and North America, in the canyons of the Cordilleras, in the impassable gorges of the Andes, and, especially beyond the valley of Mexico, lie, ruined and desolate, hundreds of once mighty cities, lost to the memory of men, and having themselves lost even a name. Buried in dense forests, entombed in inaccessible valleys, sometimes sixty feet underground, from the day of their discovery until now they have ever remained a riddle to science, baffling all inquiry, and they have been muter than the Egyptian Sphinx herself. We know nothing of America prior to the Conquest—positively nothing. No chronicles, not even comparatively modern ones survive; there are no traditions, even among the aboriginal tribes, as to its past events. We are as ignorant of

 

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the races that built these cyclopean structures, as of the strange worship that inspired the antediluvian sculptors, who carved upon hundreds of miles of walls, of monuments, monoliths and altars, these weird hieroglyphics, these groups of animals and men, pictures of an unknown life and lost arts—scenes so fantastic and wild, at times, that they involuntarily suggest the idea of a feverish dream, whose phantasmagoria at the wave of some mighty magician’s hand suddenly crystallized into granite, to bewilder the coming generations for ever and ever. So late as the beginning of the present century, the very existence of such a wealth of antiquities was unknown. The petty, suspicious jealousy of the Spaniards had, from the first, created a sort of Chinese wall between their American possessions and the too curious traveller; and the ignorance and fanaticism of the conquerors, and their carelessness as to all but the satisfaction of their insatiable greediness, had precluded scientific research. Even the enthusiastic accounts of Cortez and his army of brigands and priests, and of Pizarro and his robbers and monks, as to the splendour of the temples, palaces, and cities of Mexico and Peru, were long discredited. In his The History of America, Dr. Wm. Robertson goes so far as to inform his reader that the houses of the ancient Mexicans were “mere huts, built with turf, or mud, or the branches of trees, like those of the rudest Indians”;* and, upon the testimony of some Spaniards he even risked the assertion that “in all the extent of that vast empire,” there was not “a single monument or vestige of any building more ancient than the conquest”! It was reserved to the great Alexander Humboldt to vindicate the truth. In 1803 a new flood of light was poured into the world of archaeology by this eminent and learned traveller. In this he luckily proved but the pioneer of future discoverers. He then described but Mitla, or the Vale of the Dead. Xochicalco, and the great pyramidal Temple of Cholula. But, after him came John L. Stephens, F. C.
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* See J. L. Stephens’ Incidents of Travels in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, 12th ed., London 1846, Vol. I, p. 97.
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CHICHÉN ITZÁ, YUCATÁN, MEXICO—PYRAMID OF QUETZALCÓATL-KUKULKAN
(From Eugen Kusch, Mexiko, im Bild, 1967. Courtesy
Hans Carl, Publisher, Nürnberg, Germany.)

 

CUZCO, PERU
TWELVE ANGLES STONE,
IN THE HOUSE OF THE VIRGINS OF THE SUN
(From Gonzalo de Reparaz, Peru, 1960. Courtesy
Editiones de Arte Rep, Lima, Peru.)

 

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Catherwood, and Squier; and, in Peru, d’Orbigny and Dr. Tschudi. Since then, numerous travellers have visited and given us accurate details of many of the antiquities. But, how many more yet remain not only unexplored, but even unknown, no one can tell. As regards prehistoric buildings, both Peru and Mexico are rivals of Egypt. Equalling the latter in the immensity of her cyclopean structures, Peru surpasses her in their number; while Cholula exceeds the grand pyramid of Cheops in breadth, if not in height. Works of public utility, such as walls, fortifications, terraces, watercourses, aqueducts, bridges, temples, burial-grounds, whole cities, and exquisitely paved roads, hundreds of miles in length, stretch in an unbroken line, almost covering the land as with a net. On the coast, they are built of sun-dried bricks; in the mountains, of porphyritic lime, granite, and silicated sandstone. Of the long generations of peoples who built them, history knows nothing, and even tradition is silent. As a matter of course, most of these lithic remains are covered with a dense vegetation. Whole forests have grown out of the broken hearts of the cities, and, with a few exceptions, everything is in ruin. But one may judge of what once was by that which yet remains.
With a most flippant unconcern, the Spanish historians refer nearly every ruin to Incal times. No greater mistake can be made. The hieroglyphics which sometimes cover from top to bottom whole walls and monoliths are, as the were from the first, a dead letter to modern science. But they were equally a dead letter to the Incas, though the history of the latter can be traced to the eleventh century. They had no clue to the meaning of these inscriptions. but attributed all such to their unknown predecessors; thus barring the presumption of their own descent from the first civilizers of their country. Briefly, the Incal history runs thus:—

Inca is the Quichua title for chief or emperor, and the name of the ruling and most aristocratic race or rather caste of the land, which was governed by them for an unknown period, prior to, and until, the Spanish Conquest. Some place their first appearance in Peru from regions

 

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unknown in 1021; others, also; or conjecture, at five centuries after the Biblical “flood,” and according to the modest notions of Christian theology. Still the latter theory is undoubtedly nearer truth than the former. The Incas, judged by their exclusive privileges, power, and “infallibility,” are the antipodal counterpart of the Brahmanical caste of India. Like the latter, the Incas claimed direct descent from Deity, which, as in the case of the Sûryavanśa dynasty of India, was the Sun. According to the sole but general tradition, there was a time when the whole of the population of the now New World was broken up into independent, warring, and barbarian tribes. At last, the “Highest” deity—the Sun—took pity upon them, and, in order to rescue the people from ignorance, sent down upon earth, to teach them, his two children Manco Capac and his sister and wife, Mama Oella Huaca—the counterparts, again, of the Egyptian Osiris, and his sister and wife, Isis, as well as of the several Hindu gods and demi-gods and their wives. These two made their appearance on a beautiful island in Lake Titicaca—of which we will speak further on—and thence proceeded northward to Cuzco, later on the capital of the Incas, where they at once began to disseminate civilization. Collecting together the various races from all parts of Peru, the divine couple then divided their labour. Manco Capac taught men agriculture, legislation, architecture, and arts; while Mama Oella instructed the women in weaving, spinning, embroidery, and housekeeping. It is from this celestial pair that the Incas claimed their descent; and yet, they were utterly ignorant of the people who built the stupendous and now ruined cities which cover the whole area of their empire, and which then extended from the Equator to over 37 degrees of [South] Latitude, and included not only the western slope of the Andes, but the whole mountain chain with its eastern declivities to the Amazon and Orinoco. As the direct descendants of the Sun, they were exclusively the high priests of the state religion, and at the same time emperors and the highest statesmen in the land; in virtue of which, they, again like the Brahmans, arrogated to themselves a

 

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divine superiority over the ordinary mortals, thus founding like the “twice-born” an exclusive and aristocratic caste—the Inca race. Considered as the son of the Sun, every reigning Inca was the high priest, the oracle, chief captain in war, and absolute sovereign; thus realizing the double office of Pope and King, and so long anticipating the dream of the Roman Pontiffs. To his command the blindest obedience was exacted; his person was sacred; and he was the object of divine honours. The highest officers of the land could not appear shod in his presence; this mark of respect pointing again to an Oriental origin; while the custom of boring the ears of the youths of royal blood and inserting in them golden rings “which were increased in size as they advanced in rank, until the distention of the cartilage became a positive deformity,” suggests a strange resemblance between the sculptured portraits of many of them that we find in the more modern ruins, and the images of Buddha and of some Hindu deities, not to mention our contemporary dandies of Siam, Burma, and Southern India. In that, once more like in India, in the palmy days of the Brahmin power, no one had the right to either receive an education or study religion except the young men of the privileged Inca caste. And, when the reigning Inca died, or as it was termed, “was called home to the mansion of his father,” a very large number of his attendants and his wives were made to die with him, during the ceremony of his obsequies, just as we find in the old annals of Râjasthân, and down to the but just abolished custom of Suttee. Taking all this into consideration, the archaeologist cannot remain satisfied with the brief remark of certain historians that “in this tradition we trace only another version of the story of the civilization common to all primitive nations, and that imposture of a celestial relationship whereby designing rulers and cunning priests have sought to secure their ascendancy among men.” No more is it an explanation to say that “Manco Capac is the almost exact counterpart of the Chinese Fohi, the Hindu Buddha, the terrestrial Osiris of Egypt, the Quetzalcohuatl of Mexico, and Votan of Central America”; for all this is but too evident. What we want

 

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to learn is, how came these nations, so antipodal to each other as India, Egypt, and America, to offer such extraordinary points of resemblance, not only in their general religious, political, and social views, but sometimes in the minutest details. The much-needed task is to find out which one of them preceded the other; to explain how these people came to plant at the four corners of the earth nearly identical architecture and arts, unless there was a time when, as assured by Plato and believed in by more than one modern archaeologist, no ships were needed for such a transit, as the two worlds formed but one continent.
According to the most recent researches, there are five distinct styles of architecture in the Andes alone, of which the Temple of the Sun at Cuzco was the latest. And this one, perhaps, is the only structure of importance which, according to modern travellers, can be safely attributed to the Incas, whose imperial glories are believed to have been the last gleam of a civilization dating back for untold ages. Dr. E. R. Heath, of Kansas (U.S.A.), thinks that

. . . long before Manco Capac, the Andes had been the dwelling-place of races, whose beginnings must have been coëval with the savages of Western Europe. The gigantic architecture points to the Cyclopean family, the founders of the Temple of Babel, and the Egyptian pyramids. The Grecian scroll found in many places is borrowed [?] from the Egyptians; the mode of burial and embalming their dead points to Egypt . . . .*

Further on, this learned traveller finds that the skulls taken from the burial-grounds, according to craniologists, represent three distinct races: the Chinchas, who occupied the western part of Peru from the Andes to the Pacific; the Aymaras, dwellers of the elevated plains of Peru and Bolivia, on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca; and the Huancas, who “occupied the plateau between the chains of Andes north of Lake Titicaca to the 9th degree of south
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* [Heath, “Peruvian Antiquities,” Kansas City Review of Science and Industry, Nov., 1878, p. 467.—Compiler.]
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latitude.”* To confound the buildings of the epoch of the Incas in Peru, and of Montezuma and his Caciques, in Mexico, with the aboriginal monuments, is fatal to archaeology. While Cholula, Uxmal, Quiché, Pachacamac, and Chichen were all perfectly preserved and occupied at the time of the invasion of the Spanish banditti, there are hundreds of ruined cities and works which were in the same state of ruin even then; whose origin was unknown to the conquered Incas and Caciques as it is to us; and which are undoubtedly the remains of unknown and now extinct peoples. The strange shapes of the heads, and profiles of the human figures upon the monoliths of Copán are a warrant for the correctness of the hypothesis. The pronounced difference between the skulls of these races and the Indo-European skulls was at first attributed to mechanical means, used by the mothers for giving a peculiar conformation to the head of their children during infancy, as is often done by other tribes and peoples. But, as the same author tells us, the finding in “a mummy of a foetus of seven or eight months having the same conformation of skull, has placed a doubt as to the certainty of this fact.” And besides hypothesis, we have a scientific and an unimpeachable proof of a civilization that must have existed in Peru ages ago. Were we to give the number of thousands of years that have probably elapsed since then, without first showing good reasons for the assumption, the reader might feel like holding his breath. So let us try.
The Peruvian guano (huano), that precious fertilizer, composed of the excrement of sea-fowl, intermixed with their decaying bodies, eggs, remains of seal, and so on, which has accumulated upon the isles of the Pacific and the coast of South America, and its formation are now well known. It was Humboldt who first discovered and drew the world’s attention to it in 1804. And, while describing the deposits as covering the granite rocks of the Chinchas and other islands to the depth of 50 or 60 feet, he states that the accumulation of the preceding 300 years, since the
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* [Ibid., p. 468.]
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Conquest, had formed only a few lines in thickness. How many thousands of years, then, it required to form this deposit 60 feet deep, is a matter of simple calculation. In this connection we may now quote something of a discovery spoken of in the “Peruvian Antiquities.”*

Buried 62 feet under the ground, on the Chincha islands, stone idols and water pots were found, while 35 and 33 feet below the surface were wooden idols. Beneath the guano on the Guañape islands, just south of Truxillo, and Macabi just north, mummies, birds, and birds’ eggs, gold and silver ornaments were taken. On the Macabi the laborers found some large valuable golden vases, which they broke up and divided among themselves, even though offered weight for weight in gold coin, and thus have relics of greatest interest to the scientist been for ever lost. He who can determine the centuries necessary to deposit thirty and sixty feet of guano on these islands, remembering that, since the conquest three hundred years ago, no appreciable increase in depth has been noted, can give you an idea of the antiquity of these relics.†

If we confine ourselves to a strictly arithmetical calculation, then, allowing 12 lines to an inch, and 12 inches to a foot, and allowing one line to every century, we are forced to believe that the people who made these precious gold vases lived 864,000 years ago! Leave an ample margin for errors, and give two lines to a century—say an inch to every 100 years—and we will yet have 72,000 years back a civilization which—if we judge by its public works, the durability of its constructions, and the grandeur of its buildings—equalled, and in some things certainly surpassed, our own.
Having well defined ideas as to the periodicity of cycles, for the world as well as for nations, empires, and tribes, we are convinced that our present modern civilization is but the latest dawn of that which already has been seen an innumerable number of times upon this planet. It may not be exact science, but it is both inductive and deductive logic, based upon theories far less hypothetical and more palpable
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* A paper published by Mr. E. R. Heath in the Kansas City Review of Science and Industry, November 1878.
† [Op. cit., p. 463.]
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than many another theory, held as strictly scientific. To express it in the words of Professor F. E. Nipher of St. Louis, “we are not the friends of theory, but of truth,” and until truth is found, we welcome every new theory, however unpopular at first, for fear of rejecting in our ignorance the stone which may in time become the very corner-stone of the truth. “The errors of scientific men are well-nigh countless, not because they are men of science, but because they are men,” says the same scientist; and further quotes the noble words of Faraday—“occasionally, and frequently the exercise of the judgment ought to end in absolute reservation. It may be very distasteful and a great fatigue to suspend a conclusion, but as we are not infallible, so we ought to be cautious.” (Experimental Researches, 24th Series.)

It is doubtful whether, with the exception of a few of the most prominent ruins, there ever was attempted a detailed account of the so-called American antiquities. Yet, in order to bring out the more prominently a point of comparison, such a work would be absolutely necessary. If the history of religion and of mythology and—far more important—the origin, developing and final grouping, of the human species are ever to be unravelled, we have to trust to archaeological research, rather than to the hypothetical deductions of philology. We must begin by massing together the concrete imagery of the early thought, more eloquent in its stationary form than the verbal expression of the same, the latter being but too liable, in its manifold interpretations, to be distorted in a thousand ways. This would afford us an easier and more trustworthy clue. Archaeological Societies ought to have a whole cyclopaedia of the world’s remains, with a collation of the most important of the speculations as to each locality. For, however fantastic and wild some of these hypotheses may seem at first glance, yet each has a chance of proving useful at some time. It is often more beneficial to know what a thing is not than to know what it is, as Max Müller truly tells us.
It is not within the limits of an article in our paper that any such object could be achieved. Availing ourselves,

 

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though, of the reports of the Government surveyors, trustworthy travellers, men of science, and even our own limited experience, we will try in future issues to give to our Hindu readers, who possibly may never have heard of these antiquities, a general idea of them. Our latest information is drawn from every reliable source; the survey of the Peruvian antiquities being mostly due to Dr. Heath’s able paper, above mentioned.

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[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 7, April, 1880, pp. 170-173]

Evidently, we, Theosophists, are not the only iconoclasts in this world of mutual deception and hypocrisy. We are not the only ones who believe in cycles and, opposing the Biblical chronology, lean towards those opinions which secretly are shared by so many, but publicly avowed by so few. We, Europeans, are just emerging from the very bottom of a new cycle, and progressing upwards, while the Asiatics Hindus especially—are the lingering remnants of the nations which filled the world in the previous and now departed cycles. Whether the Aryans sprang from the archaic Americans, or the latter from the prehistorical Aryans, is a question which no living man can decide. But that there must have been an intimate connection at some time between the old Aryans, the prehistoric inhabitants of America—whatever might have been their name—and the ancient Egyptians, is a matter more easily proved than contradicted. And probably, if there ever was such a connection, it must have taken place at a time when the Atlantic did not yet divide the two hemispheres as it does now.
In his “Peruvian Antiquities” (see The Theosophist for March) Dr. Heath, of Kansas City—rara avis among scientific men, a fearless searcher, who accepts truth wherever he finds it, and is not afraid to speak it out in the very face

 

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of dogmatic opposition—sums up his impressions of the Peruvian relics in the following words:

Three times the Andes sank hundreds of feet beneath the ocean level, and again were slowly brought to their present height. A man’s life would be too short to count even the centuries consumed in this operation. The coast of Peru has risen eighty feet since it felt the tread of Pizarro. Supposing the Andes to have risen uniformly and without interruption, seventy thousand years must have elapsed before they reached their present altitude.

Who knows, then, but that Jules Verne’s fanciful idea* regarding the lost continent Atlanta may be near the truth? Who can say, that where now is the Atlantic Ocean, formerly did not exist a continent, with its dense population, advanced in the arts and sciences, who, as they found their land sinking beneath the waters, retired, part east and part west, populating thus the two new hemispheres? This would explain the similarity of their archæological structures and races and their differences, modified by and adapted to the character of their respective climates and countries. Thus could the llama and the camel differ, although of the same species; thus the algoraba and espino trees; thus the Iroquois Indians of North America and the most ancient Arabs call the constellation of the “Great Bear” by the same name; thus various nations, cut off from all intercourse or knowledge of each other, divide the zodiac in twelve constellations, apply to them the same names, and the Northern Hindoos apply the name Andes to their Himalayan mountains, as did the South Americans to their principal chain.† Must we fall in the old rut and suppose no other means of populating the Western Hemisphere except “by way of Behring’s Strait”? Must we still locate a geographical Eden in the East, and suppose a land equally adapted to man and as old geologically, must wait the aimless wanderings of the “lost tribe of Israel” to become populated?‡
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* This idea is plainly expressed and asserted as a fact by Plato in his Banquet; and was taken up by Lord Bacon in his New Atlantis. [H.P.B.]
† “The name America,” said I, in Isis Unveiled (Vol. I, p. 591) three years ago, “may one day be found more closely related to Meru, the sacred mount in the centre of the seven continents.” When first discovered America was found to bear among some native tribes the name of Atlanta. In the States of Central America we find the name Amerih, signifying, like Meru, a great mountain. The origin of the Kamas Indians of America is also unknown. [H.P.B.]
‡ [Heath, op. cit., pp. 468-69.]
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Go where we may, to explore the antiquities of America—whether of Northern, Central, or Southern America—we are first of all impressed with the magnitude of these relics of ages and races unknown, and then with the extraordinary similarity they present to the mounds and ancient structures of old India, of Egypt, and even of some parts of Europe. Whoever has seen one of these mounds has seen all. Whoever has stood before the cyclopean structures of one continent can have a pretty accurate idea of those of the other. Only be it said—we know still less of the age of the antiquities of America than even of those in the Valley of the Nile, of which we know next to nothing. But their symbolism—apart from their outward form—is evidently the same as in Egypt, India, and elsewhere. As before the great pyramid of Cheops in Cairo, so before the great mound, 100 feet high, on the plain of Cahokia—near St. Louis (Missouri)—which measures 700 feet long by 500 feet broad at the base, and covers upwards of eight acres of ground, having 20,000,000 cubic feet of contents, and the mound on the banks of Brush Creek, Ohio, so accurately described by Squier and Davis, one knows not whether to admire more the geometrical precision, prescribed by the wonderful and mysterious builders in the form of their monuments, or the hidden symbolism they evidently sought to express. The Ohio mound represents a serpent, upwards of 1,000 feet long. Gracefully coiled in capricious curves, it terminates in a triple coil at the tail. “The embankment constituting the effigy, is upwards of five feet in height, by thirty feet base at the centre of the body, diminishing somewhat toward the head and tail.”* The neck is stretched out and its mouth wide opened, holding within its jaws an oval figure. “This oval is formed by an embankment four feet in height, and is perfectly regular in outline, its transverse and conjugate diameters being 160 and 80 feet respectively,” say the surveyors. The whole
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* [New American Cyclopaedia, 1873-76, art. on “American Antiquities”; same ref. in the case of the quotation immediately following.—Compiler.]
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represents the universal cosmological idea of the serpent and the egg. This is easy to surmise. But how came this great symbol of the Hermetic wisdom of old Egypt to find itself represented in North America? How is it that the sacred buildings found in Ohio and elsewhere, these squares, circles, octagons, and other geometrical figures, in which one recognizes so easily the prevailing idea of the Pythagorean sacred numerals, seem copied from the Book of Numbers? Apart from the complete silence as to their origin, even among the Indian tribes, who have otherwise preserved their own traditions in every case, the antiquity of these ruins is proved by the existence of the largest and most ancient forests growing on the buried cities. The prudent archaeologists of America have generously assigned them 2,000 years. But by whom built, and whether their authors migrated, or disappeared beneath victorious arms, or were swept out of existence by some direful epidemic, or a universal famine, are questions, “probably beyond the power of human investigations to answer,” they say.* The earliest inhabitants of Mexico, of whom history has any knowledge—more hypothetical than proven—are the Toltecs. These are supposed to have come from the North and believed to have entered Anahuac in the 7th century A.D. They are also credited with having constructed in Central America, where they spread in the eleventh century, some of the great cities whose ruins still exist. In this case it is they who must also have carved the hieroglyphics that cover some of the relics. How is it then, that the pictorial system of writing of Mexico, which was used by the conquered people and learned by the conquerors and their missionaries, does not yet furnish the keys to the hieroglyphics of Palenque and Copán, not to mention those of Peru? And these civilized Toltecs themselves, who were they, and whence did they come? And who are the Aztecs that succeeded them? Even among the hieroglyphical systems of Mexico, there were some which the foreign interpreters were precluded the possibility of studying. These were the so-called schemes
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* [New Amer. Cyclop., as above.—Compiler.]
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of judicial astrology “given but not explained in Lord Kingsborough’s published collection,”* and set down as purely figurative and symbolical, “intended only for the use of the priests and diviners and possessed of an esoteric significance.” Many of the hieroglyphics on the monoliths of Palenque and Copán are of the same character. The “priests and diviners” were all killed off by the Catholic fanatics—the secret died with them.
Nearly all the mounds in North America are terraced and ascended by large graded ways, sometimes square, often hexagonal, octagonal or truncated, but in all respects similar to the teocallis of Mexico, and to the topes of India. As the latter are attributed throughout this country to the work of the five Pandus of the Lunar Race, so the cyclopean monuments and monoliths on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in the republic of Bolivia, are ascribed to giants, the five exiled brothers “from beyond the mounts.” They worshipped the moon as their progenitor and lived before the time of the “Sons and Virgins of the Sun.” Here, the similarity of the Aryan with the South American tradition is again but too obvious, and the Solar and Lunar races—Sûrya-Vanśa and the Chandra-Vanśa—reappear in America.
This Lake Titicaca, which occupies the centre of one of the most remarkable terrestrial basins on the whole globe, is “160 miles long and from 50 to 80 broad, and discharges through the valley of El Desaguadero, to the south-east into another lake called Lake Aullagas, which is probably kept at a lower level by evaporation or filtration, since it has no known outlet. The surface of the lake is 12,846 feet above the sea, and it is the most elevated body of water of similar size in the world.”† As the level of its waters has very much decreased in the historical period, it is believed on good grounds that they once surrounded the elevated spot on which are found the remarkable ruins of Tiahuanaco.
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* [This has reference to Agostino Àglio’s Antiquities of Mexico, edited with copious notes by E. King, Viscount Kingsborough, London, 1830-48, 9 vols., fol.—Compiler.]
† [New Amer. Cyclop., art. on “Titicaca”—Compiler.]
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The latter are without any doubt aboriginal monuments pertaining to an epoch which preceded the Incal period, as far back as the Dravidian and other aboriginal peoples preceded the Aryans in India. Although the traditions of the Incas maintain that the great lawgiver and teacher of the Peruvians, Manco Capac—the Manu of South America—diffused his knowledge and influence from this centre, yet the statement is unsupported by facts. If the original seat of the Aymara, or “Inca race” was there, as claimed by some, how is it that neither the Incas, nor the Aymaras, who dwell on the shores of the Lake to this day, nor yet the ancient Peruvians, had the slightest knowledge concerning their history? Beyond a vague tradition which tells us of “giants” having built these immense structures in one night, we do not find the faintest clue. And, we have every reason to doubt whether the Incas are of the Aymara race at all. The Incas claim their descent from Manco Capac, the son of the Sun, and the Aymaras claim this legislator as their instructor and the founder of the era of their civilization. Yet, neither the Incas of the Spanish period could prove the one, nor the Aymaras the other. The language of the latter is quite distinct from the Inichua—the tongue of the Incas; and they were the only race that refused to give up their language when conquered by the descendants of the Sun, as Dr. Heath tells us.
The ruins afford every evidence of the highest antiquity. Some are built on a pyramidal plan, as most of the American mounds are, and cover several acres; while the monolithic doorways, pillars, and stone-idols, so elaborately carved, are “sculptured in a style wholly different from any other remains of art yet found in America.”* D’Orbigny speaks of the ruins in the most enthusiastic manner.

These monuments [he says] consist of a mound raised nearly 100 feet, surrounded with pillars—of temples from 600 to 1,200 feet in length, opening precisely toward the east, and adorned with colossal angular columns—of porticoes of a single stone, covered with reliefs of skilful execution though of rude design, displaying symbolical representations of the Sun, and the condor his messenger—of basaltic
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* [Op. cit., art. on “Tiahuanaco.”—Compiler.]
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statues loaded with bas-reliefs, in which the design of the carved head is half Egyptian—and lastly, of the interior of a palace formed of enormous blocks of rock completely hewn, whose dimensions are often 21 feet in length, 12 in breadth, and 6 in thickness. In the temples and palaces, the portals are not inclined as among those of the Incas, but perpendicular; and their vast dimensions, and the imposing masses of which they are composed, surpass in beauty and grandeur all that were afterward built by the sovereigns of Cuzco.*

Like the rest of his fellow-explorers, d’Orbigny believes these ruins to have been the work of a race far anterior to the Incas.

Two distinct styles of architecture are found in these relics of Lake Titicaca. Those of the Island of Coati, for instance, bear every feature in common with the ruins of Tiahuanaco; so do the vast blocks of stone elaborately sculptured, some of which, according to the report of the surveyors, in 1846, measure: “3 feet in length by 18 feet in width, and 6 feet in thickness”; while on some of the islands of the Lake Titicaca there are monuments of great extent, “but of true Peruvian type, apparently the remains of temples destroyed on the arrival of the Spaniards.” The famous sanctuary, with the human figure in it, belongs to the former. Its doorway 10 feet high, 13 feet broad, with an opening 6 feet 4 inches, by 3 feet 2 inches, is cut from a single stone. “Its east front has a cornice, in the centre of which is a human figure of strange form, crowned with rays, interspersed with serpents with crested heads. On each side of this figure are three rows of square compartments, filled with human and other figures, of apparently symbolic design . . .” Were this temple in India, it would undoubtedly be attributed to Siva; but it is at the antipodes, where neither the foot of a Shaiva nor one of the Naga tribe has ever penetrated to the knowledge of man, though the Mexican Indians have their Nagual, or chief sorcerer and serpent worshipper. “The ruins stand on an eminence, which, from the watermarks around it, seems to have been formerly an island in Lake Titicaca; but the level of the lake is now 135 feet lower, and its shores 12 miles distant. This fact, in
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* [New Amer. Cyclop., art. on “American Antiquities.”—Compiler.]
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conjunction with others, warrants the belief that these remains antedate any others known in America.”* Hence, all these relics are unanimously ascribed to the same “unknown and mysterious people who preceded the Peruvians, as the Tulhuatecas or Toltecs did the Aztecs. It seems to have been the seat of the highest and most ancient civilization of South America and of a people who have left the most gigantic monuments of their power and skill.” And these monuments are all either Dracontias—temples sacred to the Snake, or temples dedicated to the Sun.

Of this same character are the ruined pyramids of Teotihuacan and the monoliths of Palenque and Copán. The former are some eight leagues from the city of Mexico on the plain of Otumla, and considered among the most ancient in the land. The two principal ones are dedicated to the Sun and Moon, respectively. They are built of cut stone, square, with four stories and a level area at the top. The larger, that of the Sun, is 221 feet high, 680 feet square at the base, and covers an area of 11 acres, nearly equal to that of the great pyramid of Cheops. And yet, the pyramid of Cholula, higher than that of Teotihuacan by ten feet according to Humboldt, and having 1,400 feet square at the base, covers an area of 45 acres!

It is interesting to hear what the earliest writers—the historians who saw them during the first conquest—say even of some of the most modern of these buildings, of the great temple of Mexico, among others. It consisted of an immense square area “surrounded by a wall of stone and lime, eight feet thick, with battlements, ornamented with many stone figures in the form of serpents,” says one. Cortez shows that 500 houses might be easily placed within its enclosure. It was paved with polished stones, so smooth, that “the horses of the Spaniards could not move over them without slipping,” writes Bernal Díaz del Castillo. In connection with this, we must remember that it was not the Spaniards who conquered the Mexicans, but their horses. As there never
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* New American Cyclopaedia, art. on “Tiahuanaco.” [This applies to all the passages quoted in the above paragraph.—Compiler.]
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was a horse seen before by this people in America, until the Europeans landed it on the coast, the natives, though excessively brave, “were so awestruck at the sight of horses and the roar of the artillery,” that they took the Spaniards to be of divine origin and sent them human beings as sacrifices. This superstitious panic is sufficient to account for the fact that a handful of men could so easily conquer incalculable thousands of warriors.

According to F. López de Gómara, the four walls of the enclosure of the temple corresponded with the cardinal points. “In the centre of this gigantic area arose the great temple, an immense pyramidal structure of 5 stages, faced with stone, 300 feet square at the base and 120 feet in height, truncated, with a level summit, upon which were situated two towers, the shrines of the divinities to whom it was consecrated”—Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli. It was here that the sacrifices were performed, and the eternal fire maintained. F. J. Clavijero tells us, that “besides this great pyramid . . . there were forty other similar structures of smaller size, consecrated to separate divinities. One was called Tezcacalli, ‘House of the Shining Mirrors,’ . . . sacred to Tezcatlipoca, the God of Light, the Soul of the World, the Vivifier, the Spiritual Sun.” The dwellings of priests, who, according to Zarate, amounted to 5,000, were near by, as well as the seminaries and the schools.

“Ponds and fountains, groves and gardens, in which flowers and ‘sweet smelling herbs’ were cultivated for use in certain sacred rites, and for the decoration of altars,” were in abundance; and, so large was the inner yard, that “8,000 or 10,000 persons had sufficient room to dance in it, upon their solemn festivals”—says de Solís. Torquemada estimates the number of such temples in the Mexican empire at 40,000, but Clavijero, speaking of the majestic Teocallis (literally, houses of God) of Mexico, estimates the number higher.

So wonderful are the features of resemblance between the ancient shrines of the Old and the New World that Humboldt remains unequal to express his surprise. “What

 

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striking analogies exist between the monuments of the old continents and those of the Toltecs who . . . built several of these colossal structures, truncated pyramids, divided by layers, like the temple of Belus at Babylon! Where did they take the model of these edifices?”—he exclaims.*
The eminent naturalist might have also enquired where the Mexicans got all their Christian virtues from, being but poor pagans. The code of the Aztecs, says Prescott “evinces a profound respect for the great principles of morality, and as clear a perception of these principles as is to be found in the most cultivated nations.” Some of these are very curious inasmuch as they show such a similarity to some of the Gospel ethics, “He, who looks too curiously on a woman, commits adultery with his eyes,” says one of them. “Keep peace with all; bear injuries with humility; God, who sees, will avenge you,” declares another. Recognizing but one Supreme Power in Nature, they addressed it as the deity “by whom we live, Omnipresent, that knoweth all thoughts, and giveth all gifts, without whom man is as nothing; invisible, incorporeal . . . of perfect perfection and purity, under whose wings we find repose and a sure defence.” And, in naming their children, says Lord Kingsborough, they used a ceremony strongly resembling the Christian rite of baptism, “the lips and bosom of the infant were sprinkled with water, and the Lord was implored to permit the holy drops to wash away the sin that was given to it before the foundation of the world; so that the child might be born anew.”† “Their laws were perfect; justice, contentment
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* [Quoted passages associated with the names of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, López de Gómara, F. J. Clavijero, Zarate, de Solís and Humboldt, are from the article on “American Antiquities,” in the New American Cyclopaedia (1873-76). Humboldt’s remarks are from his Researches concerning the Institutions and Monuments of the Ancient Inhabitants of America, tr. from the French by H. M. Williams, London, 1814.—Compiler.]
† [The quoted passages in this paragraph are from Wm. H. Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico, etc. (chap. III, pp. 19-21), wherein they are quoted from Bernardino de Sahagun’s Historia General de las cosas de Nueva España (lib. vi, cap. 37), published by Lord Kingsborough, which explains the mention of his name in the test.—Compiler.]
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and peace reigned in the kingdom of these benighted heathens,” when the brigands and the Jesuits of Cortez landed at Tabasco. A century of murders, robbery, and forced conversion, were sufficient to transform this quiet, inoffensive and wise people into what they are now. They have fully benefited by dogmatic Christianity. And he, who ever went to Mexico, knows what that means. The country is full of bloodthirsty Christian fanatics, thieves, rogues, drunkards, debauchees, murderers, and the greatest liars the world has ever produced! Peace and glory to your ashes, O Cortez and Torquemada! In this case at least, will you never be permitted to boast of the enlightenment your Christianity has poured out on the poor, and once virtuous heathens!

————

[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 9, June, 1880, pp. 224-227]

The ruins of Central America are no less imposing. Massively built, with walls of a great thickness, they are usually marked by broad stairways, leading to the principal entrance. When composed of several stories, each successive story is usually smaller than that below it, giving the structure the appearance of a pyramid of several stages. The front walls, either made of stone or stuccoed, are covered with elaborately carved, symbolical figures; and the interior divided into corridors and dark chambers, with arched ceilings, the roofs supported by overlapping courses of stones, “constituting a pointed arch, corresponding in type with the earliest monuments of the old world.” Within several chambers at Palenque, tablets, covered with sculptures and hieroglyphics of fine design and artistic execution, were discovered by Stephens. In Honduras, at Copán, a whole city—temples, houses and grand monoliths intricately carved—was unearthed in an old forest by Catherwood and Stephens. The sculpture and general style of Copán are unique, and no such style or even anything approaching it has been found anywhere else, except at Quirigua, and in the islands of Lake Nicaragua. No one can decipher the weird

 

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hieroglyphical inscriptions on the altars and monoliths. With the exception of a few works of uncut stone, “to Copán we may safely assign an antiquity higher than to any of the other monuments of Central America with which we are acquainted,” says the New American Cyclopaedia. At the period of the Spanish conquest, Copán was already a forgotten ruin, concerning which existed only the vaguest traditions.

No less extraordinary are the remains of the different epochs in Peru. The ruins of the temple of the Sun at Cuzco are yet imposing, notwithstanding that the deprecating hand of the Vandal Spaniard passed heavily over it. If we may believe the narratives of the conquerors themselves, they found it, on their arrival, a kind of a fairy-tale castle. With its enormous circular stone wall completely encompassing the principal temple, chapels and buildings, it is situated in the very heart of the city, and even its remains justly provoke the admiration of the traveller. “Aqueducts opened within this sacred enclosure; and within it were gardens, and walks among shrubs and flowers of gold and silver, made in imitation of the productions of nature. It was attended by 4,000 priests.” “The ground,” says La Vega, “for 200 paces around the temple, was considered holy, and no one was allowed to pass within this boundary but with naked feet.” Besides this great temple, there were 300 other inferior temples at Cuzco. Next to the latter in beauty, was the celebrated temple of Pachacamac. Still another great temple of the Sun is mentioned by Humboldt; and, “at the base of the hill of Cannar was formerly a famous shrine of the Sun, consisting of the universal symbol of that luminary, formed by nature upon the face of a great rock.” Roman tells us that “the temples of Peru were built upon high grounds or the tops of hills, and were surrounded by four circular embankments of earth, one within the other.” Other remains seen by myself—especially mounds—are surrounded by two, three, and four circles of stones. Near the town of Cayambe, on the very spot on which A. de Ulloa saw and described an ancient Peruvian temple “perfectly circular in form and open at the top,” there are several

 

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such cromlechs.* Quoting from an article in the Madras Times of 1876, Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac gives, in his Archaeological Notes, the following information upon some curious mounds in the neighbourhood of Bangalore:

Near the village there are at least one hundred cromlechs plainly to be seen. These cromlechs are surrounded by circles of stones, some of them with concentric circles three and four deep. One very remarkable in appearance has four circles of large stones around it, and is called by the natives, ‘Pandavara Gudi’ or the temples of the Pandas. . . . This is supposed to be the first instance, where the natives popularly imagine a structure of this kind to have been the temple of a by-gone, if not of a mythical, race. Many of these structures have a triple circle, some a double, and a few single circles of stone round them.†

In the 35th degree of latitude, the Arizona Indians in North America have their rude altars to this day, surrounded by precisely such circles, and their sacred spring, discovered by Major Alfred R. Calhoun, F.G.S., of the United States Army Survey Commission, is surrounded with the same symbolical wall of stones, as is found in Stonehenge and elsewhere.
By far the most interesting and full account we have read for a long time upon the Peruvian antiquities is that from the pen of Mr. Heath of Kansas, already mentioned. Condensing the general picture of these remains into the limited space of a few pages in a periodical,‡ he yet manages to present a masterly and vivid picture of the wealth of these remains. More than one speculator has grown rich in a few days through his desecrations of the “huacas.” The remains of countless generations of unknown races, who had slept there undisturbed—who knows for how many ages—are now left by the sacrilegious treasure-hunter to crumble
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* [Quoted passages up to this point in this new section are from the article on “American Antiquities,” in the New American Cyclopaedia.—Compiler.]
† Archaeological Notes on Ancient Sculpturings on Rocks in Kumaon, India, similar to those found on Monoliths and Rocks in Europe, with other papers. By J. H. Rivett-Carnac, Esquire, Bengal Civil Service, C.I.E., F.S.A., M.R.A.S., F.G.S., etc. [Calcutta, 1879].
‡ See Kansas City Review of Science and Industry, November, 1878.
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into dust under the tropical sun. Mr. Heath’s conclusions, more startling, perchance, than his discoveries, are worthy of being recorded. We will repeat in brief his descriptions:—

Take for instance the Jequetepeque valley. In 7° 24’ south latitude you will find on recent maps the port of Pacasmayo. Four miles north, separated from it by a barren waste, the river Jequetepeque empties into the sea. . . . Beside the southern shore as it empties into the sea, is an elevated platform one-fourth of a mile square and forty feet high, all of adobes. A wall fifty feet wide connects it with another, a few hundred yards east and south, that is 150 feet high, 200 feet across the top, and 500 at the base, nearly square. This latter was built in sections of room ten feet square at the base, six feet at the top and about eight feet high. All of this same class of mounds—temples, to worship the sun, or fortresses, as they may be—have on the north side an incline for an entrance or means of access. Treasure-seekers have cut into this one about half way, and it is said $150,000 worth of gold and silver ornaments were found. In the sand, banked up behind the wall and mound, many were buried. . . . Besides these were many ornaments of gold, silver, copper, coral and shell beads and cloths. On the north side of the river, on the top of the bluff, are the extensive ruins of a walled city, two miles wide by six long . . . .
Follow the river to the mountains. All along you pass ruin after ruin and huaca after huaca. At Tolon, a town at the base of the mountain [there is another ruined city] . . . . Five miles from Tolon, up the river, there is an isolated boulder of granite, four and six feet in its diameters, covered with hieroglyphics. Fourteen miles further, a point of mountain at the junction of two ravines is covered to a height of more than fifty feet with the same class of hieroglyphics: birds, fishes, snakes, cats, monkeys, men, sun, moon and many odd and now unintelligible forms. The rock on which these are cut is a silicated sandstone, and many of the lines are an eighth of an inch deep. In one large stone there are three holes, twenty to thirty inches deep, six inches in diameter at the orifice and two at the apex. . . . . . .
At Anchi, on the Rimac river, upon the face of a perpendicular wall two hundred feet above the river bed, there are two hieroglyphics, representing an imperfect B and a perfect D. In a crevice below them, near the river, were found buried twenty-five thousand dollars worth of gold and silver. When the Incas learned of the murder of their chief, what did they do with the gold they were bringing for his ransom? Rumour says they buried it. . . . May not these markings at Yonan tell something, since they are on the road and near to the Incal city? . . . .*

The above was published in November, 1878. When in
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* [Heath, op. cit., pp. 455-56.]
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October, 1877, in my work Isis Unveiled (Vol. I, pp. 595-98), I gave a legend, which, for circumstances too long to explain, I hold to be perfectly trustworthy, relating to these same buried treasures for the Inca’s ransom, a journal more satirical than polite classed it with the tales of Baron Munchausen. The secret was revealed to me by a Peruvian. At Arica, going from Lima, there stands an enormous rock, which tradition points to as the tomb of the Incas. As the last rays of the setting sun strike the face of the rock, one can see curious hieroglyphics inscribed upon it. These characters form one of the landmarks that show how to get at the immense treasures buried in subterranean corridors. The details are given in Isis, and I will not repeat them. Strong corroborative evidence is now found in more than one recent scientific work; and the statement may be less pooh-poohed now than it was then.

. . . . . Eleven miles beyond Yonan, on a ridge of mountain seven hundred feet above the river, are the walls of a city of 2,000 inhabitants. . . . Six and twelve miles further are extensive walls and terraces. . . . .

Leaving the valley at seventy-eight miles from the coast, you zigzag up the mountain side 7,000 feet, then descend 2,000, to arrive at Cajamarca, or Cojamalca of Pizarro’s time. . . . In a yard off one of the main streets, and near the center of the city, is still standing the house made famous as the prison of Atahualpa. . . . [pp. 456-57].

It is the house which the Inca “promised to fill with gold as high as he could reach, in exchange for his liberty” in 1532; he did fill it with 17,500,000 dollars’ worth of gold, and so kept his promise. But Pizarro, the ancient swineherd of Spain and the worthy acolyte of the priest Hernando de Lugues, murdered him, notwithstanding his pledge of honour.

. . . . Three miles distant, and across the valley, are the hot springs, where the Inca was encamped when Pizarro took possession of Cajamarca. Part of the wall is of unknown make . . . . . cemented, the cement is harder than the stone itself . . . . . At Chepén . . . is a mountain with a wall in many places twenty feet high, the summit being almost entirely artificial. . . .

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and Truxillo, nine miles distant, are the ruins of “Chan-Chan,” the capital city of the Chimu kingdom. . . . The road from the port to the city crosses these ruins, entering by a causeway about four feet from the ground, and leading from one great mass of ruins to another; beneath this is a tunnel. Be they forts, castles, palaces, or burial mounds called “huacas,” all bear the name “huaca.” Hours of wandering on horseback among these ruins give only a confused idea of them, nor can old explorers there point out what were palaces and what were not. . . .The highest enclosures. . . .must have cost an immense amount of labor. . . . .*

To give an idea of the wealth found in the country by the Spaniards, we copy the following, taken from the records of the municipality in the city of Truxillo by Mr. Heath. It is a copy of the accounts that are found in the book of Fifths of the Treasury in the years 1577 and 1578, of the treasures found in the “Huaca of Toledo” by one man alone.

FIRST.—In Truxillo, Peru, on the 22nd of July, 1577, Don Garcia Gutierrez de Toledo presented himself at the royal treasury, to give into the royal chest a fifth. He brought a bar of gold nineteen carats ley and weighing two thousand four hundred Spanish dollars, of which the fifth, being seven hundred and eight dollars, together with one and a half per cent. to the chief assayer, were deposited in the royal box.

SECOND.—On the 12th of December he presented himself with five bars of gold, fifteen and nineteen carats ley, weighing eight thousand nine hundred and eighteen dollars.

THIRD.—On the 7th of January, 1578, he came with his fifth of large bars and plates of gold, one hundred and fifteen in number, fifteen to twenty carats ley, weighing one hundred and fifty-three thousand two hundred and eighty dollars.

FOURTH.—On the 8th of March he brought sixteen bars of gold, fourteen to twenty-one carats ley, weighing twenty-one thousand one hundred and eighteen dollars.

FIFTH.—On the 5th of April he brought different ornaments of gold, being little bells of gold and patterns of corn-heads and other things, of fourteen carats ley, weighing six thousand two hundred and seventy two dollars.

SIXTH.—On the 20th of April he brought three small bars of gold, twenty carats ley, weighing four thousand one hundred and seventy dollars.
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* [op. cit., pp. 457-58.]
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SEVENTH.—On the 12th of July he came with forty-seven bars, fourteen to twenty-one carats ley, weighing seventy-seven thousand, three hundred and twelve dollars.

EIGHTH.—On the same day he came back with another portion of gold and ornaments of cornheads and pieces of effigies of animals, weighing four thousand seven hundred and four dollars.

The sum of these eight bringings amounted to 278,174 gold dollars or Spanish ounces. Multiplied by sixteen gives $4,450,784 silver dollars. Deducting the royal fifth—$985,953.75—left $3,464,830.25 as Toledo’s portion.

Even after this great haul, effigies of different animals of gold were found from time to time. Mantles also, adorned with square pieces of gold, as well as robes made with feathers of divers colors, were dug up. There is a tradition that in the huaca of Toledo there were two treasures, known as the great and little fish. The smaller only has been found.

Between Huacho and Supe, the latter being 120 miles north of Callao, near a point called Atahuanqui, there are two enormous mounds, resembling the Campana and San Miguel, of the Huatica valley, soon to be described. About five miles from Patavilca (south and near Supe) is a place called “Paramonga,” or the fortress. The ruins of a fortress of great extent are here visible; the walls are of tempered clay, about six feet thick. The principal building stood on an eminence, but the walls were continued to the foot of it, like regular circumvallations; the ascent winding round the hill like a labyrinth, having many angles, which probably served as outworks to defend the place. In this neighbourhood much treasure has been excavated, all of which must have been concealed by the pre-historic Indian, as we have no evidence of the Incas ever having occupied this part of Peru after they had subdued it.

. . . . . Just before reaching Ancón, the railroad runs through an immense burying-ground or “huaca.” Make a circuit of six to eight miles, and on every side you see skulls, legs, arms, and the whole skeleton of the human body, lying about in the sand. . . . .

At Pasamayo, 14 miles further “down north,” on the seashore, is another great burying ground. Thousands of skeletons lie about, thrown out by the treasure-seekers. It has more than a half mile of cutting through it for the Ancón & Chankay R.R. It extends up the face of the hill from the seashore to the height of about 800 feet. . . . . . . . . . . Whence came these hundreds and thousands of peoples who are buried at Ancón? . . . Time and time again the archaeologist finds himself face to face with such questions, to which he can only shrug his shoulders and say with the natives, “Quién sabe?” Who knows? . . . .

 

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Dr. Hutchinson writes, under date of Oct. 30th, 1872, in an article to the Callao and Lima Gazette, now the South Pacific Times: “I am come to the conclusion that Chankay is a great city of the dead, or has been an immense usury of Peru; for go where you will, on mountain top or level plain, or by the sea-side, you meet at every turn, skulls and boner, of all descriptions.”*

In the Huatica Valley, which is an extensive ruin, there are seventeen mounds, called “huacas,” although, remarks the writer, “they present more the form of fortresses, residences or castles, than burying-grounds.” A triple wall surrounded the city. These walls are often three yards in thickness and from fifteen to twenty feet high.

To the east of these is the enormous mound called Huaca of Pando; and to the west, with the distance of about half a mile intervening, are the great ruins of fortresses, which natives entitle Huaca of the Bell. La Campana, the Huacas of Pando, consisting of a series of large and small mounds, and extending over a stretch of ground incalculable without being measured, form a colossal accumulation. The principal large ones are three in number; that holding the name of the “Bell” is calculated to be 108 to 110 feet in height. At the western side, looking towards Callao, there is a square plateau . . . . At the summit it is 276 to 278 yards, long, and 95 to 96 across. On the top there are eight gradations of declivity, each from one to two yards lower than its neighbor . . . making the total of about 278 yards. For these measurements of the Huatica ruins I am indebted to the notes of J. B. Steere, Professor of Natural History and Curator of the Museum at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The square plateau first mentioned, at the base, consists of two divisions . . . each measuring a perfect square 47 to 48 yards; the two joining, form the square of 96 yards. Besides this . . . . is another square of 47 to 48 yards. On the top, returning again, we find the same symmetry of measurement in the multiples of twelve, nearly all the ruins in this valley being the same, which is a fact for the curious. Was it by accident or design? . . . The mound is a truncated pyramidal form, and is calculated to contain a mass of 14,641,820 cubic feet of material . . . The “Fortress” is a huge structure, 80 feet high, 148 to 150 yards in measurement. Great large square rooms show their outlines on the top, but are filled with earth. Who brought this earth here, and with what object was the filling-up accomplished? The work of obliterating all space in these rooms with loose earth must have been almost as great as the construction of the building itself. . . . Two miles south . . . we find another similar structure . . . more spacious and with a greater number of apartments. . . .
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* [Heath, op. cit., pp. 458-60.]
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It is nearly 170 yards in length, and 168 in breadth, and 98 feet high. The whole of these ruins . . . were enclosed by high walls of adobones . . . large mud-bricks, some from 1 to 2 yards in thickness, length, and breadth. The huaca of the “Bell” contains about 20,220,840 cubic feet of material, while that of “San Miguel” has 25,650,800. These two buildings were constructed in the same style—having traces of terraces, parapets, and bastions, with a large number of rooms and squares—all now filled up with earth.
About a mile beyond, in the direction of “Mira Flores,” is Ocharan—the largest burial mound in the Huatica valley . . . It has 95 feet of elevation and a width of 55 yards on the summit, and a total length of 428 yards, or 1,284 feet, another multiple of twelve. It is enclosed by a double wall 816 yards in length by 700 across, thus enclosing 117 acres. Between Ocharan and the ocean are from 15 to 20 masses of ruins, like those already described. . . .
. . . . the Inca temple of the Sun, like the temple of Cholula on the plains of Mexico . . . . is a sort of vast terraced pyramid of earth. It is from 200 to 300 feet high, and forms a semi-lunar shape that is beyond a half mile in extent. Its top measures about 10 acres square. Much of the walls are washed over with red paint, probably ochre, and are as fresh and bright as when centuries ago it was first put on . . . In the Cañete valley, opposite the Chincha Guano Islands, are extensive ruins [described by Squier]. . . . From the hill called “Hill of Gold,” copper and silver pins were taken like those used by ladies to pin their shawls; also tweezers for pulling out the hair of the eyebrows, eyelids and whiskers, as well as silver cups.*
The coast of Peru [says Mr. Heath], extends from Tumbes to the river Loa on the south, a distance of 1,235 miles. Scattered here and there over this whole extent, there are thousands of ruins beside those just mentioned . . . while nearly every hill and spur of the mountains have upon them or about them some relic of the past; and in every ravine, from the coast to the central plateau, there are ruins of walls, fortresses, cities, burial-vaults, and miles and miles of terraces and water-courses. Across the plateau and down the eastern slope of the Andes to the home of the wild Indian, and into the unknown, impenetrable forest, still you find them. . . . In the mountains, however, where storms of rain and snow with terrific thunder and lightning are nearly constant a number of months each year, the ruins are different. Of granitic, porphyritic, lime and silicated sandstone, these massive, colossal, cyclopean structures have resisted the disintegration of time, geological transformations, earthquakes, and the sacrilegious, destructive hand of the warrior and treasure-seeker. The masonry composing these walls, temples, houses, towers,
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* [Heath, op. cit., pp. 461-63.]
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fortresses, or sepulchres, is uncemented, held in place by the incline of the walls from the perpendicular, and adaptation of each stone to the place destined for it, the stones having from six to many sides, each dressed, and smoothed to fit another or others, with such exactness that the blade of a small penknife cannot be inserted in any of the seams thus formed, whether in the central parts entirely hidden, or on the internal or external surfaces. These stones, selected with no reference to uniformity in shape or size, vary from one-half cubic foot to 1,500 cubic feet solid contents, and if, in the many, many millions of stones you could find one that would fit in the place of another, it would be purely accidental. In “Triumph Street,” in the city of Cuzco, in a part of the wall of the ancient house of the Virgins of the Sun, is a very large stone, known as “the stone of the twelve corners,” since it joins with those that surround it, by twelve faces, each having a different angle. Beside these twelve faces it has its external one, and no one knows how many it has on its back that is hidden in the masonry. In the wall of the centre of the Cuzco fortress there are stones 13 feet high, 15 feet long, and 8 feet thick, and all having been quarried miles away. Near this city there is an oblong smooth boulder 18 feet in its longer axis, and 12 in its lesser. On one side are large niches cut out, in which a man can stand, and by swaying his body cause the stone to rock. These niches apparently were made solely for this purpose. One of the most wonderful and extensive of these works in stone, is that called Ollantaytambo, a ruin situated 30 miles north of Cuzco, in a narrow ravine on the bank of the river Urubamba. It consists of a fortress constructed on the top of a sloping, craggy eminence. Extending from it to the plain below, is a stony stairway. At the top of the stairway are six large slabs, 12 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet thick, side by side, having between them and on top narrow strips of stone about 6 inches wide, framed as it were to the slabs, and all being of dressed stone. At the bottom of the hill, part of which was made by hand, and at the foot of the stairs, a stone wall 10 feet wide and 12 feet high extends some distance into the plain. In it are many niches, all facing the south.
The ruins on the islands in Lake Titicaca, where Incal history begins, have often been described.
At Tiahuanaco, a few miles south of the lake, there are stones in the form of columns, partly dressed, placed in line at certain distances from each other, and having an elevation above the ground of from 18 to 20 feet. In this same line there is a monolithic doorway, now broken, 10 feet high by 13 wide. The space cut out for the door is 7 feet 4 inches high, by 3 feet 2 inches wide. The whole face of the stone above the door is engraved. Another, similar, but smaller, lies on the ground beside it. These stones are of hard porphyry, and differ geologically from the surrounding rock, hence, we infer they must have been brought from elsewhere.
At “Chavin de Huanta,” a town in the province of Huari, there are

 

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some ruins worthy of note. The entrance to them is by an alleyway 6 feet wide and 9 feet high, roofed over with sandstone partly dressed, of more than 12 feet in length. On each side there are rooms 12 feet wide, roofed by large pieces of sandstones, 1½ feet thick and from 6 to 9 feet wide. The walls of the rooms are 6 feet thick, and have some loopholes in them, probably for ventilation. In the floor of this passage there is a very narrow entrance to a subterranean passage that passes beneath the river to the other side. From this many huacas, stone drinking-vessels, instruments of copper and silver, and a skeleton of an Indian sitting, were taken. The greater part of these ruins are situated over aqueducts. The bridge to these castles is made of three stones of dressed granite, 24 feet long, 2 feet wide by 1½ thick. Some of the granite stones are covered with hieroglyphics.
At Corralones, 24 miles from Arequipa, there are hieroglyphics engraved on masses of granite, which appear as if painted with chalk. There are figures of men, llamas, circles, parallelograms, letters as an R and an O and even remains of a system of astronomy.
At Huaitará, in the province of Castrovirreina, there is an edifice with the same engravings.
At Nazca, in the province of Ica, there are some wonderful ruins of aqueducts, four to five feet high and 3 feet wide, very straight, double-walled, of unfinished stone, flagged on top.
At Quelap, not far from Chochapayas, there have lately been examined some extensive works. A wall of dressed stone 560 feet wide, 3,660 long, and 150 feet high. The lower part is solid. Another wall above this has 600 feet length, 500 width, and the same elevation of 150 feet. There are niches over both walls, three feet long, one-and-a-half wide and thick, containing the remains of those ancient inhabitants, some naked, others enveloped in shawls of cotton of distinct colours and well embroidered. . . .
Following the entrances of the second and highest wall, there are other sepulchres like small ovens, six feet high and twenty-four in circumference; in their base are flags, upon which some cadavers reposed. On the north side there is, on the perpendicular rocky side of the mountain, a brick wall, having small windows 600 feet from the bottom. No reason for this, nor means of approach, can now be found. The skillful construction of utensils of gold and silver that were found here, the ingenuity and solidity of this gigantic work of dressed stone, made it, also, probably of pre-Incal date. . . . Estimating five hundred ravines in the 1,200 miles of Peru, and ten miles of terraces of fifty tiers to each ravine, which would only be five miles of twenty-five tiers to each side, we have 250,000 miles of stone wall, averaging three to four feet high—enough to encircle this globe ten times. Surprising as these estimates may seem, I am fully convinced that an actual measurement would more than double them, for these ravines vary from 30 to 100 miles in length, and ten miles to each is a low estimate. While at San Mateo, a town in the

 

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valley of the river Rimac . . . where the mountains rise to a height of 1,500 or 2,000 feet above the river bed, I counted two hundred tiers, none of which were less than four and many more than six miles long . . . .
Who, then [very pertinently enquires Mr. Heath] were these people, cutting through sixty miles of granite, transporting blocks of hard porphyry, of Baalbec dimensions, miles from the place where quarried, across valleys thousands of feet deep, over mountains, along plains, leaving no trace of how or where they carried them; people [said to be] ignorant of the use of iron, with the feeble llama their only beast of burden; who, after having brought these stones together and dressed them, fitted them into walls with mosaic precision; terracing thousands of miles of mountain side; building hills of adobes and earth, and huge cities; leaving works in clay, stone, copper, silver, gold and embroidery, many of which cannot be duplicated at the present age; people apparently vying with Dives in riches, Hercules in strength and energy and the ant and bee in industry?
Callao was submerged in 1746 and entirely destroyed. Lima was ruined in 1678—in 1746 only twenty houses out of three thousand were left standing . . . . while the ancient cities in the Huatica and Lurín valleys still remain in a comparatively good state of preservation. San Miguel de Piura, founded by Pizarro in 1531, was entirely destroyed in 1855, while the old ruins near by suffered little. Arequipa was thrown down in August, 1868, but the ruins near show no change.*

In engineering, at least, the present may learn from the past. We hope to show that it may in most things else.

————

[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 11, August, 1880, pp. 277-78]

To refer all these cyclopean constructions then to the days of the Incas is, as we have shown before, more inconsistent yet, and seems even a greater fallacy than that too common one of attributing every rock-temple of India to Buddhist excavators. As many authorities show—Dr. Heath among the rest—Incal history only dates back to the eleventh century A.D., and the period, from that time to the Conquest, is utterly insufficient to account for such grandiose
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* [Heath, op. cit., pp. 463 67] .
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and innumerable works; nor do the Spanish historians know much of them. Nor again, must we forget that the temples of heathendom were odious to the narrow bigotry of the Roman Catholic fanatics of those days; and that, whenever the chance offered, they either converted them into Christian churches or razed them to the ground. Another strong objection to the idea lies in the fact that the Incas were destitute of a written language, and that these antique relics of bygone ages are covered with hieroglyphics. “It is granted that the Temple of the Sun, at Cuzco, was of Incal make, but that is the latest of the five styles of architecture visible in the Andes, each probably representing an age of human progress.”*
The hieroglyphics of Peru and Central America have been, are, and will most probably remain for ever as dead a letter to our cryptographers as they were to the Incas. The latter, like the barbarous ancient Chinese and Mexicans, kept their records by means of a quipus (or knot in Peruvian)—a cord, several feet long, composed of different coloured threads, from which a multicoloured fringe was suspended; each colour denoting a sensible object, and knots serving as ciphers. “The mysterious science of the quipus,” says Prescott, “supplied the Peruvians with the means of communicating their ideas to one another, and of transmitting them to future generations . . . † Each locality, however, had its own method of interpreting these elaborate records, hence a quipus was only intelligible in the place where it was kept. “Many quipus have been taken from the graves, in excellent state of preservation in colour and texture,” writes Dr. Heath; “but the lips that alone could pronounce the verbal key, have for ever ceased their function, and the relic-seeker has failed to note the exact spot each was found, so that the records which could tell so much we want to know, will remain sealed till all is revealed at the last day,‡ . . . if anything at all is revealed then.
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* [Heath, op. cit., p. 467.]
† [Hist. of the Conquest of Peru, Chap. IV, p. 792.]
‡ [Heath, op. cit., p. 467.]
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But what is certainly as good as a revelation now, while our brains are in function, and our mind is acutely alive to some pre-eminently suggestive facts, is the incessant discoveries of archaeology, geology, ethnology, and other sciences. It is the almost irrepressible conviction that man having existed upon earth millions of years—for all we know—the theory of cycles is the only plausible theory to solve the great problems of humanity, the rise and fall of numberless nations and races, and the ethnological differences among the latter. This difference—which, though as marked as the one between a handsome and intellectual European and a digger Indian of Australia, yet makes the ignorant shudder and raise a great outcry at the thought of destroying the imaginary “great gulf between man and brute creation”—might thus be well accounted for. The digger Indian, then in company with many other savage, though to him superior nations, which evidently are dying out to afford room to men and races of a superior kind, would have to be regarded in the same light as so many dying-out specimens of animals—and no more. Who can tell but that the forefathers of this flat-headed savage—forefathers who may have lived and prospered amidst the highest civilization before the glacial period—were in the arts and sciences far beyond those of the present civilization—though it may be in quite another direction? That man has lived in America, at least 50,000 years ago, is now proved scientifically and remains a fact beyond doubt or cavil. In a lecture delivered at Manchester, in June last, by Mr. H. A. All-butt, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society, the lecturer stated the following:—

Near New Orleans, in one part of the modern delta, in excavating for gas works, a series of beds, almost wholly made up of vegetable matter, were dug through. In the excavation, at a depth of 16 feet from the upper surface, and beneath four buried forests, one on the top of the other, the labourers discovered some charcoal and the skeleton of a man, the cranium of which was reported to be that of the type of the aboriginal Red Indian race. To this skeleton Dr. Dowler ascribed an antiquity of some 50,000 years.

The irrepressible cycle in the course of time brought

 

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down the descendants of the contemporaries of the late inhabitant of this skeleton, and intellectually as well as physically they have degenerated, as the present elephant has degenerated from his proud and monstrous forefather, the antediluvian Sivatherium whose fossil remains are still found in the Himalayas; or, as the lizard has from the plesiosaurus. Why should man be the only specimen upon earth which has never changed in form since the first day of his appearance upon this planet? The fancied superiority of every generation of mankind over the preceding one is not yet so well established as to make it impossible for us to learn some day that, as in everything else, the theory is a two-sided question—incessant progress on the one side and an as irresistible decadence on the other of the cycle. “Even as regards knowledge and power, the advance which some claim as a characteristic feature of humanity is effected by exceptional individuals who arise in certain races under favourable circumstances only, and is quite compatible with long intervals of immobility, and even of decline,” says a modern man of science.* This point is corroborated by what we see in the modern degenerate descendants of the great and powerful races of ancient America—the Peruvians and the Mexicans.

How changed! How fallen from their greatness must have been the Incas when a little band of one hundred and sixty men could penetrate uninjured to their mountain homes, murder their worshipped Icings and thousands of their warriors, and carry away their riches, and that, too, in a country where a few men with stones could resist successfully an army! Who could recognize in the present Inichua and Aymara Indians their noble ancestry?†

Thus writes Dr. Heath, and his conviction that America was once united with Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, seems as firm as our own. There must exist geological and physical cycles as well as intellectual and spiritual; globes
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* Journal of Science, Vol. I, 3rd Series, February, 1879, pp. 148-49, articles—“Progress. The Alleged distinction between Man and Brute.”
† [Heath, op. cit., p. 468]
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and planets, as well as races and nations, are born to grow, progress, decline and—die. Great nations split, scatter into small tribes, lose all remembrance of their integrity, gradually fall into their primitive state and—disappear, one after the other, from the face of the earth. So do great continents. Ceylon must have formed, once upon a time, part of the Indian continent. So, to all appearances, was Spain once joined to Africa, the narrow channel between Gibraltar and the latter continent having been once upon a time dry land. Gibraltar is full of large apes of the same kind as those which are found in great numbers on the opposite side on the African coast, whereas nowhere in Spain is either a monkey or ape to be found at any place whatever. And the caves of Gibraltar are also full of gigantic human bones, supporting the theory that they belong to an antediluvian race of men. The same Dr. Heath mentions the town of Eten in 7° S. Latitude of America, in which the inhabitants of an unknown tribe of men speak a monosyllabic language that imported Chinese labourers understood from the first day of their arrival. They have their own laws, customs and dress, neither holding nor permitting communication with the outside world. No one can tell whence they came or when; whether it was before or after the Spanish Conquest. They are a living mystery to all who chance to visit them . . .

With such facts before us to puzzle exact science herself, and show our entire ignorance of the past, verily, we recognize no right of any man on earth—whether in geography or ethnology, in exact or abstract sciences to tell his neighbour—“so far shalt thou go, and no further!”

But, recognizing our debt of gratitude to Dr. Heath of Kansas, whose able and interesting paper has furnished us with such a number of facts and suggested such possibilities, we can do no better than quote his concluding reflections.

 

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Thirteen thousand years ago [he writes] Vega or Lyrae was the north polar star. Since then how many changes has she seen in our planet? How many nations and races spring into life, rise to their zenith splendour and then decay; and when we shall have been gone thirteen thousand years, and once more she resumes her post at the north, completing a “Platonic or Great Year,” think you that those who shall fill our places on the earth at that time will be more conversant with our history than we are of those that have passed? Verily might we exclaim in terms almost Psalmistic, “Great God, Creator and Director of the Universe, what is man that Thou art mindful of him!”

Amen! ought to be the response of such as yet believe in a God who is “the Creator and Director of the Universe.”