Prehistoric North America

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Página 39 - It will be noticed that the colors representing the several families are usually in single bodies, ie, that they represent continuous areas, and that with some exceptions the same color is not scattered here and there over the map in small spots. Yet precisely this last state of things is what would be expected had the tribes representing the families been nomadic to a marked degree. If nomadic tribes occupied North America, instead of spreading out each from a common center, as the colors show that...
Página 180 - more like brutes than rational beings; their food was raw meat of birds and beasts which they hunted indiscriminately, fruits and wild herbs, since they cultivated nothing." However, he adds that they knew how to make pulque with which to make themselves drunk, and that they went entirely naked " with disheveled hair." The Olmecs and Xicalancas who were counted by Brinton and some other authors as semi-mythical, were generally considered by the early Spanish writers as the first immigrants. The...
Página 258 - Notwithstanding the success of these Maya masons in erecting buildings capable of standing for hundreds of years, they were yet ignorant of some of the most essential principles of stone construction, and are thus to be regarded as hardly more than novices in the art. They made use of various minor expedients, as any clever nation of builders would, but depended largely on mortar and inertia to hold their buildings together.
Página 226 - Near here, on the road to the city of San Pedro, in the first town within the province of Honduras, called Copan, are certain ruins and vestiges of a great population and of superb edifices, of such skill and splendour that it appears that they could never have been built by the natives of that province.
Página 38 - In the first place, the linguistic map, based as it is upon the earliest evidence obtainable, itself offers conclusive proof, not only that the Indian tribes were in the main sedentary at the time history first records their position, but that they had been sedentary for a very long period. In order that this may be made plain, it should be clearly understood, as stated above, that each of the colors or patterns upon the map indicates a distinct linguistic family. It will be noticed that the colors...
Página 82 - World; and so far as we can trace the lines of the most ancient migrations, they diverged from that region. But there are reasons stronger than these. The American Indians cannot bear the heat of the tropics even as well as the European, not to speak of the African race. They perspire little, their skin becomes hot, and they are easily prostrated by exertion in an elevated temperature. They are peculiarly subject to diseases •' of hot climates, as hepatic disorders, showing none of the immunity...
Página 326 - ancient race," he was forcibly reminded, as he studied them, of their resemblance to the graves of Europeans, as he remarks : " In looking at the rude stone coffins of Tennessee, I have again and again been impressed with the idea that in some former age this ancient race must have come in contact with Europeans and derived the mode of burial from them. . . . The ancient inhabitants of Tennessee and Kentucky buried most commonly in long stone graves, with the body resting at length, as among civilized...
Página 251 - On the contrary, the older cities continued to flourish while the movement was going on. Such at all events are the deductions arising from a comparison of dates. How do these conclusions agree with the cognate evidence? Perhaps the strongest evidence of the greater antiquity of Copan is to be found in the conditions underlying the foundations of the ruined buildings that occupy the surface. Where the river during its encroachments has torn away these foundations it has exposed to view the remains...
Página 407 - Floating up the streams in their canoes, our fathers were rich, they were in the light, when they were at those islands. Head Beaver and Big Bird said, "Let us go to Snake Island,
Página 380 - ... usually mixed with pieces of charcoal, partially burned bones, &c. Fragments of pottery are also found in the same connection. The walls and mounds are composed of a light colored clay, which becomes red on being slightly burned. From all the facts observed, it is likely that clay was mixed with the straw, and made into some coarse kind of envelope or covering, for sacrifices about to be consumed. The whole was probably then placed on the wall of earth, mixed with the requisite fuel, and burned....

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