Ancient America


Gateway at Labna

By John D. Baldwin
AUTHOR OF “PRE-HISTORIC NATIONS.”

Originally published in 1871.

The purpose of this volume is to give a summary of what is known of American Antiquities, with some thoughts and suggestions relative to their significance. It aims at nothing more. No similar work, I believe, has been published in English or in any other language. What is known of American Archaeology is recorded in a great many volumes, English, French, Spanish, and German, each work being confined to some particular department of the subject, or containing only an intelligent traveler’s brief sketches of what he saw as he went through some of the districts where the old ruins are found. Many of the more important of these works are either in French or Spanish, or in great English quartos and folios which are not accessible to general readers, and not one of them attempts to give a comprehensive view of the whole subject.

Therefore I have prepared this work for publication, believing it will be acceptable to many who are not now much acquainted with the remains of Ancient America, and that some who read it may be induced to study the but as Ancient America covers all time previous to the discovery by Columbus, they may not be deemed out of place. Materials for the paper on “Antiquities of the Pacific Islands” came to me from the Pacific World while I was preparing the others. The discovery of the Pacific is so intimately connected with the discovery of America, that this paper would not be out of place even if the Mexican and Peruvian traditions did not mention that a foreign people communicated with the western coast of America in very ancient times.

Worcester, Mass., November, 1871.

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Note from D J McAdam:  Ideas and concepts continually change and face revision in any discipline, and archaeology is no exception.  The information presented here is over one hundred years old.  We are not presenting it as fact, but as a look at what some archaeologists believed, or were at least willing to discuss, back in the late 1800's.  Particularly interesting in this regard are Baldwin's references to Atlantis, and an Atlantean theory (or an Atlantic theory, as he would have it) of ancient American settlement.  If you have a serious interest in Atlantis, you will find those sections of this work dealing with that question fascinating.  Regarding the rest of the work, what American should not be interested in the ancient history of this land?  And, while we're asking questions, did the Welsh discover America?

 

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CONTENTS.


   
I. ANCIENT AMERICA.—THE MOUND-BUILDERS
  Works of the Mound-Builders
  Extent of their Settlements
  Their Civilization
  Their Ancient Mining Works
II. ANTIQUITY OF THE MOUND-BUILDERS
  How long were they here?
III. WHO WERE THE MOUND-BUILDERS?
  Not Ancestors of the Wild Indians
  Brereton’s Story
  American Ethnology
  Who the Mound-Builders Were
IV. MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
  Their Northern Remains
  The “Seven Cities of Cevola (or Cibola)”
  Central Mexico
  The Great Ruins at the South
V. MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
  Palenque
  Copan and Quiragua
  Mitla
  An Astronomical Monument
  Ruins farther South
  The Ruins in Yucatan
  Mayapan
  Uxmal
  Kabah
  Chichen-Itza
  Other Ruins in Yucatan
VI. ANTIQUITY OF THE RUINS
  Distinct Eras traced
  Nothing perishable left
  “The Oldest of Civilizations”
  American Cities seen by Tyrians
VII. WHENCE CAME THIS CIVILIZATION?
  The “Lost Tribes of Israel”
  The “Malay” Theory
  The Phoenician Theory
  The “Atlantis” Theory
  It was an original Civilization
VIII. AMERICAN ANCIENT HISTORY
  The Old Books not all lost
  The Ancient History sketched
  The Toltecs our Mound-Builders
  Some confirmation of the History
IX. THE AZTEC CIVILIZATION
  The Discovery and Invasion
  The City of Mexico
  The Conquest of Mexico
  Who were the Aztecs?
  They came from the South
X. ANCIENT PERU
  The Spanish Hunt for Peru
  The Ruins near Lake Titicaca
  Other Ruins in Peru
  The great Peruvian Roads
  The Peruvian Civilization
XI. PERUVIAN ANCIENT HISTORY
  Garcilasso’s History
  Fernando Montesinos
  His Scheme of Peruvian History
  Probabilities
  Conclusion
APPENDIX
  A. The Norsemen in America
  B. The Welsh in America
  C. Antiquities of the Pacific Islands
  D. Deciphering the Inscriptions

 



 

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