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Type of Item
This object, called the Tortuguero box because its inscriptions are comparable to those found in Tortuguero, Mexico, is a diminutive offering box, one of very few surviving Mayan personal objects made of wood. The full-length portrait of a Mayan lord on the cover of the box and the 44 hieroglyphic signs tell a story that yields important insights into the Mayan social system. The narrative begins with the image of the box’s owner, Aj K'ax B'ahlam, the holder of an important position under the patronage of the ...
Monumental Jaguar Sculpture
This painted buff ceramic sculpture was made in southern Veracruz, Mexico, in 600-900 AD, or the Late Classic Period of Mesoamerican civilization. Scholars traditionally have defined Mesoamerica as a cultural region comprising the modern countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador. Its history is divided into an Archaic Period (circa 12,000-1500 BC), a Preclassic or Formative Period (circa 1500 BC-200 AD), a Classic Period (circa 200-900 AD), and a Postclassic Period (circa 900-1500 AD). The tropical jaguar was a major sacred creature in much of Mesoamerica ...
A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World: Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third, and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of His Present Majesty
This compilation of British navigators' accounts of their voyages around the world covers the famous voyages of Sir Francis Drake and Captain James Cook, as well as expeditions by George Anson, John Byron, Samuel Wallis and Philip Carteret, and Constantine Phipps (Lord Mulgrave). In 1740-44, Anson led a three-year-and-nine-month mission that raided Spanish commerce off the coast of Peru before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope. Byron made a voyage in 1764-65, during which he discovered the Islands of Disappointment (in present-day French Polynesia) and several smaller ...
The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe
This book, published in London in 1778, is a succinct compilation of information about the West Indies, containing, as indicated by the lengthy subtitle, “an authentick account of the first discoverers of those islands, and the parts adjacent, their situation, extent, boundaries, soil, product, trade, commerce, inhabitants, strength, government, and religion: also their principal bays and harbours, the materials for which were collected on the spot during the last war by some of the officers of his Majesty's forces, and diligently compared with all authentick narrators.” Even though the ...
Mirror of the Cruel and Horrible Spanish Tyranny Perpetrated in the Netherlands, by the Tyrant, the Duke of Alba, and Other Commanders of King Philip II
This volume, published in the Netherlands in 1620, contains French translations of two earlier works detailing Spanish crimes and atrocities in both Europe and the New World. The first part is an abridged version of Oorsprong en voortgang der Nederlandtscher beroerten (Origin and progress of the disturbances in the Netherlands) by Johannes Gysius (died 1652), first published anonymously in 1616. The second part is a translation of Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A short account of the destruction of the Indies), written by Bartolomé de las Casas ...
Historical and Chronological Description of the Two Stones Which were Discovered in 1790 During the Rebuilding of the Main Plaza in Mexico
The astronomer Antonio León y Gama is sometimes considered the first Mexican archaeologist. His description of the discovery of the "two stones" -- the Coatlicue and Sun Stone (a massive sacrificial stone and calendar) -- emphasized the sophistication and high scientific and artistic achievements of the Aztecs in a way that both responded to and further quickened the stirring of Mexican nationalism in the late 18th century. This work by León y Gama, published in Mexico City some two years after the discovery of the stones, includes three folded manuscript watercolor drawings ...
The New and Unknown World: or Description of America and the Southland
This monumental work by the Dutch writer Arnoldus Montanus (1625?-83) reflects the fascination of 17-th century Europe with the New World. Montanus was a Protestant minister and headmaster of the Latin School in the town of Schoonhoven. He wrote books on church history, theology, the history of the Low Countries, and the peoples and cultures of the Americas and Australia. (The “Southland” in the title of his book refers to the recently-discovered Australia.) Montanus never visited the New World and his work contains numerous errors and fantastic conceptions about ...
Collection of Drawings Copied from the Original Figures: Discovered in the ... Pueblo of Palenque
The ancient Mayan city of Palenque is located on a natural shelf in Mexico’s Chiapas State. It flourished as the seat of a powerful royal court in the 7th century AD, but was abandoned in the 9th century and reclaimed by the forest. It was discovered in the mid-1700s by villagers from nearby Santo Domingo do Palenque. In 1787, King Charles III of Spain ordered the governor-general of Guatemala to investigate the ruins and collect artifacts for the national museum in Madrid. The governor-general entrusted the work to a ...