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plate the sides and summit platform are covered Avith plaster. Kingsbor-
ough's plate omits the coating of plaster and shows the remains of a ninth
story. A scale attached to the latter plate would indicate that the pyra-
mid has a base of 150 feet and is about 75 feet high. Lenoir, p. 69.

^ Dupaix, 1st. exped., pp. 3-4, pi. i.-ii., fig. 1, 2; 2d exped., p. 51, pi.


tomb in its ground plan the form of a cross. Its ver-
tical section is shown in the cut. There is certainly a
general resemblance to be noted in this tomb-struct-
ure to those at Mitla; the interior is lined with hewn
blocks laid in lime mortar and covered with a fine
white plaster, the plaster on the ceiling being eight
or nine inches thick. The discovery of human bones
in the lateral galleries leaves no doubt respecting the
use to which the subterranean structure was devoted.^
At Tehuacan el Viejo, two leagues eastward of the
modern town of Tehuacan, in the south-eastern part of
the state, were found ruins of stone structures not
particularly described.^ At San Cristoval Teopante-
pec, a little native settlement north-westward of the
remains last mentioned, is another hill which bears a
pyramid on its top. A road cut in the rocky sides
leads up the hill, and on the summit, beside the pyra-
mid, traces of smooth cement pavements and other
undescribed remains were noticed. The pyramid itself
from a base fifty feet square rises about sixty-seven feet
in four receding stories with sides apparently sloping
very slightly inward toward the top, the fourth story
being moreover for the most part in ruins. The most
remarkable feature of this structure is its stairway,
which is different from any yet noticed, and similar
to that of the grand teocalli of Mexico-Tenochtitlan
as reported by the conquerors. It leads up diagonally
from bottom to top of each story on the west, not,
however, making it necessary to pass four times round
the pyramid in order to reach the summit, as was the
case in Mexico, since in this ruin the head of each
flight corresponds with the foot of the one above, in-
stead of being on the opposite side of the pyramid.
The whole is built of stone and mortar, only the exte-

^ Dupaix, 2dcxped., p. 14, pi. xviii., fig. 53-4; Kingsboi-ough, vol. v.,
p. 243, vol. vi., p. 442, vol. iv,, pi. xvi., fig. 53-4; Lenoir, in Antiq. Mex.,
torn, ii., div. i., p. 47.

2 'No subsisten de ^1 .sino unas grandes ruinas de templo y caserias de
cal y canto, sitnadas en ladcia de unos cerritos.' Dupaix, 1st exped., p. 5;
Kincjsborough, vol. v., p. 211, vol. vi., p. 423.


rior facing being of regular blocks, and no covering of
cement is indicated in Castaneda's drawing.^

At Tepexe el Viejo, on the Zacatula River, some
sixteen leagues south-east of the city of Puebla, Du-
paix discovered, in 1808, a structure which he calls a
fortification. It was located on a rocky height, sur-
rounded by deep ravines, and the rough nature of the
ground, together with the serpents that infest the
rocks, prevented him from making exact measure-
ments. There are traces of exterior enclosing walls,
and within the enclosed area stands a pyramid of
hewn stone and lime mortar, in eight receding stories.
A frag'ment of a circular stone was also found at
Tepexe, bearing sculptured figures in low relief, which
indicate that the monument may have borne origi-
nally some resemblance to the Aztec calendar-stone,
to be mentioned hereafter. Another round stone bore
marks of having been used for sharpening weapons.*

At Tepeaca and vicinity four relics were found : —
1st. A bird's, perhaps an eagle's, head sculptured in
low relief within a triple circle, together with other
figures, on a slab about a foot square; apparently an
aboriginal coat of arms. 2d. A stone head eighteen
inches high, of a hard, reddish material ; the features
are very regular down to the mouth, below which all
is deformed. 3d. A sculiJtured slab, built into a
wall, shown only in Kingsborough's plate. 4th. A
feathered serpent coiled into a ball-like form, six feet
in diameter. It was carved from a red stone, and
also painted red, resting on a cubical pedestal of a
light-colored stone. °

3 Dupaix, 1st exped., p. 4, pi. iii., fig. 3; Kingshorough, vol. v., p. 211,
vol. vi., p. 422, vol. iv., pi. ii., fig. 5. 'On y monte, du cote de I'ouest, par
line rampe tracee de gauche k droite pour le premier etage, de droite k
gauche pour le second, et ainsi de suite jusqu'au dernier.' Lenoir, in An-
tiq. Mex., torn, ii., div. i., p. 26; Klemm, Cultiir-Gcschichte, iova. v., p. 157.

* Dupaix, 3d exped., p. 5, pi. i., ii., fig. 1-3; Kingsboroiigh, vol. v., pp.
285-6, vol. vi., p. 467, vol. iv., pi. i., ii., fig. 1-3. According to Dupaix's
plate the sides and summit platform are covered with plaster. Kingsbor-
ough's plate omits the coating of plaster and shows the remains of a ninth
story. A scale attached to the latter plate would indicate that the pyra-
mid has a base of 150 feet and is about 75 feet high. Lenoir, p. 69.

^Dupaix, 1st. exped., pj). 3-4, pi. i.-ii., fig. 1, 2; 2d exped., p. 51, pi.


At San Antonio, near San Andres Chalchicomula,
on the eastern boundary of the state, a pyramid
stands on the summit of a rocky hill. The pyramid
consists of three stories, with sides sloping at an
angle of about forty-five degrees, is about twenty-five
feet in height, and has a base fifty-five feet square.
A stairway about ten feet wide, with solid balus-
trades, leads up the centre of the western front ; and
on the top, parts of the walls of a building still re-
mained in 1805. This summit building was said to
have been in a good state of preservation only twelve
years before. The material is basalt, in blocks about
two by five feet, according to Dupaix's plate, laid in mor-
tar, and all but the lower story covered with cement.^

At Quauhquelchula, near Atlixco, in the western
part of the state, Dupaix noticed four relics of an-
tiquity. 1st. A rattlesnake eight feet and a half long,
and about eight inches in diameter, sculptured in
high relief on the flat surface of a hard brown stone.
2d. A hard veined stone of various colors, four feet
high and ten feet and a half in circumference, carved
into a representation of a monster's head with protrud-
ing tusks, a front view of which is given in the cut.

Stone Monster's Head.

Ixi., fig. 117; Kiyigshorough, vol. v., pp. 209-10, vol. vi., pp. 421-2, vol. iv.,
pi. i., fig. 1-4; Lenoir, in Antiq. Mex., torn, ii., div. i., pp. 22, 25-6, 63.
^Dupaix, 1st exped., p. 10, pi. xii., fig. 13; Kingsborough, vol. v., p.


The rear is flat and bears a coat of arms, made
up of four arrows or spears crossing a circle, with
other inexplicable figures. 3d. Another coat of arms,
three lances across a barred circle, carved in low relief
on the face of a boulder. 4th. A human face, larger
than the natural size, on the side of another boulder,
and looking towards the town.'' At the town of At-
lixco a very beautifully worked and polished almond-
shaped agate was seen.^

On the hacienda of Santa Catalina, westward from
Atlixco, was found the coiled serpent shown in the
cut. The material is a black porous volcanic stone,

Serpent-Cup — Santa Catalina.

and the whole seems to form a cup, to which the head
of the serpent served as a handle. Another relic
from this locality was a masked human figure of the
same stone.^

About ten miles west of the city of Puebla de los
Angeles, and in the eastern outskirts of the pueblo of
Cholula, is the famous pyramid known throughout the
world by the name of Cholula. The town at its base

217, vol. vi., p. 426, vol. iv., pi. vi., fig. 16; Lenoir, p. 30. Kingsborough's
plate makes the blocks of stone much smaller than the other, shows no
plaster, and represents the walls of the summit building as still standing.
Kingsborough also incorrectly translates 'antes de San Andres,' 'formerly
San Andres.' Klemm, Cultur-Geschichte, torn, v., p. 157.

7 Dupaix, 1st exped., pp. 12-13, pi. xvii-xxii., fig. 19-24; Kingsborough,
vol. v., pp. 219-20, vol. vi., pp. 427-8, vol. iv., pi. ix.-xi., fig. 21-4; Lenoir,
pp. 31-3.

^Dupaix, p. 11, pi. xvii., fig. 18, not in Kingsborough.

^Dupaix, 1st exped., p. 13, pi. xxiii.-iv., fig. 25-6; Kingsboroitgh, vol.
v., p. 220, vol. vi., p. 428, vol. iv., pi. xii., fig. 25-6; Lenoir, p. 33.


was in aboriginal times a large and flourishing city,
and a great religious centre. The day of its glory
was in the Toltec period, before the tenth century of
our era, and tradition points for the building of the
pyramid to a yet more remote epoch, when the 01-
mecs were the masters of the central plateaux. Sev-
eral times during the religious contests that raged
between the devotees of rival deities, the temple of
Cholula was destroyed and rebuilt. Its final destruc-
tion dates from the coming of the Spaniards, who,
under Hernan Cortes, after a fierce hand-to-hand con-
flict on the slopes of the pyramid, maddened by the
desperate resistance of the natives, elated by victory,
or incited by fanatical religious zeal and avarice,
sacked and burned the mao^nificent structure on the
top of the mound. Since the time of the Conquista-
dor, after the fierce spirit of the true church had ex-
pended its fury on this and other monuments reared
in honor of anti- Catholic gods, the mound was allowed
to remain in peace, save the construction of a wind-
ing road leading up to a modern chapel on the sum-
mit, where services are performed in which the great
Quetzalcoatl has no share. ^°

Since 1744, when the historian Clavigero rode up
its side on horseback, this pyramid has been visited
by hundreds of travelers, few tourists having left
Andhuac without having seen so famous a monument
of antiquity, so easily accessible from the cities of
Mexico and Puebla. Humboldt's description, made
from a personal exploration in 1803, is perhaps the
most complete that was ever published, and most
succeeding visitors have deemed it best to quote his
account as being better than any they could write
from their own observations. Dupaix and Casta-
iieda, and in later times Nebel, also examined and
made drawings of Cholula. The four or five views

'" On the building and history of the pyramid, see, among many others,
Veytia, Hist. Ant. Mej., torn, i., pp. 18-19, 155-6, 199-205; Brasseur de
Bourbourg, Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, iv., pp. 182-3.


of the mound that have been pubHshed differ greatly
from each other, accordingly as the artist pictured
the monument as he saw it or attempted to restore
it more or less to its original form. Humboldt's
drawing, which has been more extensively copied
than any other, contrary to what might be expected
from his text, was altogether a restoration, and bore
not the slightest resemblance to the original as he
saw it, since Clavigero found it in 1744, "so covered
with earth and shrubs that it seems rather a natural
hill than an edifice," and there is no reason to sup-
pose that at a later date it assumed a more regular

" Clavigero, Storia Ant. del Messico, torn, ii., pp. 33-4; Humboldt, Es-
saiPoL, pp. 239-40; Id., Vues, torn, i., pp. 96-124, pi. iii. (fol. ed. pi. vii.,
viii.); Id., in Antiq. Mex., suppl. pi. ii.; Dupaix, 1st exped., p. ii., pi. xvi.,
fig. 17; Kingsborough, vol. v., p. 218, vol. iv., pi. viii., fig. 20. It is to be
noted that there is not the slightest resemblance between the two editions
of Castaneda's drawing. Nebel, Viage Pintoresco, with large colored plate,
Other visitors to Cholula, whose accounts contain more or less original in
formation, are: — Poinsett, 1822, Notes, pp. 57-9; Bullock, 1823, Mexico, pp
111-15 — no plate, although the author made a drawing; Ward, 1825, Mex-
ico, vol. ii. , p. 209; Beaufoy, 1826, Mexican Ilhtstr., pp. 193-5, with cuts
Latrobe, 1834, Rambler in Mex., p. 275; Mayer, 1841, Mexico as it Was,
p. 26; Mex. Aztec, vol. ii., p. 228, with cut; Id., in ScJioolcraffs Arch., vol
vL, p. 582; Thompson, 1842, Recollections of Mex., p. 30; Tylor, 1856, Ana
huac, pp. 274-7; Evans, 1869, Our Sister Republic, pp. 428-32, with cut,
Still other references on the subject, containing for the most part nothing
except what is gathered from the preceding works, are: — Robert son'' s Hist.
Amer. (8vo. ed. 1777), vol. i., p. 268; Gondra, in Prescott, Hist. Cong
Mex., tom. iii., pp. 37-45, pi. vi. ; Antiq. Mex., tom. i., div. ii., p. 70; La
fond. Voyages, tom. i., pp. 137-8; Armin, Heutige Mex., pp. 63, 68, 72
IVilson^s Mex. and her Religion, pp. 95-9; Amer. Antiq. Soc, Transact.
vol, i., p. 256, etc., from Humboldt, with cut; Raldivin^s Anc. Amer., p. 90
Baril, Mex., p. 193; Beltrami, Mexique, tom. ii., pp. 283-8; DeBercy
L^Europe et UAmer., tom. ii., p. 235, etc.; BracketVs, Brigade in Mex.
pp. 154-5; Bradford's Amer. Antiq., pp. 76-7; Brasseur de Bourbourg
Hist. Nat. Civ., tom. i., p. 301, et seq. ; Calderon de la Barca's Life in Mex.
vol. ii., p. 97; Chevalier, Mex., pp. 55-6; Id., Mex. Ancien ct Mod., pp. 174-9
Combier, Voyage, pp. 385-6; Dally, sur les Races Indig., p. 17; Davis" Anc.
Amer., p. 9; Donnavan's Adven., p. 98; D^Orbigny, Voyage, p. 331; Fossey,
Mex., p. HI; Hassel, Mex. Guat., p. 246; Heller, Rcisen, pp. 131-2; Nou
velles Annates des Voy., 1835, tom. Ixv., pp. 363-4; DclafiekVs Antiq. Amer
p. 57; Jourdanet, Mexique, p. 20; Larenaudidre, Mex. Guat., pp. 24, 45-6,
plate from Dupaix; Lowenstern, Mexique, pp. 48-9; Malte-Brun, Precis de la
Geog., tom. vi., pp. 461-2; Marmicr, Voyagcurs, tom. iii., pp. 328-9; Mexico
Country, etc., p. 14; Mex. in 1842 pp. 80-1; Mexico, A Trip to, pp. 59-60
Mill's Hist. Mrx., p. 140; Miihlenpfordl, Mejico, tom. ii., pp. 232-3, 236
Midler, Amerikanische Urrelegionen, pp. 458-9,581; Pages, Nouveau Voy,
tom. ii., pp. 385-7; Prescott' s Mex., vol. i., p. 60, vol. ii., pp. 6-8, 26, vol
iii., p. 380; Shepard's Land of the Aztecs, p. 128; Saturday Mag., vol. v.
pp. 175-6; Scherr, Traiierspicl, pp. 29-30; Stapp's Prisoners of Perote, pp


For the past two centuries, at least, the condition
and appearance of the mound has been that of a nat-
ural conical hill, rising from the level of a broad val-
ley, and covering with its circular base an area of
over forty acres/^ On closer examination, however,
traces of artificial terraces are noted on the slopes,
and excavations have proven that the whole mound,
or at least a very large portion of it — for no excava-
tion has ever been made reaching to its centre — is of
artificial construction. By the careful surveys of
Humboldt and others the original form and dimen-
sions have been clearly made known. From a base
about fourteen hundred and forty feet square, whose
sides face the cardinal points, it rose in four equal
stories to a height of nearly two hundred feet, having
a summit platform of about two hundred feet square.^'
Humboldt in 1803 found the four terraces tolerably
distinct, especially on the western slope; Evans in

107-8; Thiimmel, Mexiko, pp. 261-2; Tudor' s 'N'arr., vol. ii., pp. 208-9;
Vigneaux, Souv. Mex., p. 531; Wappdus, Geog. u. Stat., pp. 32, 36, ISO,
182; Warden, Recherches, pp. 66-7; Willsoii's Amer. Hist., pp. GO-1,
73; Yonge's Mod. Hist., p. 38; Frost's Pict. Hist., pp. 37-8; Hermosa,
Manual Geog., pp. 140-1; Taylor's Eldorado, vol. ii., p. 181; Worthy's
Trav., pp. 230-1, etc.; McCulloh's Researches in. Amer., p. 252; Gemelli
Carreri, in Churchill, Col. Voy., vol. iv., p. 519; Escalera and Llano, Mej.
Hist. Descrip., pp. 205-6; Klemni, Cultur-Geschichte, torn, v., p. 156; Alcedo,
Diccionario, toin. i., p. 550; Democratic Review, vol. xxvii., p. 425, vol.
xxvi., pp. 546-7, vol. xi., p 612; Mansfield's Mex. War, p. 207; Macgilli-
vray's Life Humboldt, pp. 292, 312-13; Conder's Mex. Guat., vol. i., pp.
258-9, plate from Humbolt; Prichard's Nat. Hist. Man, vol. ii., p. 509.

12 'The large mound of earth at Cholula which the Spaniards dignified
"with the name of temple, still remains, but without any steps by which to
ascend, or any facing of stone. It appears now like a natural mount, cov-
ered wifh grass and shrubs, and possibly it was never anything more.'
Robertson's Hist. Amer., vol. i., p. 269. 'A le voir de loin, on seroit en
effet tente de le prendre pour une colliue naturelle couverte de vegetation.'
'Elle est trfes-bien conservee du cote de I'ouest, et c'est la face occidentale
que presente lagravureque nous publions.' Humboldt, Vues, tom. i., pp.

1* The dimensions of base, height, and siimmit platform respectively, as
given by different authorities, are as follows: 439 x 54 x 64| metres, Hum-
boldt; 530 .X 6(3 varas, Nehcl; 1080 x 204 x 165 feet, Mayer, according to a
careful measurement by a U. S. official in 1847; 40 varas square by actual
measurement! Dupaix; 1423 x 177 x 208 feet, Prescott; 1425 x 177 x 175
feet, Latrohe; 1301 x 162 x 177 feet, Poinsett; About 200 feet high, Tylor;
1310 X 205 feet, Wilson; 1335 x 172 feet, Foster's Pre-Hist. Races, p.'345;
1355 X 170 feet, Ampdre, Promenade, tom. ii., pp. 374-80; 1388 x 170 feet,
summit 132S5 sq. feet. Heller, Reiscn, pp. 131-2; said to cover an area of
over 43 acres and to be 179 feet high, but it seems much smaller and
higher. Ecans' Our Sister Rep., pp. 42S-32.


1870 found the lower terrace quite perfect, but the
others traceable only in a few places without excava-

The material of which the mound was constructed
is adobes, or sun-dried bricks, generally about fifteen
inches lono-, laid very regularly with alternate layers
of clay. From its material comes the name Tlalchi-
hualtepec, 'mountain of unburnt bricks,' which has
been sometimes applied to Cholula. An old tradition
relates that the adobes were manufactured at Tlalma-
nalco, and brought several leagues to their destination
by a long line of men, who handed them along singly
from one to another. Humboldt thought some of the
bricks might have been slightly burned. Respecting
the material which constitutes the alternate layers be-
tween the bricks, called clay by Humboldt, there seems
to be some difference of opinion between different ex-
plorers. Col. Brantz Mayer, a careful investigator,
says the adobes are interspersed with small fragments
of porphyry and limestone; and Mr Tylor speaks
of them as cemented with mortar containing- small
stones and pottery. Evans tells us that the material
is adobe bricks and layers of lava, still perfect in many
places. The historian Veytia by a personal examina-
tion ascertained the material to be "small stones of
the kind called guijarros, and a kind of bricks of clay
and straw," in alternate layers." Beaufoy claims to
have found the pyramid faced w4th small thin hewn
stones, one of which he carried away as a relic —
a very wonderful discovery certainly, when we con-
sider that other very trustworthy explorers, both pre-
ceding and following Beaufoy, found nothing of the
kind. Mr Heller could not find the stone facing, but,
as he says, he did find a coating of mortar as hard as
stone, composed of lime, sand, and water. ^^ Many
visitors have believed that the pyramid is only par-
tially artificial, the adobe -work having been added to

1* Veytia, Hist. Ant. Mej., torn, i., pp. 155-6.
1* Heller, Rcisen, pp. 131-2.


a smaller natural hill. This is, however, a mere con-
jecture, and there are absolutely no arguments to be
adduced for or against it. The truth can be ascer-
tained only by the excavation of a tunnel through the
mound at its base, or, at least, penetrating to the cen-
tre. It is very remarkable that such an excavation
has never been made, either in the interests of scien-
tific exploration or of treasure-seeking.

Bernal Diaz, at the time of the Conquest, counted
a hundred and twenty steps in a stairway which led
up the slope to the temple, but no traces of such a
stairway have been visible in more modern times.
There are traditions among the natives, as is usually
the case in connection with every work of the an-
tiguos, of interior galleries and apartments of great
extent within the mound; such rumors are doubtless
without foundation. The Puebla road cuts off a
corner of the lower terrace, and the excavation made
in building the road not only showed clearly the
regular interior construction of the pyramid, but also
laid bare a tomb, which contained two skeletons with
two idols in basalt, a collection of pottery, and other
relics not preserved or particularly described, al-
though the remains of the tomb itself were examined
by Humboldt. The sepulchre was square, with stone
walls supported by cypress beams. The dimensions
are not given, but the apartment is said to have had
no traces of any outlet. Humboldt claims to have
discovered a peculiar arrangement of the adobes
about this tomb, by which the pressure on its roof
was diminished.

It is very evident that the pyramid of Cholula
contains nothing in itself to indicate its age, but from
well-defined and doubtless reliable traditions, we may
feel very sure that its erection dates back to an epoch
preceding the tenth century, and probably preceding
the seventh. Humboldt shows that it is larger at the
base than any of the old-world pyramids, over twice
as large as that of Cheops, but only slightly higher


than that of Mycerinus. "The construction of the
teocalli recalls the oldest monuments to which the
history of the civilization of our race reaches. The
temple of Jupiter Belus, which the mythology of the
Hindus seems to designate by the name of Bali,
the pyramids of Meidoiim and Dahchour, and sev-
eral of the group of Sakharah in Egypt, were also
immense heaps of bricks, the remains of which have
been preserved during a period of thirty centuries
down to our day."^*'

The historical annals of aboriginal times, confirmed
by the Spanish records of the Conquest, leave no doubt
that the chief object of the pyramid was to support
a temple; the discovery of the tomb with human re-
mains may indicate that it served also for burial pur-
poses. It is by no means certain, however, that the
mound was in any sense a monument reared over the
two bodies whose skeletons were found; for besides
the position of the skeletons in a corner of the pyra-
mid, indicating in itself the contrary, there is the
possibility that the bodies were those of slaves sacri-
ficed during the process of building, and deposited
here from some superstitious motive. It will require
the discovery of tombs near the centre of this im-
mense mound to. prove that it was erected with any
view to use as the burial place of kings or priests.^^
Wilson, always a sceptic on matters connected with
Mexican aboriginal civilization, pronounces the pyra-
mid of Cholula "the finest Indian mound on this con-
tinent; where the Indians buried the bravest of their
braves, with bows and arrows, and a drinking cup,
that they might not be unprovided for when they
should arrive at the hunting-grounds of the great
spirit." "It is sufficiently wasted by time to give full
scope to the imagination to fill out or restore it to

16 Humboldt, Vues, torn, i., pp. 127-8.

17 Foster, Pre- Hist. Races, p. 345, believes, on the contrary, that the py-
ramid was erected with the sole object of enshrining in an interior chamber
of stone two corpses, showing that 'the industry of the great mass of the
population was at the absolute command of the few.'


almost any form. One hundred years ago, some ricli
citizen constructed steps up its side, and protected the
sides of his steps from faUing earth by walls of adobe,
or mud-brick ; and on the west side some adobe but-
tresses have been placed to keep the loose earth out
of the village street. This is all of man's labor that
is visible, except the work of the Indians in shaving
away the hill which constitutes this pyramid. As
for the great city of Cholula, it never had an exist-
ence."^** At a short distance from the foot of the
large pyramid, two smaller ones are mentioned by
several visitors; one of which is doubtless a portion
of the chief mound separated by the road that has
been already mentioned. One of them is described by
Beaufoy as having perpendicular sides, and built of
adobes nine inches square and one inch thick; the
second was much smaller and had a corn-patch on its
summit. Cuts of the two small mounds are given by
the same explorer. Bullock claims to have found on
the top of one of the detached masses a ditch and

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