One of the World's Leading Sources of Information On Literature, the Arts, and a Wide Range of Subjects



 Ruins Farther South

(This is taken from John D. Baldwin's Ancient America, originally published in 1871.)


Old ruins, of which but little is known, exist in Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, and the more southern portion of Central America. Mr. Squier, who tells us more of them than any other explorer, says, “I heard of remains and monuments in Honduras and San Salvador equal to those of Copan in extent and interest.” He mentions the ruins of Opico, near San Vincente, in San Salvador, which “cover nearly two square miles, and consist of vast terraces, ruins of edifices, circular and square towers, and subterranean galleries, all built of cut stones: a single carving has been found here on a block of stone.” Remains of “immense works” exist in the district of Chontales, near the northern shore of Lake Nicaragua; and pottery found in Nicaragua “equals the best specimens of Mexico and Peru.” Don Jose Antonio Urritia, curé of Jutiapa, gave the following account of a great ruin on a mountain in San Salvador, near the town of Comapa: it is called Cinaca-Mecallo:

“The walls, or remains of the city wall, describe an oval figure, within which roads or streets may be traced, and there are various subterranean passages and many ruined edifices. The materials of construction are chiefly thin stones, or a species of slate, united by a kind of cement which in appearance resembles melted lead.” It does not appear that he made a complete examination of the monuments, but he mentions three that gained his attention, and left upon his mind a very strong impression.

 “The first is a temple consecrated to the sun, chiefly excavated in the solid rock, and having its entrance toward the east. On the archway of the entrance are carved representations of the sun and moon. Hieroglyphics are found in the interior. Besides the sculptured bassi relievi, these stones bear hieroglyphics painted with a kind of red varnish which remains unimpaired. The second is a great stone slab covered with inscriptions or hieroglyphics. The third is the figure of a wild animal sculptured on a rock or stone, of 'great size.'"









Home | Book Collecting | Folklore / Myth | Philately | Playing Cards | Literature | Contents









© D. J. McAdam.  All rights reserved.