The Mason City Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa on April 30, 1934 · Page 5
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The Mason City Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa · Page 5

Mason City, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, April 30, 1934
Page 5
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APRIL 30 1934 MASON CITY GLOBE-GAZETTE FIVE Newly Excavated Ruins Show Central American Civilization Reached Back Nearly 100,000 Years Left Perfect Records* in Monoliths Now Being Found, EDITOR'S NOTE: This Is the first of a series of three articles by Mr. and Mrs. A. 1» Rule on their recent visit to Guatemala, which they describe as an ancient seat of civilization reaching back from 50,000 to 100,000 years. Excavations carried on by the Carnegie institute reveal the Guatemalans had a complete calendar as early as 3,373 and many other evidences of a highly developed civilization, the Rules point out. By »m. AND MRS. A. L. RULE Upon a first visit to the countries of Central America, so wonderfully impressed that there is a constant urge to tell the world of the marvelous experience in the country you have visited and there is the silent resolve to do so. Upon recurring visits, whether few or many one realizes what a vast store of material there is, both from the historical and an industrial standpoint. After the trip one fully realizes how futile it is to write thoroughly and understanding^ of these countries. Having reached the mature years of life one realizes that the short span of three score years and ten is not sufficient time in which to gather an intelligent understanding of the ordinary things of life, leave alone the hidden mysteries of a civilization that flourished many thousands of years ago and the more recent history of the Spanish Conquerors of more than four hundred years ago. This territory has since been divided into six countries and six nationalities, each retaining the common language, religion and some of the customs, but each depending upon itself for its advancement in government, agriculture and finance. 400 Miles TLaag. Central America is that portion of the land in the western hemisphere which connects North America and South America. It lies between the southern border of Mexico in North America and the northern border of Colombus in South America. It is over 400 miles long and about 400 miles wide in its widest part, bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. The Gulf of Mexico, Central Americal, Mexico and the Caribbean Sea were from 1492 to 1898 the main scene of adventure and expansion for the Spanish race. The Caribbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico were peculiarly adapted to exploration and expansion begun by the sublords of the Crown of Spain who catered to the desire of the Spanish Crown for additional territory from 1492 and continued down to 1821, and to a lesser degree until 1898. Columbus having landed at the Island of San Salvador on October 12, 1492, discovered the West Indies and that chain of Islands which separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea. This chain of Islands extends along the southeastern coast of Flordia, across the expanse of the Atlantic until they reach the northeastern point of South America and separate the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea from the Atlantic. Extends Westward. The Island of Cuba, whose eastern-most point forms a part of this chain of islands, extends westward lor more than six hundred miles, past the southeran shores of Florida and reaches to within a!xmt 140 miles of the shore of Yucatan in Mexico, thus dividing that portion of the Atlantic, cut off by the chain of islands, ioto a northern and southern body of water, the Gulf of Mexico on the north and the Caribbean sea on the south. Thus, the Gulf of Mexico is approached from the Atlantic by passing between this chain of islands, past the southern point of Florida and over to the eastern coast of Mexico. The Carribean sea is approached through the islands between Cuba and South America or, by passing over the Gulf of Mexico along the island of Cuba and turning south into the Straight of Yucatan and thence into the Caribbean sea, which washes the entire eastern coast of Central America and the northern coast of South America. Having examined the geographical relation, it is advisable, for a moment, to touch upon the historical aspect of Central America. Columbus having discovered the West Indies in 1492, took possession of the newly discovered land in the name of Their Most Christian Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Landed in Labrador. In 1497 John and Sebastian Cabot sailing under a commission from the English crown landed in Labrador and proclaimed all territory adjacent thereto a possession of England. Columbus twice again crossed the Atlantic to the mouth of the Orinoco river in northern South America and also touched at Trujillo in what is now Spanish Honduras in Central America on his third voyage and proclaimed all of this the territory of Spain. Prior to 1510, the Spanish crown had taken possession of Cuba and begun the settlement thereof, with Ponce de Leon as the governor. In 1512 Ponce de Leon landed in Florida taking possession for Spain. In 1564 the city of St. Augustine was established in Florida, being the first city established in what is now the territory of the United States. In 1585 the English crown founded a colony at what is now Roa- IS THIS WHERE CIVILIZATION STARTED? Showing Journey Taken By Rules and Geographic Location of Guatemala Ancient Ruins. noke, Va., but this was destroyed, and no permanent settlement was made until Jamestown, Va., was founded in 1607. In 1620 the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock and thus began the settlement along the northeastern coast of the United States. In 1625 Manhattan island, the present eite of New York City, was purchased from the Indians. · Conquered Mexico. In the years 1520 and 1521 Hernan Cortez conquered Mexico for His Catholic Majesty, Charles V of Spain. In 1523 Cortez sent his chief lieutenant, Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer Guatemala, and this was accomplished in 1524. Thus Guatemala was discovered and cities were built therein almost 100 years before England started her colonies in America. New York' City was a hunting ground for the Indians when the first capital of Guatemala had been destroyed and the second capital had attained a population of over 100,000 persons. Prior to the Spanish conquest in 1523, all of Central America, part of Mexico, Columbia and Peru in South America were inhabited by a people, highly civilized and engaged in the pursuits of mining, agriculture, cotton weaving, sculpturing and building. They-had built large cities with immense buildings and temples, as well as permanent records in the form of monoliths with various hieroglyphics engraved upon the stones. Some of these cities for centuries before the Spanish conquest had acquired a population reaching into hundreds of thousands of people and their advancement and learning was equal to, if not superior, to any other civilization in the world at that time. There are great differences of opinion and many speculations as to the source from whence had come these people in Mexico, Central America p-d South America. There are efforts to prove that they migrated from Asia across Bering Strait and down the western shores of North America, but in view of the topography of the country and other reasons, this theory is doubted. Another theory advanced is that they came across from Asia when there was another continent or many islands existing in the Pacific ocean, which permitted them to drift eastward from Asia, but there are also many arguments and facts which oppose this theory. There is also the theory that these people were a part of evolution and originated and developed in this torrid zone where they were found and have been known to exist for at least 10,000 years and perhaps sev- r -' hundred thousand years. Thought to Be Mayan, The oldest of these civilizations is thought to be the Mayan, or Mayas, who occupied that part of Mexico now known as Yucatan, Guatemala, British Honduras, Salvador and the northern part of Spanish Honduras. Throughout all of this territory the scientists and archeologists from all over the world are now excavating and studying the ruins and monoliths which the people of this ancient civilization erected thousands of years ago. None of these ruins are upon or even approach the Pacific coast, but they are located in the eastern part of the territory and some are near and even reach the east coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Strait of Yucatan and the Caribbean Sea, which in itself would seem to indicate that these Mayan people did not follow down the Pacific coast. This Mayan civilization had developed a very thorough knowledge of agriculture, sculpture, art, textile weaving and they were most proficient in mathematics and as- 1 tronomy. While they had no tele-: scopes or astronomical instruments. { such as are known to the civilized | world of today, yet they had erected stone pillars and temples with such mathematical accuracy that by them they could determine the main astronomical events of the solar system. Developed Calendar. The archeologists have found that in the year 3373 B. C., these prehistoric people had developed a complete calendar based upon the movement of the sun and the solar system, Thia calendar waa so perfect that the archeologists can today correlate the Mayan calendar with our calendar of the present day. Under this calendar the month was divided into 20 days and there were 18 months in the year, making 360 days, and to account for the extra five days they had placed in their calendar five fast days which were also known as the additional short month. The year was called a Tun and every 20 year period was called a Katun and a period of 20 Katuns was called a Baktun, or cycle, which consisted of 144,000 days, and a period of 20 Baktuns was called a Pic- tun, or a Great Cycle, which represented seven thousand years. At Copan in Spanish Hondusas is a stela or monolith designated as Stela A, upon which appears the date inscribed representing about five million years. Whether this is a date that had passed or one projected into the future is not certain, but their mathematical achievement was auch that they could fixe the exact position of any day within any given period of time. At Quirigua in Guatemala, within less than 50 miles of the Caribbean Sea, the Carnegie Institute is at present engaged in excavating the Mayan ruins at this point. This work is in charge of Mr. Morris and from him most interesting information was obtained. Up to the present time, at this place, they have discovered sixteen monoliths, four altars and excavated one temple. Some of the monoliths are still standing; some had fallen and were completely buried. These ruins at Quirigua indicate that these people at this place were at the height of their civilization about the dawn of the Christian era. The largest monolith at Quirigua is 34 feet high, 5 feet wide and 4 feet thick, made entirely from one piece of stone and it is estimated that it took these Mayans in the neighborhood of 10 years to trans- port the stone from the point where it was quarried to where it was carved and erected. The entire surface is carved with faces and figures of human beings and gods. Inscribed In small squares are the dates and the hieroglyphics which have not yet been disciphcred. The ruins of the temple, to the ixtent to which they have been excavated, occupy a space more than 200 fe-st square, although not all occupied by the temple so far as yet discovered. It has many rooms and passages all of which are comparatively small. At this place the ruins cover at least 80 acres, but only 40 acres have been opened and the area may be much greater. 50.000 1'curs Old. The estimate of some of the archeologists is that these people may havo existed and their civilization started on this hemisphere 50,000 years ago and perhaps 100,000 years ago. The theory of some of these men is that these people developed in the torrid zone of Central America and northern South America and that they were independent ot any other civilization or people. How they came there is not so important as the fact that they were there and left the Imprint of a civilization which reached a very advanced stage perhaps 10,000 years ago. if not longer. These ancient people made extensive use of stucco, plaster and cement. They carved in stone without the use of metal tools and carved In stone long before they carved In wood. They usually built their buildings upon artificial mounds which were faced on all sides with stone, which was clone to give the effect of height as well as to raise the build- Ings above flood waters. Mr. Verril In his work, "Old Civilizations of the New World," says: "While the Mayas never equalled the Peruvians In their engineering feats or the cyclopcon dimensions of their architecture, yet no other American race, nor for that matter any race, ever approached them in the complexity, the extent and the peculiarity of their stone sculptures. The temple at Palenque in Chiapas is perhaps the finest example of prehistoric architecture in the entire world, and yet this Is but one of 18 magnificent palaces and temples GUNMAN CAPTURED Uuhvig "IJiilch" Schmidt (above), notorious gunman long sought as u Touhy gangster in connection with the $70,00(1 John Factor Uiilnaiilng and other crimes, was captured In Chicago. (Associated 1" r c s s Vhoto). and 20 other enormous buildings in this mysterious ancient city that was discovered by Calderon in 1774." Back to 3373 I!. C. In the History of the Maya by Thomas Gann of the British mu- sucm and Erich Thompson of the Chicago Field museum, it is stated: "Maya chronology started from a certain day falling in the year 3373 B, C., according to Spiudcn's correlation." Recently in excavating 1 at Quirigua, Mr. Morris uncovered seven knives made entirely of flint which were a.s smooth and perfect as if made of steel. Three of these knivcr were IS inches long and in perfect condition although buried for an immense number of years. These arc supposed to be sacrificial knives and yet it Is a question as to how much of the Mayas offered human sacrifice, but at any rate they did not use human sacrifices to the extent that they were used by the Aztecs and the lucas. However, it Is assumed that the Mayas at the spring: festival cast living virgins into the sacred well at Chichen-Itza as a sacrifice to the Rain God, Chac-Mool, at the same time vast quantities of the most highly prized and valuable possessions ot the people were cust into the well as offerings to the god. The maidens destined for the ceremony folt proud of being chosen by the priest for the sacrifice and it was tlie highest honor that could be bestowed upon a virgin. They vied with one another for the honor and were as keen in their competition, as our modern girls in a beauty contest. Within recent years divers have descended into this well and have recovered priceless specimens of Mayan art and handicraft, golden and jeweled ornaments, weapons and found human bones. Much of the carving in stone wag done long before the Mayans discovered or learned the use of metal tools. Later in their development they became proficient in working in gold and silver and particularly in the carving of jade and other precious stones which were found in the river beds and the mountains of the country. Thia high civilization had begun to decay many centuries before the advent of the European. For some unaccountable reason many of their cities were abandoned and they moved to new territory. The sciences and arts of the old Mayan civilization had, to a considerable (legreo. disappeared, but they still retained their knowledge of agriculture and textile weaving. There was an ancient prophecy in the Mayan mythology that at the end of the thirteenth age, white men would arrive from over the sea and would subjugate the race. It IB believed that for many years theae natives had been expecting such an arrival and regarded the coming oC the Spaniards as foreordained and accepted the white men as semi-divine, rather than simply as con- qiwrors. lit. 1931, H. J, Bcrnoldi Tobiceo C , NEED HEALTHY NERVES, 'TOO, MR. CECIL SMITH, WITH A THRIVING FAMILY TO LOOK OUT FOR Robert E. Butterfield, Jr., who has two thriving youngsters, says: A father's job gives a fellow plenty of experience with nerve strain, too ! Providing: for the children keeps you keyed up to concert pitch. Then -coming home from work, with Dick insisting on movies --Bob's eternal tap dancing --that's the zero hour for a father's nerves! Although I smoke all I want, jangled nerves have passed me by. That's because I smoke Camels. Camels have die fine flavor of the choicest, most expensive tobaccos. And I find they never upset my nerves." Cecil Smith, who rose to the top of tho polo world this year with a ten-goal rating, soys: "Polo makes continuous demands on your nervous system. A fraction of a second determines whether or not you can successfully ride your opponent out of a play and a fraction of an inch in your aim may mean a goal--made or missed ! Most polo players, myself included, smoke agrcat deal. And most polo players, myself included again, prefer to smoke Camels. They are milder. I like their flavor and they never upset my nerves.* 1 How Are YOUR Nerves? ~ 1 most r brand. any And Network

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