Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/61

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51
AZTEC CIVILIZATION.

Spaniards, little other than the merest romance; not much more worthy, in fact, of respect and credence than the equally fascinating stories of "Sindbad the Sailor." And, in defense and warrant for such an unusual and perhaps unpopular conclusion, attention is asked to the following circumstances and reasons:

In the Museum of the city of Mexico there is probably the best collection of the remains of the so-called Aztec people that ever has or probably ever will be gathered. Here, ranged upon shelves and properly classified, the visitor will see a large number and variety of their tools, weapons, and implements. Setting aside their fictile or pottery products, they are all of stone—the same arrowheads, the same stone hatchets, pestles, and the like, which are still picked up on the fields and along the water-courses of New England, the South, and the West; and of which there are so many public and private collections in the United States—no better than, and in some respects inferior in artistic merit and finish to, many like articles excavated from the Western mounds, or known to have been the work of our historic Indians; or to the arrow-heads and lance-tips which are still fabricated by the Shoshones and Flatheads on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. In all this large collection there is no evidence, save a very few copper