Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/30
inhabitants; and that its concomitant, civilization, grew apace with its development. When, at the impulse of the instinct of self-preservation, men linked themselves into clans, tribes, and nations, history was born, and with it a desire to commemorate the events of which it is composed. The art of drawing or writing was then invented. The incidents regarded as most worthy of being remembered and preserved for the knowledge of coming generations were carved on the most enduring material in their possession — stone. And so it is that we find to-day the cosmogonic and religious notions, the records of natural phenomena and predominant incidents in the history of their nation and that of their rulers, sculptured on the walls of the temples and palaces of the civilized Mayas, Chaldeans, and Egyptians, as on the sacred rocks and in the hallowed caves of primitive uncivilized man.
It is to the monumental inscriptions and to the books of the Mayas that we must turn if we wish to learn about the primeval traditions of mankind, the development of civilization, and the events that took place centuries before the dim myths recorded as occurrences at the beginning of our written history.
Historians when writing on the universal history of the race have never taken into consideration that of man in America, and the rôle that in remote ages American nations played on this world's stage, and the influence they exerted over the populations of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Still, as far as we can scan the long vista of the past centuries, the Mayas seem to have had direct and intimate communications with them.
This fact is indeed no new revelation, as proved by the universality of the name Maya, which seems to have been as well