Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/36

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degree of civilization reached by a people, and constitutes, therefore, an important factor in historical research; although it is as correct a test of race as is language, and more easily applied and understood, not being subject to changes, I have refrained from availing myself of it, in order not to increase the limits of the present work.

I reserve the teachings that may be gathered from the study of Maya monuments for a future occasion; restricting my observations now principally to the Memorial Hall at Chicħen, dedicated to the manes of Prince Coh by his sisterwife Queen Móo; and to the mausoleum, erected by her order, to contain his effigy and his cremated remains. In the first she caused to be painted, on the walls of the funeral chamber, the principal events of his and her life, just as the Egyptian kings had the events of their own lives painted on the walls of their tombs.

Language is admitted to be a most accurate guide in tracing the family relation of various peoples, even when inhabiting countries separated by vast extents of land or water. In the present instance, Maya, still spoken by thousands of human beings, and in which the inscriptions sculptured on the walls of the temples and palaces in the ruined cities of Yucatan are written, as are also the few books of the ancient Maya sages that have come to our hands, will be the thread of Ariadne that will guide us in following the tracks of the colonists from Mayach in their peregrinations. In every locality where their name is found, there also we meet with their language, their religious and cosmogonic notions, their traditions, customs, architecture, and a host of other indications of their presence and permanency, and of the influence they have exerted on the civilization of the aboriginal inhabitants.