Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/92

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
lxii
INTRODUCTION.

germinating calabash as part of the name of their country, remains to be explained.

If we examine the map of the lands back of the peninsula, it will not be difficult to discover the idea uppermost in the mind of the draughtsman at the time of composing the symbol; and to see that he was as thoroughly acquainted with the geography of the interior and the western shores of those parts of the continent, as with the configuration of its eastern coasts; also that their geological formation was no mystery to him.

By comparing this symbol symbol (calabash) with the shape of the countries immediately south of the peninsula, notwithstanding the changes that are continually taking place in the contour of the coast lines, particularly at the mouth of rivers, [1]

Yucatan and surroundings with schematic symbol of calabash

by the action of currents, etc. , we cannot fail to recognize that the hierogrammatist assumed it to be the sprout of a calabash, the body of which was represented by the lands comprised within the segment of a circle having for radius the half of a line, parallel to the eastern and western shores of the peninsula, starting from Point Lagartos, on the northern coast of Yucatan, drawn across the country to the shore of the Pacific Ocean on the south. For if, from the middle of said line as centre, we describe a circumference, part of it will follow exactly the bent of the coast line of said ocean, opposite the northern shore of the peninsula; another part will cross the

  1. Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, vol. i., chap, iii., p. 252.