Romancing the Maya : Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination, 1820-1915
R. Tripp EvansISBN: 0292702477;
Book DescriptionDuring Mexico's first century of independence, European and American explorers rediscovered its pre-Hispanic past. Finding the jungle-covered ruins of lost cities and artifacts inscribed with unintelligible hieroglyphs--and having no ideaof the age, authorship, or purpose of these antiquities--amateur archaeologists, artists, photographers, and religious writers set about claiming Mexico's pre-Hispanic patrimony as a rightful part of the United States' cultural heritage. In this insightful work, Tripp Evans explores why nineteenth-century Americans felt entitled to appropriate Mexico's cultural heritage as the United States' own. He focuses in particular on five well-known figures--American writer and amateur archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens, British architect Frederick Catherwood, Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the French emigre photographers Desire Charnay and Augustus Le Plongeon. Setting these...
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