London. 1887. xxxii,514pp. plus folding map, many engraved plates and in-text illustrations. Frontispiece portrait. Tall octavo. Contemporary gilt morocco. a.e.g. Some minor edge rubbing. Old English school-prize bookplate. Some tape repairs on verso of map, else near fine. Item #WRCAM19842
The English translation of Charnay's account of his travels and adventures in Mexico photographing ruins, in which he sets forth his theories regarding the Asiatic origins of Meso-American ruins. The author is best known for his massive photographic work, CITE ET RUINES AMERICAINES... (Paris, 1862-63), which established Charnay's place as an important early photographer of Meso-American ruins. Charnay is recognized as a transitional figure between the descriptive brand of archaeology of John Lloyd Stephens' INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN CENTRAL AMERICA (1843) and the later scientific approach to the study of Mexican ruins represented by Maudslay. However, it was Charnay's systematic approach to photographing the ruins, and his triumph over tremendous logistical problems, that now places him in the grand tradition of 19th-century expeditionary photography. The handsome folding map depicts Mexico and Central America. The many engravings depict scenes in Mexican towns and villages, local customs, and the marvelous ruins at Palenque, Mitla, Uxmal, Copan, Chichen- Itza, etc.