Antique Gems and Rings

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    Saggistica, Scienze sociali

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Aztec Lapidary Skill — A very common ornament in the Ometepec (nicaragua) graves is a string of beads, sometimes of chalcedony, and sometimes of lava. The piercing of the latter is wonderful. Many of the beads are an inch in length, ringed all over, and pierced with a hole as fine as ordinary thread. The whole head is no thicker than twine, and most brittle. Had we not seen such wonders before, we never could have deemed such fine work possible without tools of metal. The chalcedony beads are very much larger; they are handsomely rounded and polished, and the hole is carefully bored. Ten to fifteen formed a necklace or bracelet, from which we may conclude, either that they were only worn by children, or else that feathers or other perishable ornaments were interspersed. (boyle's Ride Across a Continent, ii. Aztec Sculpture, executed without metal tools — Boyle found upon Mount Mombacho, near Grenada, many monumental portrait statues, life-size, executed with great fidelity to nature, and carved out of basalt, a material which, even in the ancient world, was only attempted by the Egyptians. He figures specimens which perfectly bear out his description and praise in his Ride Across a Continent, ii. P. 43.

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