"On June 17, 1771, he was inspecting some boxes that had come to him from Peru. These boxes contained the remains of a body, with a headdress that was still intact, a delicately carved wooden baston, a feather fan, golden ear spools, and a number of effigy vessels with graphically pictures.-William Robertson, a historian who was writing a book entitled The History of America in 1792, described these cultures.
One has to project oneself into the thought of those times to appreciate the impact all this had on the mind of Charles III. It is a demonstrable fact that, up to this time, so far as Europe was concerned, the great American cultures- Aztec, Maya, Inca,- had effectively blotted out from human memory…. The early excitement that attended the conquests of Cortes in Mexico, Montejo in Yucatan, and Pizarro in Peru had almost been forgotten; the mass of gold and silver ornaments yielded by these conquests had long since been melted down and was circulating in the coinage of Europe.
"Neither the Mexicans nor the Peruvians were entitled to rank with those nations which merit the name of civilized…. As for the reported palaces, these were more fit to be the habitation of people just emerging from barbarity… moreover they convey no high idea of the progress in art and ingenuity".
"excavations of Inca towns, where the ruins can still be seen, impress one with the almost 'American' aspect of the general plan…big square, a checkerboard pattern of streets, and large blocks of buildings enclosed, on the coast at least, with walls."
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