Fair Gods and Stone Faces Author:Constance Irwin When Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico City in 1519 he was royally welcomed by Montezuma. The Indians believed Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, their fair, bearded god who, years before, had disappeared, promising to return. It has since been a mystery how a dark-skinned, beardless people, supposedly isolated from the ancient world since the dawn of time,... more » should worship a fair-skinned, bearded deity.
This fascinating piece of archaeological detective work sets forth a new and provocative theory on the origin of Mexican and Central and South American civilizations: These Indian cultures, the author suggests, did not spring up independently but as a result of pre-Columbian transatlantic contact between the Old World and the New. The legend of Quetzalcoatl was cherished by the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas, and, more importantly, by earlier peoples from whom these more publicized latecomers drew much of their culture. Where the legend once flourished, archaeologists have unearthed colossal stone negroid heads; reliefs depicting priests with semitic features; indications of snake, sun, and cat cults; and objects inscribed in a manner supposed to have been devised by the Mayas, but found by Carbon-14 tests to antedate the Maya epoch.
All these disparate elements were combined in one ancient civilization--the Phoenician. Did some of these seafaring people cross the Atlantic a millennium or two before Columbus, bringing with them a culture whose manifestations have baffled generations of scholars? Impeccably researched, written with verve and objectivity, illustrated with over 100 photographs, drawings, and maps, Fair Gods and Stone Faces is an exciting key to this intriguing riddle of the New World.« less