National Geographic : 1951 Dec
© National Geographic Society 816 Kodachromnes by Justin Locke S Huehueteotl, Old God of Fire, Wears an Incense Burner as a Hat Some 5,000 Indian ruins exist in Mexico; most of them remain unexplored. Many living villages sit on ancient settlements. Pre-Cortesian man attained a high civilization. He invented picture writing; told time by the stars; mastered metalworking, sculpture, and gardening. Though lacking draft animals, he erected pyramids as impressive as Egypt's. Many Mexican archeological treasures were brought to light by the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution, cooperating in nine expeditions. These prizes included colossal stone heads, thousands of pieces of jade, and the New World's earliest dated work of man. Dr. Matthew Stirling, leader of the expeditions, discovered Hue hueteotl in 1941 at Cerro de las Mesas, Veracruz. Here, wrinkled, hunchbacked, leering, and almost toothless, the god stands in Mexico's National Museum. Buried for centuries, he re tains traces of his original coloration on earplugs, brow piece, and copal-burning incensario. - <Francisco Zuiiiga, embellishing a Greek and Roman idea with Maya features, carves the Siesta of a Faun at Mexico City's School of Paint ing and Sculpture.