The earliest explorers to uncover the ancient Maya civilisation in Central America could not believe that it owed its creation to the indigenous population, whom they saw as incapable savages. Nigel Richardson explains how this view changed.
The Europeans and North Americans who ‘discovered’ the ruined Maya cities of Central America from the late 18th century onwards were not the first white men to wonder at these old stones. The soldiers and priests of the Spanish Conquest had stumbled on many sites before them.
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