PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plate of Mayan heiroglyphics, origional hand colouring, from Humboldt "Researches concerning the institutions and monuments of the Ancient Americans" translated H. Williams, Published Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme etc. Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) spent five years travelling and studying South America from 1799. Humboldt and his fellow geographer, Frenchman Aime Bonpland studied geology, climate, topography and biology, as well as the human culture and archaeology (for which he is less well known). He considered a holistic view of everything was necessary to understand anything. The book Kosmos he produced in old age would exemplify that fact.
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