Antiquities: Buried Treasure

To the Indians who flourished in Latin America before Columbus, gold was absolutely sacred. The Aztecs of Central Mexico called it "teocuit latl," (the excrement of the gods). The Incas of Peru thought of it as the "sweat of the sun." The metal was so plentiful and easy to work that the pre-Columbian Indians used it to make earrings, pendants, funerary masks, drinking vessels, furniture, and even entire artificial gardens. In fact, they used the gold they loved so much for practically everything but money; for that, they chose humbler commodities like...

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