In the fields, stream beds, limestone pits and lake bottoms of Mexico, Guatemala and British Honduras, archaeologists continue to reap a rich harvest of the New World's antiquity. There was a time when the artifacts, pottery, votive offerings and idols reclaimed from the soil were handed over to children as playthings or used as targets for Sunday pistol practice. But today archaeologists are alert to seize them as invaluable clues to mysterious, pre-Columbian cultures that send their roots back some 30 centuries. And art lovers now view them as art expressions of rare...

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