Gold dazzled their eyes, bewildered their judgment, and inflamed their passions, at every point of their unrighteous contests. The swarms of desperate and adventurous priests, battening on the spoils of victory, were only content in the grossest luxuries, or in destroying, ‘for the sake of the holy religion,’ every vestige of antiquity which fell in their way. The manner in which this ‘holy zeal’ was carried out, and to which we shall hereafter allude, is revolting to reason, and sickening to humanity. This in the early history of Spanish discovery, or aggression, every nobler purpose was sacrificed by the clergy and the soldiery to their base idols, and every Christian virtue made subservient to wanton indulgence, or cruel bigotry. In view of this, it is not surprising that the singular ruins of ancient Mexican and Tultican cities should have had little attraction for the selfish and barbarous victors, or that many curious and antique relics should have disappeared before the superstitious frenzy of religious zealots. It is more than probable, that the monumental ruins of Chiapa, of Yucatan, and particularly those of the great Palenquan city of Yucatan, and particularly those of the great Palenquan city, were, in fact, unknown to the European invaders, and to their descendants, until about the time we have mentioned.
American Antiquities, 1837