Reaching back into the mysterious fog of prehistory and ending with the arrival of Columbus’ exploratory expedition in 1492, the Pre-Columbian era is an important and fascinating era of world history.
The indigenous civilizations of modern Central and South America had manuscript cultures of their own that were quite different from those of the Europeans who happened to stumble across their shores. These manuscripts were often many meters long, folded according to the Leporello principle and embellished with enigmatic characters. Unfortunately, most of the manuscripts of the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas, and other peoples were consumed in the fires of the Spanish Inquisition, burned by zealous clerics seeking to stamp out native paganism.
Nevertheless, a precious selection of illuminated manuscripts has preserved the history, religion, culture, and customs of various Pre-Columbian peoples, which are counted among the rarest and most coveted historical artifacts in the world.