Print Archive Item
TitleHow the Indians Mined Silver at Potosí
DescriptionThe mountain shown here is probably the Cerro Rico, which stands above the city of Potosí and has the distinction of being the richest mountain in all the Americas. The Indians, who had a day and a night shift, hacked the ore out of the rock. They worked about a hundred and fifty fathoms down and carried the heavy ore out of the mountain by a series of double-sided ladders, made from ox-hide and poles, so the men could go down on one side and up on the other. They carried lights, tied to their thumbs and rested at intervals on ledges.
This is print is from the nine part series produced between 1590 and 1602 by Theodore de Bry entitled Historia Americae sive Novi Orbis, or the Grand Voyages. See his biography for more information.
30 cm H x 23 cm W
Exhibition LabelOne print from a nine part series by Johann Theodore de Bry entitled Historia Americae sive Novi Orbis, or Grand Voyages. This print illustrates how the silver was extracted from the Cerro Rico at Potosí ( Plate 3, from Part IX, published in 1602 with German Text).