[My polarizing filter was working overtime. Sorry about that.]
The Mineral de Pozos site to which I linked you in the prior entry in turn provides a link to a 2004 travel article in The New York Times entitled Treasures of an Old Mining Town . Richard Coulson, the author of that article, encountered the same problem that I have. There is nothing to read, nothing to speak of that is, that sheds real light on these mining operations around Pozos. You can only speculate on the function of the many obviously highly specialized structures there. As he says, you are reduced to only “the pleasure of ruins.”
We know that from 1574 until about 1660 the silver and some gold was mined in a primitive fashion using Indian labor, as he says. Then the operation was “modernized,” so to speak. Mexican history partakes of race, but the dynamic was different here because slaves were not brought to Mexico from Africa in any significant numbers. Rather, Indian labor was exploited by the Spaniards during the 300 years from The Conquest until Independence in 1810.
So what is Mr. Coulson referring to when he speaks of primitive mining techniques using Indian labor? I have done other reading concerning Spanish mining operations generally in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, as Mexico was known then. One technique was to drop Indians down those mine shafts and leave them there. Food would then be lowered down to them as long as they sent ore back up. If no ore came up, no food went down. Many of those Indians then spent the rest of their short lives at the bottom of these shafts.
I dislike the photo loading function here and floundered at first doing it differently. There is a better way. You should be able to view the photos now in a larger format when you right click and open them up. I fixed the ones in the previous entry, also.
We will visit that complex that I mentioned to you at the end of the previous entry. Just providing a little sketchy history here first.