Thursday, February 24, 2011

City of Bountiful in the Land of Bountiful, Part IV

Continuing with the last three posts regarding the possible location of the city of Bountiful in the northern Peruvian highlands, a discussion of the capital parts of the Peruvian agricultural lands has been shown. There is also the accompanying irrigation capabilities of these ancients who irrigated these northern highlands by bringing water down from higher watersheds as well as across from the Pacific to the Atlantic draining basins.

The area of Cumbe Mayo is located about 12 miles southwest of Cajamarca at an elevation of approximately 11,000 feet. The location is best known for the ruins of an ancient aqueduct stretching approximately five miles in length and thought to have been constructed around 1500 B.C. The name Cumbe Mayo may be Quechua “kumpi mayu,” meaning “well-made water channel.” There are a number of complex and unusual petroglyphs on the aqueduct and surrounding caverns.

In the area of these northern highlands sits the city of Cajamarca, its history covered in the last post. Adjacent to Cajamarca proper is the temple of Kuntur Wasi, a major site being excavated by Japanese archaeologists. This temple, shown in the last post, occupied a very significant area overlooking the surrounding valley and was decorated with some of the oldest samples of Cajamarca goldsmithing considered to be as old as the second millennium B.C. These ancient Peruvians built the imposing stairways and stone walls of a pyramidal structure with a square platform and temples on its top.

From around the 7th to the 2nd centuries BC, representatives of the Cupisnique coastal culture settled in the area, with ceramic ware, goldsmith work, sculpture and architecture that of the Chavin culture. Nearby is "Las Ventanillas de Otuzco" (the Little Windows of Otuzco), an impressive collection of funerary niches carved into the rock wall of a mountain; some of the orifices are mere niches, while others connect with a corridor leading to the heart of the mountain, where there is a room with more niches carved into the walls—other similar groupings exist in Bambamarca, Quilcate, San Cristobal, Cerro Yanguil and Combayo—their remains of ceramics indicate that they belonged to the Cajamarca culture.

Researches believe that due to their similarity there is a connection between the unique and particularly beautiful ceramics of Cajamarca and those of Central America, and especially those of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Should this site prove to be the city of Bountiful within the Land of Bountiful of the Land of Promise, it matches several facets of Mormon’s descriptions. Cajamarca is at the end of a long series of valleys stretching from south of Lima (Pachacamac) all the way north to the Bay of Guayaquil (narrow neck of land), with a corridor toward the west that slopes down to the ocean. There is a magnificent temple site in an imposing area, and numerous advantages to the locale, such as excellent soils for agriculture, elevated ground to the east where the seashore once was located, extension to the west to the seashore, just south of where the land narrows considerably, a very ancient inhabitation, and numerous settlements in the area that supported a large population in B.C. and early A.D. times. It has always been an important city and region throughout the history of the Andean area, extensive gold and silver work has been found in the area, and there is a natural division line to the east which would have contained a separate land such as Mulek.

The plain to the east of Cajamarca. Like the Plain between Mulek and the city of Bountiful, there is a low hill (arrow) beyond which would have been the high ground leading down to the east seashore that Teamcum descended

The entire area has been occupied since the first millennium B.C. and considered one of the most sacred areas by several civilizations, from the Chavin to the Inca eras.

Cajamarca today is a large city of 135,000 in a very desirable fertile valley

While there is not enough descriptive information in the scriptural record to definitely say that Cajamarca is the city of Bountiful, it seems to be the most likely fit because of its location and the several matches suggested in these last two posts.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen some of the irrigation channels that the ancient Peruvians dug, and as said above, out of solid rock, to bring water down from higher levels and irrigate their many terraced planting levels. Certainly the Inca never achieved anything like that. Some are so old, they predate most of the ancient cities.