Friday, August 26, 2011

Additional Clues to the Land of Promise Location-Part II Still Other Matches: Irrigation

Besides the Land of Promise location matching scriptural clues as outlined in the last 19 posts, including clues that are not directly mentioned in the scriptural record such as circumcision covered in the last post, but implied by the nature of the Jewish culture from which the Nephites sprang, there is also the concept of irrigation.

It has always been the way of God’s people to turn a desert into a garden through their irrigation methods. Isaiah said that the “desert will bloom like a rose,” which is already being seen in the nation of Israel. When they returned to their land in 1948, it was a barren wasteland. Now Israel is a green oasis of prosperity and abundant agriculture.

Early Mormon Pioneers, led by Brigham Young, changed the desolate deserts of the valleys of the intermountain west into green, productive farmland. The construction of canal systems, which in the Lake Bonneville basin took advantage of existing shoreline benches on the edges of valleys to feed water to the former lake bottoms below, allowed mixed farming in mountain valleys which had formerly supported only sagebrush and grasses.

Before the Mormons came to the Utah Territory, it was totally desert, and there was a remark made by Jim Bridger that no one could possibly live in the Utah area. But the Mormons proved that they could live here by making the Salt Lake Valley "bloom like a rose."

As one prestigious anthropologist has stated: “One of the signatures of the beginning of civilization and complex society is intensive agriculture, where you have not only crops but also irrigation technology.”

And such important irrigation techniques have been found in abundance in the Andean area of South America dating well into B.C. times. There is historical and physical evidenced of sedentary communities that developed agriculture and irrigation within this area. There are evidences of numerous irrigation canals that show communal work as shown in Heather Whipps “Peruvian Canals Most Ancient in New World," and John Noble Wilford “Evidence Found for Canals That Watered Ancient Peru.”

According to the National Academy of sciences, Tom Dillehay, a distinguished professor of Anthropology and chair of the department at Vanderbilt University, along with Herbert Eling of the Instituto Naciona de Anthropolitica e Historia in Coahulila, Mexico, and Jack Rossen of Ithaca College, have found proof that irrigation was at the heart of the development of one of the earth’s first civilizations in the Peruvian Andes. These canals in Peru’s upper middle Zana Valley are considered to be the oldest in South America. A striking feature of the canals is that they are located on a very slight slope, indicating that their builders were able to engineer them to function hydraulically in a relatively sophisticated manner.

The Mochica occupied a 136-kilometer-long expanse of the coast from the Ro Moche Valley and reached its apogee toward the end of the first millennium A.D. They built an impressive irrigation system that transformed miles of barren desert into fertile and abundant fields capable of sustaining a population of over 50,000. The Mochica achieved a remarkable level of civilization, as witnessed by their highly sophisticated ceramic pottery, lofty pyramids, and clever metalwork.

The Nazca culture were able to tame the coastal desert by bringing water through underground aqueducts. They carved out vast geometric and animal figures on the desert floor, a series of symbols believed to form part of an agricultural calendar which even today baffles researchers.

Satellites have shown numerous patterns of contour forms of ancient irrigation in the Peruvian side of the altiplano. In fact, in all the Western Hemisphere, the area of Peru has the most ancient irrigation canals, which are the most sophisticated for the time--many so well done, they are still in use today.

1 comment:

  1. The Minoans taught the locals all about agriculture and irrigation.