Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Andean Peru is Not a Theory-Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts regarding the difference in Andean Peru from all the theories regarding the placement of the Land of Promise proposed by various theorists, and the explanation of the “facts” behind this understanding, as opposed to other’s “theories.” 
    Speculation: Another speculation to a theory of crossing the Atlantic to settle in North America following the rounding Africa and reaching the Atlantic, Lehi sailed across to the Gulf of Mexico and landed along the delta of the Mississippi at New Orleans, and from their traveled northward on foot to the Heartland, or to the Great Lakes area—a latter a distance of more than 1100 miles (across 6 states) to the area of Lake Erie (their West Sea), and an unlikely event for Lehi and Sarai at their age, which Nephi describes them as being quite old (1 Nephi 18:18) at the time of landing. Or, from New Orleans, they are claimed to have sailed northward  to the heartland, area around St. Louis (a distance of 675 miles), or up the Mississippi and inland waterways to the Great Lakes area (a distance of 1150 miles). 
Paddlewheelers, flat-bottomed packet boats or rafts could move along the Mississippi River, but no ocean vessel, even today, can move north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because of the extreme shallows
    Fact: The same problem exists with attempting to round the Cape as stated in the last post, plus the Mississippi River like the St. Lawrence, was plagued with rapids and shallow depths. The rapids at Baton Rouge (90 miles upriver from New Orleans) kept any vessel other than flat-bottom, shallow-draft paddlewheelers from sailing further northward, and only canoes, rafts, or flat bottomed keep boats could drift down in the opposite direction. Even today, Baton Rouge is the farthest inland port on the Mississippi River that can accommodate ocean-going tankers and cargo carriers. The ships transfer their cargo (grain, crude, cars, containers) at Baton Rouge onto rails and pipelines (to travel east-west) or barges (to travel north). Deep-draft vessels cannot pass the Old Huey Long Bridge the river depth decreases significantly just to the north, near Port Hudson.
North of this bridge the Mississippi becomes quite shallow, limiting movement upriver of cargo to barges and small rafts towed or pushed by tugs
   For those who write that the mouth of the Mississippi River was the landing site of Lehi and the Land of First Inheritance, might want to consider that it is 810 miles from Port Hudson on the Mississippi to the Heartland area of Nauvoo, Illinois; or, it is 522 miles from port Hudson on the Mississippi to Ciaro, Illinois, and the Ohio River confluence with the Mississippi, and another 596 miles from Cairo to Cleveland on the southern end of Lake Erie. That would have been more than 1000 mile trek from that landing site to the area of the West Sea along which both the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla bordered. Again, neither are likely scenarios for placing the Nephites anywhere along the Heartland, or Great Lakes area.
    Speculation: Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mesoamerica at 140 miles across was the narrow neck of land.
    Fact: It took a Nephite a day-and-a-half journey to cross the narrow neck of land (Alma 22:32).
The tropical coast of Chiapas and Guatemala would be a difficult place for Lehi to land, for them to set up their tents, and impossible for them to grow their seeds they brought from Jerusalem, which is a Mediterranean Climate (like Southern California)
    Speculation: The narrow neck of land is the Batavia moraine in the Great Lakes.
    Fact: The narrow neck of land was a division between two major land masses, the Land Northward and the Land Southward. As Mormon put it the narrow neck was “on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32). The Batavia Moraine is a very narrow ridge, running across what anciently was the Lake Tonawanda, a ridge that could be crossed in a few minutes.
    Speculation: The narrow neck of land and pass between the Land Northward and the Land Southward stretched from the east (not sea) to the west sea, thus the distance could have been much further than a day-and-a-half distance.
    Fact: The narrow passage, which ran through the narrow neck of land, that connected the land Southward to the Land Northward, led “by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east” (Alma 50:34).
    Speculation: Lehi landed along the jungle coast of Guatemala or El Salvador.
    Fact: Lehi landed in an area where the climate was conducive to growing the seeds brought from Jerusalem, which has a Mediterranean Climate. Jungle tropical climates (Mesoamerica) do not naturally grow wheat, barley, and corn. The only Mediterranean Climates in the entire Western Hemisphere are located along the eastern Pacific coast, one in Coquimbo (La Serena) Chile, and the other in Southern California.
Seeds grown in and brought from Jerusalem would have to have been planted in a like climate in 600 B.C., millennia before modern agricultural technologies were established (even today seeds are recommended for growth in an area where they were original grown for best results, and so listed on the seed packet). In Lehi’s time, seeds grew in a like or similar environment and that would have restricted the location of Lehi’s landing to one of two spots in the Americas.
    Speculation: The tapir and sloth of Mesomaerica were the two unknown animals of the Jaredites.
    Fact: “And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms” (Ether 9:19).
The Tapir (similar to a pig) and Sloth (related to and somewhat like Anteaters have very little use for man, only a few societies eat their meat, and the hides can be used for making clothes, but few peoples outside of southeast Asia make use of these animals.
    It is a fact that the only two animals in the Western Hemisphere that match the description given for the cureloms and cumoms are the beasts of burden in Andean South America, the llama and alpaca, and their wild ancestors, the guanaco and vicuña. These two animals have provided the indigenous peoples of the region as far back as Jaredite times enormous value, both as beasts of burden, and for domestic use as meat, fiber, dairy products, pack animals, pets, watch dogs for flocks, leather, clothing, rugs, wall-hangings, and wool that has numerous uses. In fact, today’s monetary value for a single alpaca is between $8,500 and $25,000, and a breeding age female could be sold for between $15,000 and $25,000.
    Speculation: The final Jaredite wars all took place in the land northward within a territory small enough that Ether could observe most of the action while moving about only short distances from his cave base.
    Fact: Whether or not Ether viewed all of the happenings from his cave is not known. What distance the war covered is also not known, but it did range from the east seashore (Ether 14:26), to an inland valley (Ether 14:28), to Ripliancum in the far north (Ether 15:8), to the hill Cumorah (Ether 15:11), and somewhere in the course of this extended battle two million men were killed plus their wives and children (Ether 15:2). It is not realistic or logical to think that all this took place within the view of a cave’s opening.
(See the next post, “Andean Peru is Not a Theory-Part V,” for the final installment on the fact that Peru is not a theory, but a reality based upon the scriptural record and not some hypothesis, opinion, or belief.)

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