Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cajamarca: The City of Bountiful – Part II

Continuing from the last post regarding Cajamarca, the Nephite city of Bountiful. 
The city of Cajamarca sets in a bowl surrounded by tall hills. Note the green cup area to the east and south of the city. Yellow Arrow shows the entrance road along the Cajamarca River cut through the hills
    According to A. Hyatt Verrill and Ruth Verrill, the city of Cajamarca was built as a gigantic circular fortress, its buildings being constructed of cut pink granite highly polished as if to give the effect of a large mirror (America’s Ancient Civilizations, Putnam, 1953, p166). The city, claimed by archaeologists to have been first settled by the Chavin and the Cupisnique, or their precedecessors (Huacaloma, Layzón, Cumbe Mayo and Otuzco), who had proceeded the Sicán, Chimú, and Chachapoyas.
    Today there are dozens of ruins in the valley and northern Peru, such as Chavín de Huántar, one of Peru’s oldest ruins dating to about 1000 B.C.; Huaca de la Luna y del Sol (temples of the Moon and Sun), as well as Chan Chan in Trujillo, built by the Moche culture or their predecessors; and also Cumbe Mayo (Cajamarca), meaning “thin river” because of the many aqueducts that were cut some five miles southwest of Cajamarca at an elevation of 11,480 feet above sea level, beginning at the foot of the Cerro Santa Apolonia hill.
The famed anciently-carved seat in the rock on the top of Apolonia hill over looking the city of Cajamarca
    The rugged highway road into Cajamarca, later to be cursed by the cavalry and extolled by the infantry of the Spanish invaders, who wrote of it: ”the road led past perilous chasms and over the thread-like swinging bridges, with those crossing reeling at the sight of the abysses beneath them, sometimes losing their packs in invisible depths, and making two leagues a day at most” (Sister Mary Alphonsus, St. Rose of Lima, B. Herder, London, 1968). Going over this road, sometimes in single file, and “climbing up and down the numberless steps that girdled the mountains and gazing giddily on the gorges below as they picked their way across the tenuous swinging bridges” until they reached Cajamarca, the thousand-acre fortress city, set like a coral bead on a bed of emerald green velvet at the foot of a terraced mountain, built in a circular form it was impregnable; yet there was no city wall though the outer walls were all windowless and the masonry finished so well that no foothold could be found. To enter the city, one had to pass through a narrow gate, which was the only break in the granite walls.
Numerous aqueducts were dug anciently to bring additional water to the valley to satisfy the extensive crops grown there. These channels were ingeniously cut into stone with angles to slow the movement of the water and not cause it to overflow and wash out the irrigation passages
    The city itself was built facing inwards from the circle embracing the city, the rear windowless walls being joined together to form a natural solid wall, and may be the reason no separate wall was built around the city, though Moroni did have a ditch dug around the city of Bountiful (Alma 53:3). With the hills behind and the city built facing away from the valley with windowless walls, and a ditch dug around the city in the front area facing the valley, it can be understood that this city “became an exceedingly stronghold ever after” (Alma 53:5).
    The land of Bountiful stretched northward from about Paramonga to Tumbes and the narrow neck of land; and it moved eastward from the Pacific Ocean to the Maranon river. The coastal lands along this region today are desert except for an occasional green section irrigated by a stream jetting down out of the Andes toward the sea. In the inter-Andean valleys of this land, green corn, squash, avocados and other kinds of food grow in profusion, and along the hills grows grass for grazing llama and alpaca herds—indeed, the harvest of this land is bountiful.
Northward the land consisted of orogenic uplifts in the mountains known as knots, canyons, and narrow valleys. Beyond this narrow neck lay the land called Desolation. It should be noted here that while most theorists and casual readers of the scriptural record consider this desolate area to be a place of bleak and dismal emptiness, a land bare of all growth and people, that is not at all the case. It’s meaning has to do with events that have transpired or taken place there.
    According to Abarim Publications and the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the Hebrew root-word שמם (shamem), which means “to be desolate,” is a place of destruction.
That is, "desolation caused by some great disaster, usually as result of divine judgment" (2 Samuel 13:20, Leviticus 26:22, Daniel 11:31, Ecclesiastes 7:16). As Mormon described it:
They did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land. And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate” (Helaman 3:5-6). This is also true of the Hebrew word chorbah, which literally means "ruins," but is often translated as “desolate,” and means “deserted of God.” 
    Thus, the Land of Desolation in the scriptural record could just as well be translated as “The Land where the Jaredites died or were destroyed.”
    However, not to lose sight of the land condition north of the city of Cajamarca, the terrain between the city and Loja, Ecuador, a distance of some two hundred miles, is such as to form a barrier against much movement from the land Southward into the Land Northward. In addition, south of the Bay of Guayaquil, along the Peruvian coast, the land is a sandy waste, where rain falls on only very rare occasions, which shows why the Jaredites did not venture into the Land Southward to expand the southern border of their land. 
    It would have been along this coast that Hagoth buil his shipyard. As Mormon so succinctly stated: “Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward” (Alma 63:5). It is most likely this shipyard would have been on the Tumbes delta along the southwestern shore of the Gulf of Guayaquil where the waters would be calmer and not impacted by the sea’s current.
The Jambeli Canal into the Gulf of Guayaquil between Puno Island and the Ecuadorian coast where it passes the Jambeli Archipelago. The numerous small islands would be a perfect place for an ancient shipyard
    The perfect spot would be within the entrance to the Jambelí Canal along the eastern end of the 186-square mile archipelago fluvial—a intricate maze of mangrove-lined distributary channel system of canals and waterways that work their way through a complex of small, mostly mangrove-filled islets which form the Archipelago. Swampy mangrove forests surround nineteen volcanic islands and numerous islets and reefs, with the main Jambelí channel sixty-five feet deep, and side channels through the archipelago running more than 20-feet deep. The cold current of the Humboldt from the Peruvian coast, modifies the climate and temperature of the waters surrounding the islands, providing a pleasant breeze that cools off the heat.
    As for the building supplies for ships, the Mangrove is hard and strong and considered a timber tree and is used for boat building. In fact, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, “Mangroves have been exploited for timber for building dwellings and boats and fuel-wood for cooking and heating. Palm species are used, especially in Southeast Asia and Brazil, to construct jetties and other submerged structures because they are resistant to rot and to attack by fungi and borers.” The black Mangrove is commonly found throughout the Archipelago as well as red Mangroves. No better place to build a shipyard could be found anywhere with unlimited amount of trees for construction growing all around Hagoth’s shipyard, with rapid growth, good regeneration potential, especially from intensive logging, and can grow to large sizes, as tall as 130 feet.

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