Friday, April 15, 2016

More Comments From Readers – Part V

Here are some additional comments and questions from readers of this blog:
    Comment #1: You say "to a professional who works with these ores, it is common practice to combine precious metals and list them separately from non-precious metals when found in a single ore." My response: to a professional when? Now? What about to Nephi in 600BC? Is that indeed the convention he adhered to? 
Response: There are numerous books and works about metal ores from antiquity onward. They all refer to gold and silver and (later) added platinum as precious ores. Copper is not a precious ore and has never been so listed. From as early as we have anything recorded, including the Bible, gold and silver were separated from copper, brass (product) lead, zinc, etc. Gold and silver to a metalsmith has always been “precious” (or valuable) because of the cost and the desire of people to wear it to show off their wealth, etc. I think we are barking up a dead tree on this one.
    Comment #2: “I just read an article on the internet that stated that “The Inca emperor Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (or Pachakutiq) , the ninth Sapa Inca (Great Inca) of the Kingdom of Cuzco, started construction in the mid-15th century and it took the best part of a hundred years to complete.  When the conquistadors arrived, it was freshly constructed.” What do you think regarding your stand on it being much older?” David T.
    Response: The article you read was evidently the one on “The Temple Trail,” written by Tom Billings, who refers to the article as a solely and completely researched and written article by Tom Billinge. He refers to himself as a culturally focused writer who has visited over 30 countries in search of temples, food and social insights, and has an educational background in archaeology and has been a passionate traveler and educator for a number of years.”
    While we can’t speak to his other travels and world-wide locations he writes about, in regard to your specific question, two points need to be considered.
1. The Spanish soldier and chronicler Garvcilaso de la Vega known as El Inca, who was born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa at Cuzco in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru and lived there until he was 21. Born in 1539 (two years after the Spanish conquered Cuzco), he writes about playing in the Sacsahuaman fortress and some of its labyrinthine rooms and tunnels beneath when he was a child, and lived with his mother, an Incan Princess, and her family for the first ten years of his life. If the Inca had just finished Sacsahuaman 10 to 12 years before this time, certainly Garcilaso, who had the ear and heart of the Inca royalty, would have known this—but in his history of Peru, he writes that he had no clue as to how Sacsahuaman had been built or when. As one historian has written: “Surely a few of those 20,000 laborers were still around when Garcilaso was young. Was everyone struck with amnesia? Or is Sacsahuaman much older than we've been led to believe?”
2. When the Spanish asked the Inca after the conquest who built Sacsahuaman, they answered that they did not know who built it or when. The closest any ever came to any kind of answer is when the Inca told them with a shrug of the shoulders that Sacsahuaman had been built by “giants.”
    If you were to look at the dates and all that was involved, sheer common sense would tell you that Sacsahuaman could not have been built by the Inca, who officially only existed from about 1432 onward. Before that, they were a very small ayulla (community) of farmers who moved into the Cuzco area from the south and would not have had the manpower, time, or reason to build anything like Sacsahuaman or the roads or other buildings to which they are given credit.
    Comment #3: “I understand that the Inca were very big on education, especially of their children. Is that true?” Gerry W.
    Response: According to Fray Martin de Murua, a missionary in Peru, education in the Inca empire was instituted in schools for children called Yachaywasi or "Houses of Knowledge" in Cuzco. Students, however, were not random, but were only those of the Inca nobility, the future rulers, who learned the Quechua language, moral standards, religious and government tenets, math, science, history, medicine, religious philosophy and cosmological ideas of the earth and the universe. The original Yachaywasi construction and inauguration is credited to Inca Roca. More schools were built as the empire grew, and were the centers of teaching the primary ideologies, histories and philosophies of the empire.
The teachers, called amautas (named after an extremely wise culture of the same name, that existed in very ancient Peru, who maintained this knowledge through an oral tradition and passed it on to future generations. In Inca times, amautas meant “master”or “wise,” and was strictly a title—it’s origin has been lost to history, though the Amautas culture or people flourished before 800 A.D. according to Hiram Bingham (Inca Land, Explortons in the Highlands of Peru, Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge Press, Yale University, 1922, p306). 
    It is believed that the Amautas had ruled for sixty generations, until disappearing before 800 A.D., driven out “by invaders from the south because they were too few and not strong enough to oppose their enemies successfully” (p307). “The effects of this may still be seen in the ruins of small fortresses found guarding the way into isolated Andean valleys.”
    It is also claimed that when the Inca came to power in Cuzco, they had claimed it was the “naval of the world” because of it being a sacred site dating back to the time of the Amautas, and where they had anciently reigned.
    Comment #4: “I have never heard a reasonable explanation as to why Zeniff wanted to return to the City of Nephi since he, or his parents, were driven out more or less by the approaching Lamanites and/or the sinful practices of the Nephites that caused the Lord to have Mosiah leave. I have never been able to justify in my mind why so many people would want to go back to that environment and threatening location, especially since it was then overrun by the Lamanites” Harmony T.
When Zeniff returned to the city of Nephi, he worked out a treaty with the Lamanite king who agreed to leave the city and that of Shilom and allow the Nephites to reoccupy them 
   Response: A very good question. On the surface, it seems to make little sense at all. But there has been presented the possibility that the climate differences of the two locations might have been the reason. The City of Nephi was located in the area of present-day Cuzco, a high elevation valley among two ranges of the Andes, as well as a cross range, making the area much cooler than the heat of the coastal area where Zarahamla was located (in the vicinity of Pachacamac, about 20 miles southeast of Lima, Peru). It is possible that this change in climate, from leaving the city of Nephi to going down to the hot and humid coastal area, which is basically a desert where little rain falls and the temperatures are much higher. Evidently, Zeniff and those who went with him, desired to return to the higher mountain valley where it was much cooler, where running water was plentiful, not to mention paved streets, stone houses, rich agricultural fields, planted terraces, and a more agreeable climate. I suppose it might be like saying that the early pioneers preferred the difference between St. George heat and the preferable cooler air of the much higher Cedar City.


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