Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pachacamac: The Larger Zarahemla Capital – Part IV

Continuing from the previous post regarding the larger area of Zarahemla, that would have been required as the Nephites grew in number between about 100 B.C. and 300 A.D. 
    Thus we find from the previous post that the numbers of the Nephite Nation around 87 B.C., would have been somewhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, no doubt closer to the latter, for before the destruction of the crucifixion the more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked, yea, there were but few righteous men among them” (3 Nephi 7:7), yet we find after the crucifixion that “it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved” (3 Nephi 10:12).
Therefore, the numbers would have been quite low for their overall population entering into the more than two hundred years of prosperity, rapid growth, and few early deaths (none from war). Thus, by the time the Nephties entered the 4th century A.D., their numbers could have been about 1.6 million—the numbers that would equate to those mentioned of 230,000 fighting men at Cumorah, plus their surviving wives and children.
    Now 1.6 million would have caused the city of Zarahemla to be fairly large to house the government and a very large amount of people to live in that area. When archaeologists have suggested that population numbers of the average city in the Andean area during this time would have been about 3,000 people, that would give a population of 1.4 million living in about 400 different settlement cities plus 10 more of numbers around 10,000 each throughout the Land of Promise from the Land of Zarahemla northward to and including the Land Northward, leaving as many as 200,000 to live in and around the capital city of Zarahemla (Lima to Pachacamac), which is refered to as just Zarahemla in this blog. However, that Zarahemla, as shown in the last few posts, would have included about 10 different major settlement huacas in the Lima to Pachacamac area, plus several more smaller ones.
    The Nephites not only would have needed a city of some size to house themselves, who increased the number of Mulekites living in Zarahemla by 50%, but again we do not even know if there was a “City of Zarahemla,” at the time Mosiah arrived. It is interesting that the foundation of walls and buildings in Pachacamac had larger block stones, but that mudbrick was used to build on top of those stones.
Early building technique in the Lurin and Lima valleys at Pachacamac, where larger foundation stones are used, then mudbrick stacked on top to whatever height was desired
    Even if the City of Zarahemla had been started or built by the Mulekites, with a 50% increase in population, more city or living space would be urgently needed. Again, there are several sites up the coast within a handful of miles that were built around this same time, and rather than build with rock foundations as Pachacamac, which was similar with the style of foundation rock found in the Cuzco area and at Machu Picchu, these other sites used the bookshelf method from the ground up, suggesting a later style, matching the Nephite growth need in Zarahemla.
    About 125 years after Alma and Limhi reach Zarahemla, the city is destroyed by fire following the crucifixion (3 Nephi 8:8; 9:3) and was built again (4 Nephi 1:8), and 286 years later, Mormon arrives from the Land Northward with his father in the land of Zarahemla. We have no record of what took place in that 286 years, however, the amount of expansion would have been extensive, considering the peace and prosperity that attended the land, from the time of the Savior’s advent (3 Nephi 28:23). All the people were converted and there were no contentions or disputations among them (4 Nephi 1:2), and they had all things in common among them and their was continual peace in the land (4 Nephi 1:3). With continual peace through the years, they rebuilt their burned and destroyed cities (4 Nephi 1:7-9). There were no envyings, nor strife, nor whoredoms, nor murders among a people that could not have been happier (4 Nephi 1:16), and they were blessed in all their doings (4 Nephi 1:18).
    During all that time they were continually blessed by the Lord, and they were spread upon all the face of the land, having become exceedingly rich, living the United Order. Now during this time they would have been living normal lives, buying and selling, building ships and involved in shipping, building buildings, temples, synagogues, sanctuaries, cities and houses. They would have been building roads that went from place to place, city to city and land to land, and renewing those that had been destroyed.
Obviously, the various cities within the Zarahemla area would have been built up, restored, expanded and finished. Art would have flourished, brick walls plastered and frescoed, streets beautified walls and public buildings decorated with precious ores, and the keeping of records increased. Fields were planted and harvested, bringing abundant crops, food and goods distributed for there were no poor among them and they were all free (4 Nephi 1:3). 
    There would have been great expansion outward from Zarahemla, up the coast to the far north, the cities built earlier in the east renewed after the changers in the land levels, hills and mountains. New irrigation canals dug and older ones extended. In fact, archaeologists have found a total of fifty-four pre-Inca huacas within the Lima area alone, some dating to 4000 years ago, the vast majority today are surrounded by modern buildings and what has become known as Lima Sprawl, which already has obliterated scores of ancient ruins. Fifteen of these sites are in what is called northern Lima; 17 in downtown Lima; 19 in eastern Lima; and 6 in southern Lima, including Pachacamac—the other five are: Amatambo, Cardal, Golondrina (Tambo Inga), Manchay and Marcavilca.
Amatambo, as an example, was built anciently and situated on the lower slopes of the Morro Solar, a set of hills south of Lima on the way to Pachacamac
    The entire site of Amatambo stretches from the foothills of the sands known as San Genaro to the Salto del Fraile sector and included a small fishing port. In its center were a number of ceremonial and administrative buildings, along with the huacas Los Laureles, Marcavilca, Armatambo Cruz and San Pedro. The older buildings are of pyramidal shape with a single ramp. There were also large platforms, numerous deposits and various structures made of mud walls or adobones, parallel piped or rectangular adobes, walled and in turn separated by narrow alleyway streets. Some buildings had plastered walls with a layer of mud and decorated with colorful murals, which have not survived, though some reliefs on other walls can still be seen. According to information provided by the chroniclers, Armatambo was a "big village," and during later times, the head of the chiefdom Sulco (Furrow), one of many who were under the domination of Lordship Ichma. It was a center of great importance, being associated with the channel Surco, heading towards the city which watered the surroundings, with its population dedicated to agriculture and fisheries and in a lesser extent to crafts and trade.
    On the other hand, Manchay Alto, a temple complex in the Lurin Valley is said to be 3000 years old, taking it well back into the Zarahemla day of the Mulekites landing. This site, like those of other cultures in this period, had a large and grand pyramid topped by a temple,while on two sides were smaller pyramid structures, giving them the name of “U-shaped” temples.
A short distance northeast of Pachacamac lies the Huacas of Manchay Alto that was first built long before the Inca, before the Wari and long before the Lima, at a time called the Manchay Culture. Note the flat bricks laid in courses, similar to the bookseller style
    The Manchay culture was responsible for the wide, green valleys such as the Lurin, Rimac, Chillón and Chancay—it was they who first farmed the lower areas of these valleys, creating the fertile land with newly developed irrigation techniques. Yet, much like the Caral in the north, they faded from existence, leaving no reason of their passing.
    There is no question that the area surrounding Zarahemla (Pachacamac) grew in size to a considerable economic center stretching northward to Lima and surrounding area along the coast. Combined (which archaeologists never do, since they insist on separate cultures occupying areas), it would have been the largest singularly occupied city area in all of Andean Peru.

No comments:

Post a Comment