Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Comments from Readers-Part II

Comment #1: “You seem to have settled on the idea that the Gulf of Guayasquil is the area that separated the Land Northward fro the Land Southward creating a narrow neck. Is there no other area where this neck could be? Potter thinks he found an area much further south in the Lurin Valley” Linc T. 
    Response: Potter’s area is not a location that actually separates one land from the other, nor is there anything about it that would have caused people at the time to thinik of it as a “narrow neck of land,” but rather a “narrow pass,” since it is not in a “narrow neck” at all. It is simply a pass through the mountains—an important one, but only one of many in Peru. Even the Spaniards called this area a narrow pass, and they were quite leery of moving by horseback through it since in some areas they had to dismount to continue and would have been much easier pray for the attacking Inca. Nor is there anything about crossing this area in a day and a half.
    Comment #2: “I read where the “great fortress” of Sacsahuaman might well have been the great tower mentioned in Mosiah built by king Noah” Rhys A.
    Response: That seems to have been Venice Priddis’ view as she wrote in her book The Book and the Map; however, the facts seem to suggest otherwise. First of all, when the Spanish arrived and saw the three zig-zag walls guarding the entrance to the temple structure complex atop the Sacsahuaman hill overlooking Cuzco, they gazed upon the fortified complex that had a wide view of the valley and called it a ciudadela, or citadel, which comes from the diminutive of città, from civitas, which interpreted means “a strong fortress, typically on high ground, protecting or dominating a city”—a perfect description of Sacsahuaman.
The outer walls of Sacsahuaman, the one time vast complex of fortress, temple and towers that once stood behind these walls overlooking the city of Cuzco below are now gone, dismantled by the Spanish
    The word citadel also relates to a stronghold or fortified place intended as a final point of defense and into which people could go for shelter during a battle. In ancient Spanish terms, it was the third part of a medieval castle, with higher walls than the rest. It was to be the last line of defense before the keep itself. In various countries, the citadels gained a specific name such as "Kremlin" in Russia or "Alcazaba" in the Iberian Peninsula. In European cities, the term "Citadel" and "City Castle" are often used interchangeably. As an example, the Haitian citadel, which is the largest citadel in the Western Hemisphere, is called Citadelle Laferrière or simply the 'Citadel' in English.
The three outer walls, built in a zig-zag pattern to provide the most coverage for defense once stood a third higher before the Spanish dismantled the smaller stones on top
    The construction of Sacsahuaman, which so impressed the Spanish conquerors, has a broken line called Chuquipampa, which faces the main plaza, and slopes, containing 25 angles and 60 walls. The biggest boulder of the first wall weighs around 70 tons and was brought in from the Sisicancha quarry, over two miles away, and where, to this day, you can still see rocks that were only transported part of the way. Each of these walls has 10 fronts; the most important ones are known as Rumipunco, Tiupunku, Achuanpunku and Viracocha Punku. It is considered as one of the best monuments to have been built by mankind on the earth’s surface. The wall, otherwise known as the rampart, is definitely the most impressive part of the structure and has been built from huge carved limestone boulders, many of which weigh over fifty tons, and were a third again as high when the Spanish arrived. The walls were torn down as much as the Spanish could and used for their own buildings, leaving what is now seen.
    While the Spanish thought the construction was the work of the devil, it is understood today that the stones were roughly cut to their approximate shapes at the quarry and were then dragged by rope to the construction site – something that could mean that hundreds of men would be pulling the stone to the site. Once at the site, the stones were carved into their final shape and laid in place.
Top: Aerial view of the placement of the round tower base; Bottom: The rock foundation of the tower, all that is left of the giant tower that once stood 60-feet high
    On the other hand, the tower, which since the Spanish period when they tore all three towers down, is seen only as a round rock base and for many years archaeologists thought it was simply a design for the so-called eye of the puma, rounding off the design of Cuzco. Not until the old chronicles were read showing it was a tower when the Spanish arrived and stood some 60-feet high made of rock and stone did it become apparent that towers once stood alongside the huge building complex that marked the top of the hill, which the Spanish, in their extreme superstitious frenzy, demolished as soon as they could.
    Comment #3: “If the Inca are the final tribal connection of the foregoing Lamanite tribes that fought one another in a civil war as Moroni describes, how exactly did they come to power and unite all the other tribes in the Andean area?” Shelley G.
    Response: Any answer here would be sheer guesswork, since we have no record of what took place begween 421 and 1438 A.D., when the Inca first made their mark in history. We do know there was a fierce Civil War among the Lamanites that went on for many years, according to Moroni, after 36 years of constant warfare, there was “no end in sight” at the close of his record. We have printed a poem written a century ago about those years of constant war, unease and deprivation, but again, that might just be fiction.
    We also can suggest that these tribes broke down into small groups that were highly suspicious of each other and were constantly at war with one another as was found when the Europeans reached North America. When the Spaniards landed in Mexico and Guatemala, and finally South America, the Aztec and the Inca had pretty much subjugated the majority of these tribes, and were involved in Empire building. We also know that many of the regions the Incas conquered in the fifteenth century, such as the vast Chimor kingdom in northern coastal Peru had themselves highly developed cultures with efficient governments and economies and advanced systems of agriculture, trade, and manufacturing.
    As for the Inca, who had always been noted for their sophistication in these areas, which was mainly due to the advanced state of development of the cultures the Incas brought into their empire, had accomplished an Empire that stretched for over 2500 miles along the coast to the lowland jungles.
As for how they did it, it is well known the Inca had a highly developed give-and-take philosophy about governing their empire: They generally allowed conquered territories to operate in the same way they had before conquest, as long as the people living there fulfilled certain requirements, particularly by providing extensive labor to the empire. Though the Incas imposed their religion on the conquered states, they also adopted the gods of the defeated people into the empire's pantheon, which are all of the gods that a particular group of people worship. They ensured that every farmer had enough land to farm, and they provided craftspeople with materials for their arts. But life for the peoples conquered by the Incas was far from free. In order to maintain control over such a vast area and over millions of people, the Incas created an incredibly complex administrative system. Officials representing the empire carefully managed the work of the conquered people, demanding the maximum amount of work out of every individual.


  1. Del, I guess I don't see how you excluded the tower of Noah from the tower that the Spanish found when they arrived in Cuzco from your #2 comment. The tower seems to be a perfect match since Cuzco was the City of Nephi where Noah and the priests lived. Of course it's only a guess at this point but it looks like a match to me. We won't know for sure until someone finds the plaque that says: Tower of Noah est 160BC. Ira

  2. Not certain if I understand your comment since at the end of comment #2 above the tower base is shown in the photo. After the final battle of the Inca rebellion of the 1570s, when the Inka jumped to his death from the tower it was torn down by the Spanish. This tower, first seen by the Spanish when they entered Cuzco, was described as made of stone, 60 feet high, round, with a roof and was situated next to the temple where Noah's tower was built. If I didn't make that clear, sorry. We've written about it many times in the past.

  3. The "however, the facts seem to suggest otherwise" seems to state that this 60 ft tower was not the Noah's tower and your comment down here seems to state that this tower was next to the temple that had Noah's tower as part of it? I'm not sure if that was the source of iterry's question, but it seems a bit confusing to me.

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  5. I took it, after a double read, that Priddis says the entire Sacsahuaman fortress was the tower, but since there was an actual tower on the fortress that the Spanish tore down, that for sure would be the tower spoken of in the Book of Mormon.

  6. I took it, after a double read, that Priddis says the entire Sacsahuaman fortress was the tower, but since there was an actual tower on the fortress that the Spanish tore down, that for sure would be the tower spoken of in the Book of Mormon.

  7. ERichard. That was how I took the comment, also. Priddis seems to state that the entire Sacsahuaman fortress was the tower, at least that's how I read it. According to the conquering Spanish, Garcilaso de la Vega's writings, and the the tower base now extant, the tower was next to the temple and fortress and not actually part of it. If I read iterry wrong, I stand corrected.

  8. Thank you. My confusion is cleared up.