Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Comments from Readers Regarding Cuzco Sacsahuaman – Part I

Here are some comments from the readers of this blog regarding the ancient city of Cuzco and the Fortress of Sacsahuaman.     
Comment #1: “I have been told that there are all sorts of small carvings in stone around Cuzco and Sacsahuaman. Is thit true, and if so, who did them and why?” Karla K.
These boulders are found on the hills beside Sacsahuaman, overlooking the city of Cuzco. No one has even suggested a purpose for them
Response: Yes, there are all sorts of pre-Inca, megalithic monuments carved into giant boulders and large rock formations in that area. They are often called “Inca Ceremonial Sites,” but all were carved long before the Inca, who had only bronze chisels and stone hammers. Engineers claim these boulders of Andesite stone, which is harder than granite, are cut with either steel, carbon steel, tungsten carbide or possibly even diamond. The work is smooth and finished, but lack any apparent use. They sit in the middle of fields on rolling hills, with no connection to one another and no seemingly useful purpose.
Comment #2: “You wrote an article recently which included a description of the horrendous loss of airmen and bombers during World War II that almost spelled the end of the war, but never stated how it was overcome” Gaylord J.
    Response: Sorry. It was not a major topic of the article, but I should have concluded it for curiosity sake. The U.S. Bomber Command, after losing 642 airmen and over 60 B-17s in October 1943, did an about face—an almost unheard of military position of admitting they were wrong—and stopped bombing while long-range fighter escort planes were designed and built. At the time, the fighter escorts were P-47 Thunderbolt which were totally inadequate to carry out the long-range requirements needed to see the  bombers to their targets and back. While a Curtis-built P-40 was built for the British Purchasing Commission in September 1940, it wasn’t until the original Allison V-1710 engine was replaced by the Rolls-Royce Merlin for the p-51 B/C that transformed the Mustang’s performance to match or exceed that of the German Luftwaffe fighters, and even more so with the definitive version, the P-51D, powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 two-stage, two-speed supercharged engine. This P-51D was not only built for two large 150-pound wing fuel tanks, but also armed with six .50 caliber M2/AN Browning machine guns,which dominated the skies over Europe and made daylight precision bombing successful. All of this took only a few months after the bombing runs were stopped toward the end of 1943.
Chuck Yeager’s P-51D 44-14888 of the 8th AF/357th FG/363rd FS, named Glamorous Glennis III, in which he achieved most of his 12.5 kills, including two Me 262s – shown here with twin 108 gallon drop tanks fitted
    With this change, flying daylight prevision bombing runs with new, long-range fighter escort planes, completely caught the Germans off guard, and was perhaps one of the most important singular decisions made in the airwar over Europe. The story of how this came about and what actually took place makes for fascinating reading if you like military stories.
Comment #3: “I heard there was a legend about bearded white men in the Cuzco area of Peru who built all these old buildings. Is that true?” Elicia V.
    Response: John Denison Baldwin says of the area that 'The oldest structures were attributed to bearded white men, who it is said, worked stone with iron implements brought from their own country. The traditions call them 'sons of the sea'.
It is a remarkable fact, not generally known, that these Peruvians worked iron mines on the east side of Lake Titicaca (Pre-Historic Nations. 1869. Harper and Brothers; see also John. D. Baldwin, Ancient America, in Notes on American Archaeology, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1871; and also the Introduction to Popl-Vuh, p224). It is also well known that these early Peruvians had a great knowledge of astronomy at a very early period. Montesinos and De Bourbourg say the Peruvians had an accurate measure of the solar year, and a knowledge of the art of writing, together with paper made of banana leaves at least 1800 years before our era.
    It also might be of interest to know that just recently, an article in Latin American Herald Tribune (Caracas April 21, 2016), under the headline of “12,000 Year Old Mine found in Peru,” stated that'Archaeologists from the University of Chile have discovered a 12,000-year-old iron oxide mine in the north of the country. Researchers say it is the oldest mine discovered in all the Americas. Chief researcher Diego Salazar said the iron oxide was used by Huentelauquen Indians as a pigment in dying cloth and in religious rituals. the mine was exploited heavily between around 10,000 B.C. and 2,000 B.C. It yielded over the millennia a total of 2,000 tons of pigment extracted from 700 cubic meters of rock. Researchers also found a treasure trove of stone and conch mining tools in the area. "We've found more than 1,000 hammers...but considering the amount of material we have yet to sift through, the real number could rise to several thousands," archaeologist Hernan Salinas said. Before this find, the oldest mine in the Americas was 2,500 years old and located in the United States.' Another factoid is that 12,000-year-old textiles have been found in Peru (Current Anthropology, April 2011).
    It might be suggested also that legends are often modified historical accounts. As an example, the title Manco Capac (pronounced MAY-coh CAW-Pawk), which means “royal master,“ which is a more modern rendition. Anciently, according to Garcilaso de la Vega, the term meant simply: “chief” or “ruler,” which is reminiscent of Nephi, who chose to be called “ruler” rather than “king” (The Incas, translated by Maria Jolas, Grossman Publications, New York, 1961, p5). That is to be a Ruler over his people (2 Nephi 5:18; see also: 1 Nephi 2:22; 3:29; 16:37-38; 18:10), who the people looked on as a “king” or “protector” (2 Nephi 6:2).
    It might also be of interest to know that the Quechua word “Sinchi” (pronounced “zinchi”), which is another name given Manco Capac, and the name he gave his son, means “Chief, leader.” In addition, the legend of Manco was that he carried a golden staff given him by the Sun God to tell him where to settle, where Nephite carried a brass ball (Liahona), given Lehi by God (1 Nephi 16:10) to guide him to the place where he was to settle (1 Nephi 16:26). It is also of interest that Manco is described in legend as being pale-faced, or “white” (Bertrand Flornoy, World of the Incas, Vanguard Press, New York, 1965, p118).
    Further, Manco Capac had a sister-wife, which is usually interpreted to mean that he married his sister (which later became an Inca practice), but the actual wordage of the legend is that there were four brothers who all married “sister wives,” meaning that the women were sisters to one another, not a sister to whom they married. This is also found in Nephi, where Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi all married sisters, i.e., the women were sisters to one another (1 Nephi 16:7).
The legend claims Manco came from the south, moving northward from Titicaca through the fourteen-thousand foot LaRaya pass (which separates the Titicaca basin from the Vilcanota valley) and on to Cuzco. There, according to Garcilaso de la Vega, Manco stuck his golden staff into the ground and it disappeared, telling him that was where he should settle. Nephi, after being tied up and then loosed aboard his ship in the storm, “took the compass and it did work whither I desired it” (1 Nephi 18:21), and after praying the storm ceased and “I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again toward the promised land” (1 Nephi 18:22).

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