Saturday, July 30, 2016

More Comments Regarding Cuzco Sacsahuaman – Part III

Here are some comments from the readers of this blog regarding the ancient city of Cuzco and the Fortress of Sacsahuaman. 
    Comment #3: “You make a case for no writing by claiming the Lamanites destroyed any semblance of Nephite writing; however, they left the buildings and other Nephite remnants intact. That doesn’t seem to make sense to me, especially in Cuzco and Sacsahuamán”  Jessica B.
    Response: At first glance, it sounds like you have a case; however, looking further, the Lamanites in the end did make every attempt to destroy buildings and many were demolished, and in the final war, as the Lamanites were pursuing the Nephites deep into the north country in 379 A.D., “whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire” (Mormon 5:5). On the other hand, the Lamanites also occupied other cities, like Cuzco and Sacsahuamán, for they did not need to destroy the buildings, they could just occupy them, which gave them the claim of their “so-called” rightful of ownership through possessing the cities. What they would have done was remove anything that they saw as writing, which might have showed the falsity of their fake claim. Unfortunately, the Spanish were not as thoughtful, such as in the case of both Cuzco and Sacsahuamán, which they demolished as much as possible.
The very large complex of Sacsahuamn over looking Cuzco. When the Spanish arrived, this site had three great towers, a large temple, a fortress with a labrynth of tunnels beneath and numerous outbuildings and storage sheds, including water reservoirs—all of which were destroyed by the Spaniards, leaving only the foundations seen here 
    The huge complex of three towers was described by Pedro Pizarro, Francisco Pizarro’s brother, who wrote: “on top of a hill they [the Inca] had a very strong fort surrounded with masonry walls of stones and having two very high round towers. And in the lower part of this wall there were stones so large and thick that it seemed impossible that human hands could have set them in place...they were so close together, and so well fitted, that the point of a pin could not have been inserted in one of the joints. The whole fortress was built up in terraces and flat spaces."
    Of these towers, the center and largest one was between forty and sixty feet high, standing next to the temple, the temple itself, and most of the fortress, and the part of the outer walls were torn down by the superstitious Spaniards who believed that man could not have built such magnificent edifices, but that it had been the devil’s work. In fact, all that is left of these two sites are the larger, base stones that were simply too big for the Spanish to remove. As one archaeologist has said, “The only reason we have buildings remaining with their fantastic rocks and stones that fit together beyond anything that can be done today, is because the Spaniards were unable to destroy them.”
Top: the lower of the three outer walls at Sacsahuamán. Note the stones that used to be on the higher courses have been removed except for the heavy lintel stone; Bottom: The middle and higher walls have also been stripped of their top stones 
    Archaeologists tell us that the walls of Sacsahuamán rose ten feet higher than what we see today. In fact, the Spaniards left little remaining of the fortress that today would take days to fully explore being large enough to house 5,000 warriors. Its series of three zig-zag outer walls are much shorter than originally stood, for the smaller, higher stones were removed by the Spaniards to build their own cathedrals and personal casas and other buildings in the colonial city. The larger, heavier and inter-locking stones could not be moved by the Spaniards and were left in place where we now see them.
    For comparison sake, many of these lower stones in the walls we now see weigh 50 tons, some closer to 100 ton, with the largest estimated at over 120 ton—an Abrams tank of today weights just over 50 tons, so it is easy to see why most of the base stones were not altered and still stand. As the Quechuan-Spanish chronicler writer, Garcilaso de la Vega once wrote of Sacsahuamán: “This fortress surpasses the constructions known as the seven wonders of the world. For in the case of a long broad wall like that of Babylon, or the colossus of Rhodes, or the pyramids of Egypt, or the other monuments, one can see clearly how they were executed. They did it by summoning an immense body of workers and accumulating more and more material day by day and year by year. They overcame all difficulties by employing human effort over a long period. But it is indeed beyond the power of imagination to understand now these Indians, unacquainted with devices, engines, and implements, could have cut, dressed, raised, and lowered great rocks, more like lumps of hills than building stones, and set them so exactly in their places. For this reason, and because the Indians were so familiar with demons, the work is attributed to enchantment.”
    It is unfortunate that so many archaeologists and historians today give the Inca credit for such buildings. A people through most of their history who had no written language, did not know the wheel, had no machines or such instruments as pulleys, levers, winches, etc. Early chroniclers like Cieza de León, Garcilaso de la Vega, Bernabe Cobo, Sarmiento de Gamboa, Pedro Pizarro have fantasized about Sacsahuamán having been built by demons, evil spirits. Nearly all modern writers who are knowledgeable and do not merely repeat what they read, claim the Inca not only could not have built such edifices, but that they were incapable of such building ability overall.
 When the Spanish arrived, they saw the fantastically inter-locking stones weighing 50 tons or more and knew the Inca could not have built them, and asked the Inca, but the Indians had no idea who had built the walls or fortress 
    It should also be noted that not only were the Inca not building anything at all when the Spanish arrived, none of the Inca around Sacsahuamán had any idea how the walls and buildings had been constructed. The typical Inca response to such questions by the Spanish was that they were not the ones who built Sacsahuamán, but it was built by "the giants." In their mythology there were huge people living in the Cuzco area anciently and they carried the huge stone blocks and put them together. Along this line, it might be noted that the term “giants” in Hebrew lore meant spiritual men with great ability who held the priesthood and were the leaders of the people.
    It might also be noted that in 2008 a team of archaeologists discovered a small 2700-square-foot temple made of stones on the periphery of Sacsahuaman, which includes eleven rooms. They also found an irrigation system, with the temple and irrigation pre-dating the Inca period and might have been built by the Ayarmaca, who were in the region in 900 A.D. Much of the temple complex was evidently destroyed a century ago by dynamite blasts from a nearby rock quarry.
    Comment #2: “You seem to quite opposed to speculating on the meaning of words in Mormon’s account of the land of Promise, yet speculation is an important part of understanding” James T.W.
   Response: I do not believe it is worthwhile to speculate what might be meant, when the meaning of a scripture is quite clear, i.e., “Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful” (Alma 22:31) is very specific and does not require any further description, yet John L. Sorenson, former dean of Anthropology at BYU, in his book An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, spends a considerable amount of time trying to convince us that though Mormon wrote that, and verified these north-south directions time and again, the direction was really east-west. That is not only speculation, but downright misleading direction. As to tis type of speculation, it might be of interest to note that the Jews, according to Robert H. Kennett, responding to a meaning of a Hebrew word in 1908, wrote the ERA and said, in part, “The Hebrew mind is not speculative.” (Improvement Era, “Editor’s Table—The Hebrew Meaning,” October 9,1908, Vol 12, p149).
    In all my studies, I have found that to be 100% accurate. The only time I speculate is where information is not available but reason and knowledge are and the two lead to an obvious conclusion.
    Comment #3: ”It seems to me that you simply do not want to give credit to the Inca for building those fantastic walls” Janet P.
Response: In the photo above, which was taken recently of one of the walls surrounding Sacsahuaman, the larger stones vary in weight from and estimated 60 tons for the largest of the large stones, to about 30 to 40 tons in the smaller large stones. The very small stones weight in at a few pounds. The larger stones are dated to B.C. times, the small stones to about 1500s. The large stones were laid down long before the Inca, and the small stones during Inca times. Having no knowledge of how those large, multi-ton stones were cut and dressed, the Ina in making repairs to their walls just before the Spanish arrived used simple rocks as they ay and placed them into a close fitting form, but the large stones were cut to fit so that not a knife blade or pin will fit between them, yet no mortar was used. How would you describe the building expertise of those Peruvians of B.C. times and the stonework of Inca times? If the Inca had the ability to cut and dress stones, why weaken their repairs with very small stonework that is unstable and much weaker in resistance to the large stones

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