Monday, September 12, 2016

The Jaredite Lands in the Land Northward-Part III

Continuing with the previous post regarding this Land Northward and the Jaredite landing and the La Siera, or the Mountain Region:
    Quito (in the north) and most other populated areas in the Sierra are located at this temperate level. The cold level extends from the temperate zone to 15,256 feet. Here, average temperatures are 37.4 to 48.2 °F, and the precipitation often appears in the form of rain, hail, and thick fog. Above 15,256 feet is the frozen level, where peaks are constantly capped with snow and ice, and temperatures range from below 32.0 to 37.4 °F. Precipitation frequently is in the form of snow, fog, and rain.
    Again, this shows why most of the activity in the Land Northward was in the Land of Moron to the south, and even when one faction had to separate themselves and flee to the north, when they were reinstated, they returned to Moron and did not remain in the north.
El Oriente (the East) Amazon Basin is mostly tropical moist slopes of the Andes mountains that descend into the Amazon Basin, which has a strikingly different upland rain forest with steep, rugged ridges and cascading streams and lowland rainforest. Some 38% of Ecuador's land is forested, and despite a 1.5% annual deforestation rate remains one of the most biodiverse locations on the planet. The Oriente is also home to a large number of Ecuador's indigenous groups, notably the lowland Quechua, Siona, Secoya, Huarani, and Cofãn.
    The Eastern lowlands in the Oriente experience abundant rainfall, especially in the Andean piedmont, sometimes exceeding 196.9 inches per year. Temperatures average 77 °F in the western parts of this region. The jungle-covered plains of the Eastern lowlands register high levels of rainfall and temperatures surpassing 82.4 °F. 
The Hill Cumorah is located between the “Lake District” and the Land of Many Waters, called today the “Los Rios” or the “Rivers District” 

    As stated in an earlier post, Los Rios (which means “The Rivers”) is a Province today, but before that it was an area labeled on maps simply as “The Rivers.” It might interest you to know that anciently, on very old Spanish maps, it was labeled simply “Land of Many Waters” (Tierra de Muchas Aguas)—a friend of mine received an old map found by a missionary friend of his in Ecuador many years ago with this labeling.
    It might also be of interest that anciently, the area was called Guiana, a word translated as “land of many waters” (from an American Indian word)—Guayana is now the name of a country in northeast South America. It might be a reach, but I find the connection irresistible.
    This area, a little southwest of Quito, is roughly between Guaranda to the southeast and Portoviejo to the northwest, and south of Quevedo. It is interesting that to the northwest of Quevedo is a huge “lake district” (Laguna Velasco Ibarra), a place many large and small lakes, ponds and estuaries, as well as an area of ruinous earthquakes, very high flooding risks, severe and frequent drought seasons, and natural mosaic forest, including the indigenous Guaya tree (Melicoccus bijugatus) with its prolific fruit, and shrubland/grassland, with a subtropical climate and dry forest biozone; three major rivers cross the area, the Rio Tambo, Rio Salado and Rio Hondo. The entire area to the west and south is full of Guaya trees (the Province is called Guayas)
Left: Guaya tree and fruit (break the thin shell and a delicious, moist yellow fruit inside) also called Mamoncillo, Mamón, Chenette  Gnep, Guinep, Guenepa, Skinnip, Skinup, Canepa, Genip, Guinep, Ginnip, Kenèp, Talpa jocote, Canepa, Quenepa, Genepa, Xenepa, Kenepa, Knippa, Anoncillo, Ackee, Spanish lime and Limoncillo; Right: Forest to the south; Bottom: Forest to the east 

    Almost all of the rivers in Ecuador rise in the Sierra region and flow east toward the Amazon River or west toward the Pacific Ocean. The rivers rise from snowmelt at the edges of the snowcapped peaks or from the abundant precipitation that falls at higher elevations. In the Sierra region, the streams and rivers are narrow and flow rapidly over precipitous slopes. Rivers may slow and widen as they cross the hoyas yet become rapid again as they flow from the heights of the Andes to the lower elevations of the other regions. The highland rivers broaden as they enter the more level areas of the Costa and the Oriente. What this does it limit movement within the land to certain fordable areas or places where rope bridges were built. When reading about battles around rivers in the scriptural record, it is sometimes helpful to think of both fast-moving rivers (taking bodies quickly down river) and narrow areas of crossing and why areas had to be cleared of bodies before rivers or bridges could be crossed.
    In the Costa region, the Costa Externa has mostly intermittent rivers that are fed by constant rains from December through May and become empty riverbeds during the dry season. The few exceptions are the longer, perennial rivers that flow throughout the Costa Externa from the Costa Internal and the Sierra on their way to the Pacific Ocean. The Costa Internal, by contrast, is crossed by perennial rivers that may flood during the rainy season, sometimes forming swamps. Also a good reason why battles were fought only during certain periods of the year and the attacking force typically went home to lick its wounds during the times when battles were not possible becasue of the swollen, uncrossable rivers, or the flooding swamps, etc.
The Guayas River as it flows into the Gulf of Guayaquil (part of the Sea that Divides the Land 

    The Guayas River system, which flows southward to the Gulf of Guayaquil, constitutes the most important of the drainage systems in the Costa Internal. The Guayas River Basin, including land drained by its tributaries, is almost 25,000-square-miles in area. The 37-mile-long Guayas River forms just north of Guayaquil out of the confluence of the Babahoyo and Daule rivers. Briefly constricted at Guayaquil by hills, the Guayas widens south of the city and flows through a deltaic network of small islands and channels. At its mouth, the river forms a broad estuary with two channels around Puná Island, the deeper of which is used for navigation.
    This is a good explanation why we do not find the Jaredites moving at will through the land to live just anywhere like the later Nephites in the Land Southward. Movement and area, though large enough in size, was limited in usuable or livable space.
    The second major Costa river system—the Esmeraldas—rises in the Hoya de Quito in the Sierra as the Guayllabamba River and flows westward to empty into the Pacific Ocean near the city of Esmeraldas. The Esmeraldas River is 200-miles-long and has a 12,500-square-mile drainage basin.
    Major rivers in the Oriente include the Pastaza, Napo, and Putumayo. The Pastaza is formed by the confluence of the Chambo and the Patate rivers, both of which rise in the Sierra. The northern area of this entire land could indeed be called "The land of Many Waters."
It seems certain that after being 344 days in their enclosed barges, the Jaredites felt the desire or need to leave the ocean area after landing and gain some altitude up into the foothills and higher elevations, for we are told that “they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth” (Ether 6:13). We find also that after landing (Alma 23:30), the Jaredites “came from there up into the south wilderness” (Alma 22:31), in an area near the Land of Desolaltion—Now  the land of Moron, where the king dwelt, was near the land which is called Desolation by the Nephites (Alma 22:31)—just  north of the narrow neck of land. It wasn’t long, however, before rebellion was fostered, for Jared’s son, Orihah, became king (when everyone else refused) and his son, Kib, had a son named Corihor. So Jared’s great grandson, Corihor, rebelled, for “when Corihor was thirty and two years old he rebelled against his father, and went over and dwelt in the land of Nehor” (Ether 7:4).
    Now Corihor stayed at Nehor until he had gained sufficient strength in an army to reclaim the kingdom. “And when he had gathered together an army he came up unto the land of Moron where the king dwelt, and took him captive” (Ether 7:5). It is likely that Corihor removed the kingdom from Moron back to Nehor where he had dwelt most of his days, for we later learn that Corihor’s much younger brother, Shule, won over the kingdom and restored his father to the throne, but one of Corihor’s sons, Noah, “gave battle unto Shule the king, in which he did obtain the land of their first inheritance [Moron]; and he became a king over that part of the land” as well (Ether 7:16). Consequently, there now were two kingdoms, which would have meant both Moron and Nehor.


  1. Are you taking into account that in the time of the Jaredites the Andes were not as high as they are today? That would change the climate for the Jaredite period and then even until the time of Christ. Apparently from the way I read it, the Jaredites eventually cut down most of the trees in their lands. Is there evidence of that? Of course it was a long time ago.

  2. Question: has archaeology in this area come up with a name for the Jaredites civilization that lived there? I've read somewhere that the oldest civilization in all of South America is in Ecuador. So I was curious if archaeology has given them a name.

  3. erichard: Yours is an excellent point and one we deal with all the time, looking for all types of records and computer simulations that have been worked out by geologists to ascertain the changes in climate, temperature, winds and ocean currents as they might be affected by changes. Obviouisly, according to Helaman 14:23, there were mountains in the Land of Promise, and evidently ones of some height since their removal was in the form of a catastrophic event (tumbling down) according to Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite. And since mountain building is a precise thing, i.e., the tectonic forces of volcanism—volcanic, fold or block mountains rise resulting from plate tectonics, where compressional forces, isostatic uplift and intrusion of igneous matter forces surface rock upward, creating a landform higher than the surrounding features. The Andes came up (evidently from valleys, according to Samuel the Lamanite) as these forces were employed by the lord during this 3-hour period that shook the earth as if it was to divide asunder, i.e., nothing like it had ever happened before and obviously not as far a we know of the time during the crucifixion.
    The point being, one set of mountains creates a climate, remove that mountain chain and replace it with another and you still have a climate—it might have moved somewhat, but since the same building blocks (tectonic plate activity) beneath the earth is at the root of both mountain chains, the climate and other matters affected would be fairly closely aligned.
    As for the trees, I think the trees were in specific areas, not all over the country. Again, living conditions in the three divisions of Ecuador (and these three divisions would have existed prior to the rise of the Andes in their present location except for the third area, or El Oriente [the East] meaning whatr we call the Amazon today, since most of that would have been beneath the Sea East—but still, the Sea East (or inland sea) and the Amazon Basin of today would not have been much different since the waters, moisture, humidity, etc., would have been there during both topographical periods.
    What geologists have claimed is that the forests along the coastal area have been affected, and in some areas, never grew much for some reason (mountain ranges helped keep the moisture dry along the coast). As an example, for those in Utah, if you were to move the Twin Peaks to Timpanogos mountains either to the west or to the east over one valley (a handful of miles), it would not affect the climate on either side much—just move it slightly (very slightly in a large, overall land area such as the state). The same would be true for the entire Wasatch Range—such a movement would make the Salt Lake City side wider if the mountains moved to the east fifty miles, or twenty miles, etc. It onlh means that Park City would be fifty or twenty miles to the eastk, etc. (we could go into a lot of technical detail on this, but I think you get the idea)

  4. iterry, there are two or three claims regarding which is the oldest civilization along the area of Ecuador (spreading out from the Santa Elena Peninsula—claimed to be the oldest civilization in South America). The so-called Las Vegas culture is considered one of the oldest that centered around Santa Elena. There is also the Valdivian culture along this coastal area. We have written about these early cultures in recent posts over the past year if memory serves me correctly. There is also the El Inga around the Quito area in the north that was very ancient. One of the problems we find in trying to determine Jatedite factors is the confusion created by the pre-Flood peoples and the post-Flood people in an area like Ecuador where so little archaeological work has been conducted. The jungles have covered up so much and new sites keep being discovered as groups get serious about the Ecuadorian landscape. It is easier to separate the Flood from the Nephi period, because of the lengthy time differential, but the Jaredites followed the Flood very closely and we have no measurement devices that can pinpoint something like that since C-14 is so skewed as we’ve reported her numerous times.

    1. Del, you mention pre-flood people. My observation is there are no remnants of any pre-flood people because of the destructive nature of Noah's flood. You've figured out quite nicely that not only c-14 but other dating systems are in error. I know however that archaeologists would argue that there were people living before what would be the flood at 2350ish BC. I know that would have been impossible. Thanks for the information even though I know you've discussed these things before. Great information Thanks!

  5. Have you modified your map? I'd have to dig back through the archives, but I thought you've had the Land Northward with the sea on the east where the mountains ranges are now rather than in the are of the Amazon.

  6. To clarify, the Sea East began in the area of the present Andes Mountains location; however, the Andes are wide and cover a large distance, and exactly where within that area the coast might have been is impossible to say without enormous geological computer models. As for the Amazon, the area called Amazonia is to the eastern side of the Andes, beginning somewhere along the slopes of those mountains (depending where you are in the continent), and now covers what was once the Sea East in that area all the way to the present seacoast (Brazilian east coast). If that doesn't answer your question, let me know.