A Land of Many Waters means a lot of smaller bodies of water, probably some connected by streams and rivers, including some marshland and heavy forest—and would have to have access through for the armies to march to and fight within
In all the efforts theorists have gone through in trying to identify the Land of Promise, and I would suggest in verifying a Land of Promise based on the other criteria mentioned in this series, is a verification of the Land of Many Waters in the Land Northward. As mentioned in the previous post, this area:
1. Hill Cumorah was within the
2. Land of Cumorah, which was within the
3. Land of Many Waters; and this area was
4. Large enough for about one million fighting men to gather and do battle.
Now, by today’s standards with rifles, machine guns, grenade and rocket launchers, tanks, long-rang canon, etc., the topography of a landscape would not be so important since the fighting could take place over a very large and convoluted area; however, in 385 A.D., with arrows, thrown spears and slings the only weapons beyond hand-to-hand combat, an area would have to allow for that many fighting men to be in close enough contact that swords and hand-held lances could be used. This means the hill Cumorah itself, which the Nephites had pitched “their tents around about” (Mormon 6:4), would have to be large enough around and the area around that to accomodate this nearly one million men in hand-to-hand combat, and in which 230,000 Nephite warriors could be dispatched in a single day.
A Mountain within the area of Many Waters, certainly would have provided safety for the 24 survivors, provided great vision over the battlefield below, and would have discouraged the Lamanties after the battle to search for survivors
This hill also had to be high enough to 1) allow for 24 men to hide out from the enemy upon or near its top (Mormon 6:11), high enough to provide them a view in all direction to see the dead bodies of 230,000 of their own men (Mormon 6:11-15), plus the dead of their enemy, which would be a considerable distance, and of a terrain that would discourage the Lamanties from climbing around the hill looking for survivors after the battle that night and the following morning (Mormon 6:11), for Mormon, Moroni, and 22 others to hide out yet still view the surroundings while surviving detection that night and the following morning, and Moroni was never located by them.
Now since this hill and the Land of Cumorah was within the Land of Many Waters, this land would have numerous bodies of water throughout the area, no doubt giving Mormon another cause to feel he would have an advantage since that would impede or divert attacks in some areas. Nor would this likely have been an open plain since many waters typically suggest anything from jungle, to forest, to tree-filled wilderness.
In the Land of Many Waters, in the area of the Land Northward, Ecuador; toward the north on the way to Colombia
1) There are many waters, not just a few large bodies of water, suggesting interconnected or separate lakes, ponds, ;
2) There were rivers—fast moving bodies of water flowing from lake to lake and separately, as well as streams, creeks and brooks;
3) There were fountains—the sources of the many waters.
Such an area is found in northern Ecuador where there are over 237 individual lakes, ponds, springs, rivers, waterfalls, and other bodies of water. In this area of Andean South America, where the Land Northward would have been located, north of the Bay of Guayaquil (Mormon’s small or narrow neck of land), and a little south of Quito, is located an area that even on ancient maps of the area is called in ancient Quechua, the “Land of Many Waters.” Here, in what is today labeled the “lagoons of Ozogoche” or the “Ozogoche Lakes,” in the center of the highlands of Ecuador, is an important area because their waters feed the Pastaza River, which flows into the Amazon River.
More importantly, in this area of Ecuador, sitting high on the páramo, are 45 individual fountains or springs that feed the lakes, lagoons, ponds and rivers, beneath a spur of mountain overlooking the area known as Ayapungo (a Quechua word meaning “door of death”), where also is found the newly disovered Pyramid of Punay.
This wet and cold region, covering an area 2000 square miles, is considered a “mysterious and isolated place,” in an area of Wetlands—a high, treeless plateau called a paramo. These natural fountains, or springs as they are known today, are the sources of more than sixty lakes, lagoons, rivers, and waters scattered across the region, nestled at 12,000 feet in Ozogoche among volcanoes and differing elevations of the Andean peaks that even today isolates Ecuador’s remote and vast natural beauty. Within this land of many waters is found countless valleys, lagoons, small waterfalls, rivers, and dense vegetation, and numerous springs that feed the various water ways from underground aquifers.
Such a topography of terrain found here would be ideal to have for the purpose of establishing an advantage in hand-to-hand combat, for it lessens the opportunity for frontal attacks by an overwhelming force
What advantage he might have felt he could obtain, he does not mention; however, in seeing this land one can only wonder at its unusual topography of numerous hills and valleys, water ways, falls, and other features that a commanding general might think he could use to his advantage in deploying his troops. The land in this region is filled with variances in levels, growth, and numerous places to form up troops to battle. If you are going to face overwhelming odds in a hand-to-hand type battle, this land would have provided an ideal setting such as narrow approaches, traps, ambush, including trees to both block vision for firing and from the path of arrows. In short, it is all the things that the Hill Cumorah in western New York is not.
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XXVII,” for more of Mormon’s statements that lead us to a clearer understanding of the location of the Land of Promise)