Comment #1: “Why do you think the ancient Peruvians were illiterate?” LeGrant W.
Response: I don’t, you must be thinking of John L. Sorenson or another Mesoamerican theorist. With all their accomplishments that are visible and obvious, no such work could have been accomplished without a written language. It is a peculiar fact, common to many ancient cultures, that the oldest civilizations were the most advanced, at the same time as possessing the highest style of art and mechanical skill. This is true of Peru.
The ruins of Huaca Puctiana (“God of Protection”) in Miraflores (Lima) Peru—a great adobe and clay pyramid built from seven staggered platforms , including a plaza, central square and a large, structured wall that divides the site into two separate complexes
We have explained several times why their writing did not survive with the Lord himself telling Mormon that the Lamanites would destroy every written word of the Nephites that they found, which is why the ancient records were hidden in the ground.
Comment #2: “I have heard of the Bridge of San Luis Rey being in the Andes. What was it and where was it located?” Marcia M.
Response: Tornton Wilder’s novel by that name in 1927 drew world-wide attention to the 148-foot long rope bridge over the Apurímac River crossing the Apurímac Canyon along the main road north from Cuzco in the western mountain ranges of Peru—about 99 miles inland from the Pacific coast; United Artists also made a film of the event in 1944. The Apurímac River after 454 miles in length, joins the Mantaro River and becomes the Ene River and eventually joins the Urubamba River, all of which is a source of the Amazon and part of the world’s largest river system (about 665-miles in length), spanning gorges twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The rope bridge over the Apurímac dates back to the 14th century or earlier and was still hanging in 1864, but by 1890 was quite dilipadated. It is no longer intact, though the stanchions that were its base are clearly visible today. In reality, these bridges dates back long before the Inca and had been replaced on a regular basis every two years or so by earlier and earlier cultures to make sure they remained usuable. Their actual origin is unknown.
Comment #3: “What exactly happened to the city of Moroni?” Phillip D.
Response: Moroni was a city that was built after the Lamanites were driven out of the east wilderness running along the seashore, and back into the Land of Nephi to the south. When they built the city they did so along the seashore of the East Sea and it was near the border between the southern boundary of the Npehite held lands and the northern boundary of the Land of Nephi (Alma 50:13). No visible ruins of the city have ever been found that we know of and it is recorded that it was “sunk in the depths of the sea” at the time of the crucifixion (3 Nephi 9:4). Now “sunk in the depths of the sea” would mean that this city, with its surrounding earth, crumbled and fell into the East Sea where it sank to a great depth. Over time, as the land rose and mountains shot upward, mud, silt and later dry earth forever covered that city from view.
At one time, a forty-five-foot-wide military road led from Moroni to the large city of present-day Huanuco about fifty miles away. According to von Hagen, it was entered by way of steps and guardhouses with four roads leading from it, with the road from Moroni continuing north to Chachapoyas near Mulek. Nearby was the city of Aaron, and in between and further inland, was the city of Nephihah—probably on the plain that once stretched as far as the city of Moroni.
Comment #4: “We learn in Alma that when the converted Lamanites were granted the area of Jershon, the Nephites placed an army to the south to protect the converts, who had sworn not to take up arms again, from Lamanite attack. Why would they not be attacked on the west, east or north?” Don M.
Response: Evidently there were natural barriers on three sides of this Land of Jershon and only exposed on the south. Presently, there is an area in Peru where it is believed this region lay, north and about 200 miles east of Lima (Zarahemla) where the Montaro river flowing out of Lake Junin (pronounced who-neen) located in the central Andes loops around to the west, and flows southward through canyons that cut off any entrance to the ancient city of Bonbon, likely our Jershon, so with the lake on the east, the Mantaro River flowing north and looping around to the west, completely protects this rugged mountainous region except on the south. To the east are high glacier valleys which end up in high plateaus with narrow and deep canyons with highly inclined hillsides covered with woods than run down into Amazonia and into the jungle. The area has an average annual temperature of 56º F., ranging between 62º and 32º F. The lake itself is almost in a pit, with high hills nearly surrounding it, making any approach from several directions nearly impassable. In addition, the lake is surrounded by emergent (water) vegetation which in some places can reach 3 miles wide and become so dense that it is impenetrable.
The shores surrounding the lake on the north, east and south are predominantly flat, with gradients of 1% to 4%. However, the topography of the southwestern, western and northeastern shores is totally different, where hills ranging from 50 to 150 meters above the surface border the lake, with gradients of up to 45%, with the hills surrounding the lake ranging from 165 feet high to 490 feet in height. Approximately 53,000 hectares border the lake and would have been the area the converted Lamanites occupied.
The Land of Jershon between the lake and the mountains surrounding it and the location of the area the converted Lamanites occujpied
Response: First of all, the scriptural record does not say he traveled “to the north” it says “on the north.” That means he traveled for three days on the north of Melek (Alma 8:6). Three day travel at say 20 miles per day, would be 60 miles, and 60 miles to the north, would have taken him back to Huancayo that is, the city of Gideon. Therefore, “on the north” could mean that Alma traveled along the northern borders of Melek,either to the east or to the west. If he traveled west, he would have moved down the steep western side of the Andes mountains toward Zarahemla, which was in the heart of the land. But Ammonihah was in the borders of the land (Alma 16:2), therefore it appears that he traveled eastward from the city of Melek.
About sixty miles eastward from Mayoc (Melek) in the southeastern quarter of the proposed extended land of Zarahemla are the ruins of Pomacocha (Puman-Chochan, i.e., “Lake of the Lion”), whose ruins are unique because they lay in a pit, or what von Hagen called “the bottom of a volcano.” Anciently, a 45-foot-wide road moved through a broken lip of the ridge, but following Alma’s visit, Ammonihah was destroyed by the Lamanites and years later a new group of people moved in to the city and they “cast up dirt” (Alma 49:2) and “dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them…neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance” (Alma 49:4)
To build a “ridge of earth” so high that it resembled the “rim of a crater” would be a monumental job, but judging from the hundreds of miles of terraces that line the sides of the mountains in Peru, it does not seem too unreasonable a task.