Sunday, July 9, 2017

So Who Built Sacsayhuaman and the Other Sites in Andean Peru? Part III

Continuing from the previous post where the first of three possibilities as to who built the magnificent pyramids, fortresses, temples, palaces, and highways in Andean Peru, was covered.
    This brings us to the third possibility as to who built the buildings and highways:
3). An unknown ancient people.
    The Age of Discovery is more or less an informal and loosely defined European historical period from the 15th to the 18th centuries.
The mid-to-late 15th century has quite rightly been called the Age of Exploration and Discovery—an age in which European sailors and ships left the coastal waters of the Old World and embarked on their adventure on the vast "green sea of darkness," with first, Portuguese ships, then Spanish and finally, in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, British, French and Dutch ships set out to discover a world, a world they originally called the Other World, but eventually called the Mundus Novus -- the New World

This Age of Discovery was a time when extensive overseas exploration emerged as a powerful factor in European culture (common cultural heritage) and the period in which global exploration started with the Portuguese discover of the Atlantic archipelago of the Azores, the western coast of Africa, the discovery of Columbus' ocean route called the “trans-Atlantic Ocean discovery of the Americas” on behalf of the Crown of Castile (Spain) in 1492, and the discovery of the ocean route to the East and India in 1498.
Prior to this era, discovery of unknown lands was pretty much isolated to the Vikings discovery of Iceland and Greenland, and a small area of North America now called New Foundland, beginning when Eirikr rauði Þorvaldsson, called Erik the Red because of his red beard and hair, after being exiled from Norway and later Iceland finally settled in a land he called "the green land," because of its inviting fjord landscape and fertile green valleys. The only difference in this northern exploration and that of the Europeans is mostly in purpose. The Vikings discovered Iceland and Greenland for the purpose of settlement, while the European expansion was for the purpose of global trade with the spice islands and the development of colonial empires.
    The Vikings discovered Iceland by accident, when, according to Landnámabók (a medieval Icelandic manuscript), the discovery resulted when Naddoddr (meaning "studded"), a Norwegian-Faroese Viking and one of the first settlers in the Faroe Islands (about halfway between Norway and Iceland, beyond the Shetland Islands), was sailing in 870 A.D. from Norway to these islands but lost his way and drifted to the east coast of Iceland, which he named Snæland (Snowland)--later on discovering it was an island, it was named Garðarshólmi (literally Garðar´s Islet). 
    Greenland’s discovery followed, when Eirikr rauði Þorvaldsson (Erik the Red because of his red beard and hair), who had been exiled from first Norway, because of his father, Þorvaldr Ásvaldsson’s exile for a number of killings, and later Iceland, when he was convicted of murder in 982, finally settled Greenland.
Leif Erickson discovers Vinland (Newfoundland) in 1001 A.D., in a Viking longship

He left Iceland one summer with a fleet of 25 longships loaded with nearly 500 people who were looking for a better land following a famine and the extinction of trees and lumber for building. They sailed the stormy waters westward to Greenland where only 14 ships survived to make landfall. In 1001, his son, Leif Erickson reached Newfoundland. But after several months, they returned to Greenland and except for two other expeditions, one by Leif’s brother Thorvald, and a later Norse named Thorfinn Karlsefni, but both were driven back to Greenland by the fierce natives.
It should be noted that the Vikings had an advantage with their long, narrow ships with a single square rigged sail on a maneuverable spar or yardarm, which allowed them to sail close to the wind (in the direction of the wind), combined with the capability of their 17-foot to 19-foot oars made of light-weight pine with a narrow blade, enabling them to row during adverse wind conditions, gave them the ability to sail close to shore and almost in any direction at any time.
    For whatever reason, nearly 500 years passed before Columbus set foot on the island he named San Salvador (Holy Savior), today referred to as Turks and Caicos, Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). Columbus, like the Norse, found the lands where they landed already occupied with natives (Arawaks in the Bahamas and those in Vinland, who the Vikings unflatteringly called skrælings, meaning "wretches"), both indigenous peoples with long histories in the land.
    Where these natives, both in the South and in the North, came from is unknown to history. Archaeologists and Anthropologists have set forth three possibilities:
1. People traveled over a land bridge that is claimed to have once existed between Siberia and Alaska;
2. People from Indonesia, China and India who moved eastward from the mainland of Southeast Asia to the islands of the South Pacific and continued island-hopping eastward to the Americas, then northward on land;
3. People came by ancient ship from Egypt, Africa, and Middle East, including later Phoenicians.
Image of a ship on Attic black-figure pottery (6th Century B.C.) This is the sort of boat that the Diolkos may have transported in Periander's time

Of the three, the coming by ship is the least creditable to most archaeologists and anthropologists since they cannot conceive of ancient man being able to build a ship and sail to the Americas. On the other hand, we have written many times about the first two suggestions, neither of which could possibly have taken place as our previous posts point out. That leaves the sailing, and left to their own, ancient man could never have built such a ship.
Left: Ships driven by oars were coastal vessels, flat bottomed with feels; Right: Age of Discovery caravel keel-laid deep hulls for ocean sailing

Certainly, there were no ships of the time that would have allowed anyone to sail deep water and cross the oceans. And it might be asked why the Europeans took to the "Ocean Sea" in the first place? What made the "Die Cultur der Renaissance" (civilization of the Renaissance) turn to discovery? Something drove Europeans out of their native lands in order to contact other lands. Part of the reason, no doubt, was the desire for new (Renaisance literally means "rebirth"), since the Renaissance immediately followed the "Dark Ages," and Europe was experiencing a surge in classical scholarship and values, in the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce. Unfortunately, hisorians get way off the track, however, when they discuss those reasons as being:
1. The willingness or the courage to learn and understand other cultures;
2. A religious desire to convert other peoples in other lands to the true Christian faith;
3. A third motive was economic. Western Christendom felt itself to be shrinking and decaying at a time when Islam seemed to be enlarging its domain. Europe was exposed to attacks from the infidel east. Europeans also knew and agreed that the Far East was rich in luxuries.
4. A fourth reason was political, to expand one’s borders and circle of influence.
    In reality, all four reasons were involved, however, the main purpose was that of trade routes and the previous land routes that had been open were being closed off by the eastern cultures who wanted to keep control of the trade business to themselves. The Western powers, such as Portugal, Spain, England and France began to realize that the sea was the ideal means of opening these trade routes to the east by circumventing the eastern powers and bypassing their land controls. They went into the Atlantic to find a way to the east and to open up the trade possibilities that would eventually bring them prosperity.
    They had seen a taste of the luxuries of the East and wanted more, but did not want to pay the high prices the eastern powers placed on their goods. So they took to the sea—something the West seemed well equipped to handle. In the end, it opened the door to increased trade, and eventually to the powerful controls of Spain and Portugal in the newly discovered world.
It was the Spanish who embraced the simple desire for gold and silver. Europe had very little natural resources in such areas as precious metals and their economies  needed gold and silver. There was also the political motive based on economic needs that lead to the value from conquering other lands and obtaining their wealth. This led, of course, to the development of naval power and technology leading to that end, and as it developed and increased, and as an understanding that there was a much larger world than earlier imagined, they saw their future in the colonization of foreign lands--they had the example of the ancient Greeks and Romans who had already set such a pattern. Perhaps, they thought, it was Europe's turn now to create an empire. And they did it with the underlying goal of converting the world to Christianity, a goal that allowed them to believe their goals and methods were acceptable despite the brutality they used to achieve their aims.
    Thus, we see that the world was full of exploration once man had a reason to explore and the ability to build ships capable of sailing the deep ocean. What these historians, archaeologists and anthropologists fail to consider in their numerous attempts at understanding the past, is the workings of the Lord in moving his Plan along. He taught man (Nephi) how to built a ship, and give man (Lehi) a need to travel far and wide to a new land. 


  1. Del, maybe you'll answer this in up coming posts but what is the status of archealogy in South America? Are they coming to realize that an ancient highly skilled people built the great cities? It's a shame that BYU is so blind to the South American model because of their lack of faith in the power of God.

  2. I guess what I'm wondering is do the archs have a name for the Nephites. It would be interesting to follow any progress.

  3. Iterry: I wrote an article or two back some time ago regarding Archaeologists insisting on using a pre-determined model of each group of people in a different areas of Andean South America having no connection to one another, but according to them were separate cultures with different accomplishments, art, and interests. In so doing, there is no chance of their linking different zones, different achievements, etc., into one group of people who spread out into a much larger area.
    In Andean South America, so different than Europe, Asia and the United States, development was physically separated because of the unique terrain, giving rise to “proof” that these were separate cultures (this is especially brought home when one travels in South America and sees how so many settlement areas are isolated from others because of mountains, etc; however, from the Book of Mormon, we know that Alma (and others) continually travelled from one place over to another, suggesting these areas were not connected, but separated by mountains, valleys, canyons, etc.
    In any event, the archaeologists, for some reason, have never been able to see connections between these so-called different “cultures.” I suppose it would be like someone going across the U.S. and really paying attention to the cultural differences in different states, different regions, and different areas. After all, Chicagoans differ considerably from Angelenos (L.A.) and New Englanders are very different from Southerners, with New Yorkers very different from Dakotans, etc. Even their earlier architecture was considerably different, i.e., the Vermont cottage and the Alabama plantation mansion; the western adobe house and the rambling Texas ranch house, etc.
    Consequently, don’t look anywhere for any connection between groups of historical Andean South America—and since the ancients were different people in the minds of today’s researchers, they assign them different time frames, different development stages, etc. In reality, however, many of those earlier cultures were living at the same time, were the same people, and accomplished the same things, though differently as the regions of the U.S. accomplished and developed differently over the past 300-400 years, etc.

  4. (Continuing)
    After all, archaeology has assigned the Caral, Chavin, Valdivia, Nazca, Moche, Tiwanaku, Chachapoyas, Wari, Chimu, etc., as different cultures and civilizations, yet other than art and architecture, there is nothing in the ground to suggest they were different peoples, and common sense lends toward their having been the same peoples over time (Nephi to Mormon) with different artistic interests and different ways of building—part of which in the case of the latter would be dependent upon building materials available (deserts to jungles, forests to pampas).
    For anyone who has studied American history, it is not difficult to see that the West, with its horse culture, ranching/farming, and lack of government controls and law developed much different than the East where there was a cop on every street and people were living on top of one another—yet, they were all Americans, and most were considerably closely related. However, this type of reasoning escapes the archaeologist and anthropologist because of their classroom training and pre-determined groupings.
    Following progress is not all that difficult if you think of the Book of Mormon along with the history of the area. As an example, the area of Cuzco, with its brilliant construction long pre-dating the Inca and provably stretching back into B.C. times, went through a very “weird” development stage, i.e., once heavily occupied and well developed, through a long period of nothing more than a tribal land of small, unimportant groups (tribes) that accomplished nothing, to a final rise in development (Inca) and then the conquest. It would be interesting to see how anthropologists discuss that very unusual event, but when such occurs in the Andean area, we find anthropologists inserting their rather uninformed opinions, such as “global warming,” “heavy rains,” “floods,” “invasion” (but then what happened to the invaders?), etc. They do not understand, and there is no reason for them to do so unless they read the Book of Mormon, what actually happened. This, by the way, is very different from Mesoamerica and North America, which had for the most part a steady growth upward.

  5. Thanks Del, I marvel at your understanding of the South American model. Ira