Monday, November 26, 2018

Fortress Guarding Cuzco or the City of Nephi – Part IV

Continued from the previous post, regarding the temples in the Cuzco area and their antiquitous origin and purpose and the guarded entrance into Cuzco and the likelihood Nephi set up some early warning site south of the city of Nephi.
The ruins of Tipón on the mountain plateau overlooking the ancient road into Cuzco

Since Tipón was well known during Inca times and often claimed to have been built by uninformed historians and tourist groups to encourage tourism, it should be understood that this site dates back 4,000 years, well into BC times, and its defensive nature would have served little purpose to the Inca who controlled this area in their time for hundreds of miles around. In fact, the most impressive feature of the entire Tipón complex is “the massive four-mile long muralla or outer wall that encircled the site. The wall is about 3 miles long; ranges up to heights just over 26 feet, and is 6½ feet thick at the top, and between 13 and 19½ feet wide at the bottom, with the cliff on the outside falling off steeply to the valley below.
    Obviously, a structure built for the defense of its occupants and the surrounding area.
    It should also be noted that its closeness to a natural spring and the adjacent Pukara River, would have been an attraction for necessary irrigation construction of stone-lined canals, gravity-flow vertical drains or drops, and spring water collection headworks for agriculture watering and consumption in the earliest period of Peruvian occupation of this area.
   In addition, according to Dr. Alfredo Valencia Zegarra, et al., of the Wright Paleohydrological Institute, Denver, in a 2001 study, there is no question that the walls and irrigation channels were in existence during the Wari period before 1000 AD, several hundred years before the Inca.
    Today, because of its magnificent irrigation canals that could deliver almost 1,600 gallons per minute to the living and agricultural facilities below, and also channels, including a long canal from the north, and the three canal systems, each serving specific functions, is considered a water management masterpiece because of its combined development and use of both surface and ground water within a walled enclosure of nearly 500 acres containing exceptional stonework of cut and dressed basalt and andesite stone blocks and a complete agriculturally oriented enclave just over a dozen miles from Cuzco.
Both Wanakawri and Intiwatana were mountain top fortresses that overlooked the ancient road into Cuzco. Dotted arrows show their attack lines to the narrow valley through which an enemy could approach Cuzco

Intiwatana, meaning a “place where the sun (Son, or God) is tied,” which overlooks the ancient road from its perch high atop the main hill above Tipón, was not only an effective lookout, or outpost, but also was where astronomical observations could be made, critically important to the planting and harvesting of the many fields below.
    It is interesting that the stonework of Intiwatana is extremely similar and even identical to several other sites around Peru, suggesting the same people with the same technology of the time built all these sites that are so similar in design, construction, and skill.
    In addition, the special water handling at Intiwatana involves a main canal that enters and leaves the site after passing underground through it and making a water supply available to the those who lived there. The ancient Peruvians incorporated the canal into the foundations of the buildings while maintaining proper grade and suitable alignment.
    It might be of interest to know that these ancient and earliest Peruvians understood what is called today hydraulic engineering. In fact, their skills and technical knowledge in their use of the supercritical flow phenomenon with its attendant downstream hydraulic jumps that could easily have caused erosion, stone displacement, and over-topping of canal banks. The main canal, as well as the groundwater distribution canal network, has many examples of supercritical flow that were both well designed and adequately managed.
    It is certain that this Tipón complex, along with its various sites, was a completely self-contained community. For a defensive outpost, or resort, this self-containment would have been critical.
Left: The Intiwatana ruins atop Tipón were marked by high walls and excellent stone work; Right Top Left: Ancient stonework at Intiwatana and the similar stonework (LtoR) Huánuco, Ingapirca (Bottom LtoR) Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu

As mentioned elsewhere in these recent posts, Intiwatana was built atop a peak overlooking the Tipón complex and held an important and significant position in this large outpost leading into the Cuzco Valley, and was a self-sustaining location with it own storage facilities for food, supplies and weapons, and with its own astronomical sttings to determine planting, harvesting and other agricultural needs, as well as having large populace placement and troop barracks.
    To the north side and 2,000-feet above Tipón, is the ancient site of Cruzmoqo on the summit of 13,000-foot Wayrapunku, technically one of the sectors of the Archaeological Park, located at the north boundary, and is considered to have been an important checkpoint and ancient outlook station, though all that remains of the structures are the surrounding defensive outer walls. This outlook or outpost sits on a prominent natural rocky outcrop high in the hillside above Tipon and is accessed from below by a route to the east, away from and out of view of the ancient road below.
The defensive outer walls of Cruzmoqo to the north and east of the Tipón complex again shows the defensive nature of these early occupants long before the Inca

These defensive walls of Cruzmoqo, the highest site of the entire complex, are extensive on the north and west of the ruins along the crest of the hill. Cruzmoqo is also called Qosqo Qhawarina or Mirador del Cuzco (“Viewpoint of Cuzco”), since the early occupants of this outpost could see all the way to Cuzco from this site. In addition, there are petroglyphs decorating the rocks around Cruzmoqo that date well into BC times, as does the excellent andesite stonework, and veneer that was cut and carefully carved to cover the rough fieldstone of walls. There is also a unique polished, carved-out basin whose purpose has not been determined. There seems little question among archaeologists that Crumoqo served a defensive and signal function.
    Canals lead all through the Tipón complex, from each terrace, a 115 foot by 75½ foot rectangular Plaza, stone structures, and lower levels, with branches leading to other areas within the site. Where the crops were grown was highly protected, and there seems no doubt this was intentional, with the multiple terraces stretching 100-feet down a slope, ending at a steep cliff, with the other approaches surrounded by the high outer wall. The terraces themselves were under the constant view of a Qolpa containing doorways, windows, and niches providing a scenic view of the growing crops, situated along the northwest hill route to Intiwatana above.
The Pisac hilltop fortress 

East and a little north, beyond Intiwatana, on the backside of these mountains, is the site of Pisac (Pisaq), another mountaintop fortress overlooking the entrance to the sacred Valley that runs north and parallel to the Cuzco Valley. It is clear that these earliest Peruvians considered the importance of guarding the two entrances to the north along this ancient roadway route.
    Below this mountains area of craggy sandstone outcrops, Andean grass, brown scrub and small bushes where the valley narrows to a canyon along the ancient roadway route into Cuco, through which the Huatanay River plunges, and at the foot of the hills upon which Tipón is built, are today’s settlements of Huasao, at 10,270 feet elevation—once a wetland, swampy area, it is now the home of numerous brujos and Shaman, the latter having practiced their trade in the lagoons of Huancabamba or Lambayeque, and who are some of the most powerful teachers dating to ancient times in the area.
    Adjacent to Huasao is the village of Saylla, an ancient settlement 17½ square miles in size, that blocks the way northward into Cuzco—all traffic anciently (as well as today) went through this area and it was a stop-over for lengthy travel between towns to the south and the valley to the north. It is the ancient ayllu of Saylla Anahuarque, which has an important complex of ruins 5 miles from the contemporary town called Silkicanchi. Beyond Saylla to the south is Choquepata and Oropesa.
    Above Huasao is Patabamba (not to be mistaken with the settlement of the same name due west of Cuzco and northwest of Cusibamba), a small agricultural settlement called “the balcony of the Sacred Valley” containing numerous ancient ruins where the ancient tradition of the jakira technique of weaving thick cloth and lliklla blankets in Tanka Ch’uru designs were practiced, and sitting below mountain lakes where herds of llama and alpaca have always grazed.
    As was stated initially, Nephi taught his people to build buildings, that he knew the hatred of the Lamanites toward he and his people, and that he fought want battles or wars with the Lamanites in the defense of his people, and that by the end of 200 years from Nephi’s first settlement, the Nephites had spread throughout the land. As the Lamanites became more and more belligerent toward the Nephites, it seems prudent that Nephi would have built more buildings around the ity of Nephi within the Land of Nephi, that, according to Jarom, the Lamanites “came many times against” them and the Nephites “began to fortify their cities or whatsoever place of their inheritance” (Jarom 1:7).
    Assuming the Valley and city of Cuzco was where Nephi settled, then these various fortifications around the area guarding the entrances into the valley seem very likely to have been early Nephite settlements and were, indeed, built to guard the city of Nephi as early warning sites against Lamanite attack.

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