Thursday, November 15, 2018

Were There Other Cities Vacated by the Nephites at the Time Mosiah I Left the Land and City of Nephi – Part III

Continued from the previous post, regarding the defensive settlements and fortresses that were anciently built by early Peruvians along the road from the La Raya Pass to Cuzco, a distance of about 110 miles.
The sprawling hill top fortress of Pikillacta high in the mountains 30 miles south of Cuzco. Note the high stone defensive walls are mostly gone now, only their bases can be seen

Concluding with the coverage of the fortress of Pikillacta (Piquillacta). However, before continuing on with the road southward to the La Raya Pass and beyond to Puno, it should be kept in mind that these areas so named today, were built, as most modern Andean cities, over the ruins and settlements of much older settlements and villages, that often date back into first half of the first century AD or the last half of the last century BC times for the simple reason that the original settlers of these areas found the most advisable and worthwhile areas to settle. Later cultures and peoples merely built where they had been—this was especially true of the Spanish, who built their subsequent villages and haciendas in areas that had previously been settled, if for no other reason than there were large quantities of already cut and dressed stone available. When they ran out, they robbed the stones of other earlier fortresses and structures to complete their buildings.
    It is estimated that during the colonial period the Crown of Castile and under royal authority a total of 1.9 million Spaniards settled in the Americas, and another 250,000 in the 16th century alone, immigration was encouraged by the new Bourbon Dynasty—leading to millions reaching the Americas, specifically in Mexico, Central and South America—lured there by the promise of gold and silver. These early immigrants needed building materials and facilities to start their buildings, cathedrals, plazas, and haciendas, of which they took liberally from the existing settlements and cities built by the earlier Andeans. As for the indigenous populations, an estimated 8 million deaths occurred during this initial conquest (David P. Forsythe, Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Vol.4, Oxford University Press.209, p. 297).
    By 1611, less than 80 years after the initial entrance of Pizarro in Peru, the mining town of Potosi in the Andes saw an influx of 42,000 Spaniards and 65,000 working Indians, mostly slaves. In the coastal area south of Santiago, Chile, 100,000 well-armed Spanish flooded the area, driving the indigenous Araucana out of their homelands.
    The dominant city on the Pacific and in Spanish South America was Lima, Peru, which was the home of Spain's viceroy to South America and a seat of the Inquisition. Lima was a center of trade, including the port of exit for the silver mined in the Potosi area. In 1680, Lima had about 10,000 inhabitants who considered themselves of pure Spanish descent and 60,000 others. There, wealthy Spaniards lived in luxury and considered themselves just as aristocratic as anyone in Spain. Elaborate balconies adorned their homes. Churches and monasteries were adorned with much silver and gold. And in the 1680s a wall was built around the city to protect it from pirates.
    And all of these new Spanish towns and cities were built up over previous indigenous settlements dating as far back as the last century BC.
From Cuzco to Tipón is about 15½ miles; to Pikillacta about 24 mliles; to Andahuaylillas about 30 miles; to Sicuani about 86 miles; to La Raya Pass about 110 miles

After Pikillacta and Huarcapay the road continues along this South Valley Corridor through long interconnecting narrow valleys thrugh which the Urubamba river flows, to pass between two additional fortress cities of Andahuaylillas and Huaro, about 30 miles south of Cuzco.
    Andahuaylillas, six miles south of Pikillacta, is another pre-Columbian, pre-Inca site that was built over by the Inca, and then after the conquest, built over by the Spanish as they constructed their famed San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas (“Saint Peter the Apostle of Andahuaylillas”) Baroque church, where every square inch was covered with some type of painting or decoration, and now referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of America”—with its magnificent and dazzling Medejar-influenced display of colorful mural frescoes that adorn its walls, coffered  ceiling with sunken panels attached to a suspended dropped grid for depth and illustratively painted, and an ornate gold-leaf altar.
    Huaco (Hueracocha), about two miles south of Andahuaylillas, of which both towns are in the Vilcanota River Valley, is an ancient settlement in Peru at the foot of the 11,811-foot mount Wiraqucha. At the top of this mount, which the Urubamba River loops around to the east and north, is an area sitting atop a ledge on a high cliff face beneath an over covering of the cliff face to protect to help protect from the cold winds, where an outpost lookout, or fort of retreat, had a spectacular position overlooking the valley below. To the north is a break in the mountains, with mount Quri (Quiquijana) rising to 13,780-feet; to the west and a little north the Urubamba River flows around this plateau and between mount Wiraqucha and mount Quri heading west, and then bends northward along the ancient settlement of Andahuaylillas, now a major city in the region. In fact, the towns of Pikillaqta, Andahuaylillas and Huaro have a long history of settlement in the region, dating to before the Wari, and long before the Inca arrived.
    To the southwest of Wiraqucha, at 10,374-feet elevation and 62 miles south of Cuzco, lies Huaro (today the Huaro District), and to its east is Lake Qoyllur Urmana (Qoyllrumana) between Huaro and Urcos, where today the road splits, however, originally the road simply curved through the hills and headed south toward Puno. Further south the mountains are lower, flattening as they drop several hundred feet in elevation. To the north, Quri is the last of the mounts that stretch along an extensive range of mountains, including to the north, Pumacancha at 14,921 feet, and beyond Mount Tawqa at 15,170-feet, and Pachatusan at 15,885-feet, and at Cuzco, mount Pillku Urqu at 14,593-feet.
The main road from La Raya Pass northward into Cuzco takes a bend around the ancient settlement of Urcos and Huaro, then continues northward past the mounts of Wiraquha and Qrui to the east and the settlements of Huaro and Andahuaylillas on the west where it runs parallel to the Urubamaba River once again on its way northward to Pukara

Huaro was built in a peaceful area surrounded by mountains, and a perfect spot to help defend against an invading force from the south so it did not get beyond and up the road as far as Cuzco. While we do not know where any battles were fought between the Lamanites and Nephites during those first 400 years in the Land of Nephi, we do know that many “wars” were fought initially during Nephi’s time as he “wielded he sword of Laban in their defense” (Jacob 1:10), and the Lamanites “delighted in wars and bloodshed…and sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually” (Jacob 7:24).
    In addition, Enos wrote about seeing “wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites” (Enos 1:24); Jarom spoke of making weapons of war, including the “arrow, quiver, dart, and javelin” (Jarom 1:8), and that after 250 years in the Land of Promise, there had been many wars (Jarom 1:8), and that the Nephites swept away the Lamanties out of their lands (Jarom 1:7); Omni wrote of “many seasons of serious war and bloodshed” (Omni 1:3); Abinadom said that “with my own sword, have taken the lives of many of the Lamanties in the defense of my brethren” (Omni 1:10). All of this before Mosiah was told to leave the Land of Nephi and take all those who would go with him (Omni 1:12-13).
    The point being, of course, that all those battles were fought in the lands of the Nephites, among their cities, towns, villages and settlements. We also know that they built many cities and that to guard against their enemy, the Lamanites, they “began fortifying their cities in the lands of their inheritance” (Jarom 1:7) about 200 years before they were told to leave their lands.
    Obviously, many of these ancient settlements we are here discussing were built as fortifications to defend themselves against an enemy’s approach from the south. Consequently, on this only road northward during this time before Mosiah, beyond Huaro, on the way to Urcos, is the small town of Cunincunca, were the Spanish built over an ancient Peruvian settlement along the early and only route through the mountains from Cuzco to Puno. The settlement was named after a narrow pass enroute through these hills past a small lake to where it crossed the Urubamba River before turning south again and running along the river for 83 miles to the La Raya Pass. Beyond that, the Urubamba weaves its way a little to the east and then southeast up into the mountains where it originates in Mount Khunurana (Cunurana) in the La Raya Mountain Range at 17, 781-feet.
    Beyond Huaro, Caninuna and Urcos were the two settlements just before the LaRaya Pass, where the biggest defensive areas are seen.
(See the next post, “Were There Other Cities Vacated by the Nephites at the Time Mosiah I Left the Land and City of Nephi – Part II,” for more on the additional sites built by the Nephites to the south, between Cuzco (City of Nephi) and the area of Puno, which at one time would have been along the Sea East in the Land of Nephi)

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