Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part V

Continued from the previous post regarding the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling complex covering a thousand square miles.
Huaca Puruchuco in the Ate District of Lima

Huaca Puruchuco:
On the northern edge of Lima lies the Huaca Puruchuco (“Feeather Hat”), in the Huaquerones section of the “Land of Pyramids.” The complex has ramps that contain one of the largest cemeteries in the region, and nearby are the pyramids of Pariachi and Huaycán. Sitting in a valley within a sprawling shantytown called Tupac Amaru lies the pre-Hispanic site, known to archaeologists as Puruchuco-Huaquerones that once was a main ceremonial center. During archaeological investigations the archaeologist Guillermo Cock discovered the extent of the hidden settlement.
    It appears that the elite were buried here, together with common people who probably lived in the nearby hills. Bodies from ten different social classes were found. 500-year-old bodies of more than two thousand men, women, and children were excavated from the large Inca graveyard.
    It is estimated that the area may contain the human remains of up 10,000. Also recovered with the mummies were nearly 60,000 artifacts, valuables, food and everyday utensils. The well-preserved mummies, the rich textiles and other pieces recovered are for archaeologists the base to discover more details about the early Peruvian culture and the daily life of the people themselves.
    As the archaeologists recovered the bodies, they found many of them in so called "mummy bundles," large cocoons that contained up to seven individuals and weighed 397 pounds. Some of the bundles held adults and children together, wrapped in layers of raw cotton and exquisite textiles. About 40 of the large mummy bundles were decorated with false heads, known as "cabezas falsas.” This type of heads was attached to mummy bundles of members of the Inca elite. One of the most important discoveries was the one of "El Rey del Algodón" (the Cotton King). He was wrapped in 330 pounds of finest cloth and had a "Feather hat." Wrapped and buried with him were an infant and numerous archaeological important objects, including food, ceramics, furs and other items.
    The investigations and excavation works of the biggest cemetery found so far, have uncovered a lot of evidence that will help to understand this culture much better. The mummy bundles and the amazing artifacts wrapped with them brought many new findings about the life and cultures of the ancients that have toppled a lot of old theories.
The Huaca Huantille in Lima

• Huaca Huantille:
This is one of many archaeological sites neglected or destroyed by Lima’s major city sprawl. Fortunately, this district has been instrumental in changing the long period of neglect to this site, and the huaca was restored, though at one time it was green farmland on the outer edge of the Maranga complex.
    This pyramid, now nearly gone, was the main part of the Señorío de Magdalena, a complex that included five other huacas which have been destroyed. The site was found to have only one third remaining of a once large complex once it was excavated after the families live on the grounds were relocated elsewhere, tough the loss over time was immeasurable. From its top, the pyramids of Maranga would  have been visible in antiquity.
Archaeologists have recently discovered dozens of artifacts such as ceremonial vases and intact mummies yet covered in fine textiles. At the present time it is under excavation by archaeologists who are working to prepare it for tourists.

A mud-brick pyramid, mostly demolished from city sprawl, sits in San Borjo, in an area next to San Isidro

• Huaca San Borja                                              
There were two pre-historic pyramids in the area of San Borja, the huaca Limatambo and the Huaca San Borja, though the former is closed at the moment undergoing archaeological studies. In these pyramids, built on mud foundations, there are inside enclosures, passages and uneven levels that was formerly called Surco, in this upscale area.
    Other huacas in the area that have since been destroyed or built over are: huaca Makatampu, a pyramid on the outer edges of Maranga in the Lurin Valley, which is one of the oldest pyramids in the entire region, and Huaca Manchay Alto, an ancient pyramid said to be 3000 years old, older than nearby Pachacamac.
• Huaca Balconcillo
Another pyramid complex existed on the northern edge of San Borja in the area of Limatambo known as Huaca Baloncillo in an area once referred to as Huaas de Lince. The site was fed by the Guacta (Huatica) canal that was built by the ancients and the area was the main settlement of the area, only slightly smaller than the city of Maranga.
The restored ruins of Santa Catalina, an ancient complex on the northern edge of San Isidro and San Borja

Huaca Santa Catalina:
This huaca was an administrative and religious centrr connected by water channels and roads, and dates from the time of the early Lima Culture. It was built in the style of the time with adobe bricks and smoothed over with plaster. It is located on the southern fringe of the area cllaed Limatambo, south of the Huaca Balconcillo. Built with adobe bricks and plastered over to form a series of smooth-faced walls, many of which were three-feet thick. It was extensively remodeled in the early AD period, and partially restored in the 1970s and made to look as it did during its earliest period. Numerous ceramics, textiles and tool artifacts have been found there. Many of these are housed in a small room of the site serving as a museum.
    A narrow front staircase that rests on each of the platforms climbs up three terraced levels to the top. In the penultimate platform, the staircase is wide and without walls along the  sides, and at the end the platform flows down  toward an altar with small and narrow stairs and rooms. It is thought that this altar was the place where the curaca—a member of the nobility often acting as administrator or ruler over an ayllu or group of ayllus, received the important subjects of the local leader or chief, where some religious right or service was carried out. The top two colcas (granary) were for the storage of food and supplies for the services conducted there.
    The point of all this is that in the greater Limarea, there are more than 360 known huacas and some may still be undiscovered. They're scattered throughout the city, hidden on residential streets and sandwiched between small businesses. The huacas are not concentrated in one part of Lima. Rather, huacas can be found across the city. They can be found everywhere, and obviously show a very extended ancient complex of pyramids and buildings, temples and palaces, outlying structures and homes that once nearly covered the entire greater Lima area in a single sprawling series of structures, denoting a huge population and thriving city and government life. For those understanding the growth that would have taken place following the period when Mosiah I and the Nephites discovered Zarahemla, this gigantic size of growth over hundreds of years of the Nephite nation shows a very credible comparison to the ancient complex from Pachacamac to Lima.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part IV

Continued from the previous post regarding the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling complex covering a thousand square miles.
    Continuing with the list of huacas or religious centers in Maranga, we come to the Huaca San Miguel:
Aerial view of huaca San Miguel, sandwiched in between high rise apartment buildings on three sides of the complex. We do not know how many other 

• Huaca San Miguel:
Intensive studies, investigations and preservation of the "Huaca San Miguel" (Parque de las Leyendas) in the years 2003 and 2004 revealed an impressive building constructed of mud bricks. Further studies and restorations in 2006 led to the assumption that the "Huaca San Miguel" originally was an important administrative center. Impressive are the huge enclosures with sidewalks, the elegant plastering of the floors and walls, and huge stairs of 518 feet long and 5½ feet wide.
    San Miguel is one of 53 archaeological monuments found in this area, including monument, administrative buildings, temples, palaces, walls, and roads, and formerly known as the Curacazgo de Maranga. The 2,000-year-old site is situated along the coastline, the site is bordered by Callao to the north and Magdalena del Mar to the south. Large portions of San Miguel district are taken up by the sprawling Parque de la Leyendas and the campuses of Universidad San Marcos and Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.
    At one-time San Miguel was abandoned by its population and later reoccupied with huge enclosures and silos to store agricultural products were added. At the end of this "reoccupation" period the complex was also used as a burial ground, with archaeologists finding a 30 to 40-year-old tattooed man (El Personaje Tatuado), a 25 to 30-year-old woman (La Dama de los Batanes - the Lady of the walk-mill) and a mummy bundle containing an infant. Today, the archaeological investigations, the conservation and the reconstruction of the huaca are still taking place.
The Huaca Tres Palos aspart of the Maranga Archeological Complex in Lima Peru

• Huaca Tres Palos:
Situated about two blocks from the famed zoo in Tres Palos, and dwarfing the zoo’s walls, the 66-foot tall ancient site of Huaca Tres Palos, also called Huaca Pando or Huaca La Campana, it is an observatory of truncated pyramidal structure, with plastered walls painted in ocher white and yellow colors. The highest platform has 96 astronomical wells, forming a system for measuring time, seasons, and tides—knowledge applied in the organization of agriculture and fisheries. 
    The complex functioned as a temple, and along with Huacas La Cruz, San Miguel and Cruz Blanca, forms an architectural ensemble which today rests in the Parque de las Leyendas. On the west side is a lagoon or pond that in its time was supplied with water by a canal beinging water from the Rímac river.
Huaca La Cruz within the Parque de las Leyendas in the archaeological complex of Maranga

Huaca La Cruz:
Similar to the Huaca Tres Palos, and built at the same time, was also used as an administrative center. It is located within Parque de las Leyendas, or Park of Legends (Legends Park), which was built once the major walls around Lima were torn down in the 1870s, and today one of the most emblematic and favorite places for any Peruvian or foreign visitor who wishes ot connect with nature and cohabitate for a few moments with the biodiversity of Peru’s representative ecosystems. Unfortunately little is known about the Huaca La Cruz, but investigations of this complex are still ongoing.
The Huaca La Palma 

Huaca La Palma:
This was the principal building of the city of Maranga and presently the last of the major buildings on the grounds of the Parqaue Leyendas. This building was the principal administrative site and contained three platforms connected with two ramps. The base is surrounded by sidewalks and walls with small niches; unfortunately, the pyramid deteriorated a great deal before archaeological investigations began on it. Fortunately, some amazing friezes were discovered, preserved and restored in. They are the “Aves Piquero” and the “Cruces Escalonadas.” In fact, the "Huaca La Palma" is one of the few historical sites in the Lima area where archaeologist could discover and save amazing friezes (a band of decoration running along the wall).
    In addition, there are important Huacas that are part of this great ancient city of Maranga that are not in the park but are on private property. Two examples are, the Huaca San Marcos and Huaca Concha on property owned by the University of San Marcos. Unfortunately the monuments, complexes and pyramids built of adobe bricks and mud walls are quite deteriorated and continuing to do so.
    The "Huaca La Palma" is one of the few historical sites in the Lima area where archaeologist could discover and save amazing friezes ("frieze" = a band of decoration running along the wall). In 2001 the unique friezes of the "Aves Piquero" and of the "Cruces Escalonadas" were preserved and restored.
One of the four huge terraced pyramids at Mateo Salado Ruins in Miraflores on the southern outskirts of Lima and once part of the great Maranga city built at the end of the first century BC

Mateo Salado:
Found at the Plaza de la Bandera where the district of Pueblo Libre meets Breña and Lima Cercado, the ruins of five pyramids that make up this Lima Culture complex, called Huaca Mateo Salado, tower over the surrounding modern houses.
    The complex was named after a Frenchman called Matew Salé who lived there in the 1550s when the area was ancient farm land. It was once connected to and formed part of the great Maranga city that was built by the Lima culture or their predecessors. There was a long road running between the pyramids with a wall at either side. The Mateo Salado monuments were constructed and used at the same time as the new huacas were built in Maranga, those that now stand in the Park of Legends.
    Little now survives of the road that connected these ruins with Maranga, nor does much survive of the great number of ancient buildings and homes that covered the area. All has been built over by modern development in the 1800s and 1900s, and builders are still tearing down pyramids to build modern housing.
(See the next post, “Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part V,” for more on the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles, but now mostly covered over by building expansion of Lima area.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part III

Continued from the previous post regarding the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling complex covering a thousand square miles.
    The Lima culture was an indigenous civilization which it is believed existed during the Early Intermediate Period, extending from roughly 100 to 650 AD. This pre-Incan culture, which overlapped the surrounding Paracas, Moche, and Nasca civilizations, was located in the desert coastal strip of Peru in the Chillón, Rímac, and Lurin river valleys; however, in both time and area, archaeologists claim it is difficult to differentiate the Lima culture from surrounding cultures due to both its physical proximity to other, and better documented cultures, in Coastal Peru, and because it is chronologically very close, if not over lapped, by these other cultures as well.
Unique construction of the mud-brick method of building, used extensively in the greater Lima area made completely of adobe “adobitos”—small sized adobes modeled by hand and stacked for walls and supports. The building material found throughout Pachacamac and Lima area
It might be noted that these older monumental constructions were built using hundreds of thousands of mud bricks, in a style known as “book shelf” style because that bricks of the walls appear like books stacked on a shelf. Large numbers of these “books” gradually lean at an angle until they push against others leaning in an opposite angle (such as:||||////\\\\\\||||). It was in this manner that the Lima’s constructions resisted earthquakes.
    Obviously, these cultures that dominated these valleys in what is today the Greater Lima Metropolis were quite advanced in their building techniques—much more than numerous peoples that followed them in Andean Peru, though are basically unknown and undifferentiated to any degree that provides an insight into whether they were one extensive culture or many separate ones.
    As part of this greater Lima archaeological complex was the ancient city area of Maranga, also known as the Maranga huacas, located in the lower valley of the Rímac River, in Lima, Peru. It includes several remains of monumental pyramids built in adobe, as well as other structures such as housing complexes, walls and canals.
    One of the distinct locations within the Maranga, which was located on the left bank of the Rímac River, in what is today the Lima, San Miguel and Pueblo Libre districts, covering a large area, included between the campus of the National University of San Marcos, the Naval Hospital and adjoining urbanizations, the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and the park and zoo of the Parqu de las Leyendas.
    One of the various pyramidal settlements in this area is the Huaca San Marcos.
Huaca San Marcos in the greater Lima area

Huaca San Marcos. 
This was a spacious area, with large open distances and numerous spaces between palaces and buildings. The settlements of "Huaca San Marcos," "Huaca Middendorf," and "Huaca Concha" formed the first real ceremonial and administrative complex in what is now called Maranga. These three complexes were extended, upwards and to the sides and additional smaller huacas built around them not long after the original settlement. 
    The site is a representative example of the architecture of the immense architectural complex of Maranga, and was initially called "Aramburú" before the University was built around it and the name changed. Currently, the so-called Mound 22, a smaller huaca located to the south, preserves the old name "Aramburú." The entire area was built during the time of or just before the Lima Culture and today an area of 205 square feet rests on a base 1090-feet wide by 450-feet long, within the University of San Marcos. The central part with its five platforms and three adjacent parts were built mainly with "adobitos,” with only a few mud walls having so far been uncovered.
    Inside the huaca at San Marcos, numerous mummy bundles have been excavated by asrchaeologists, along with the remains of vegetables, fish, bones and ceramics from different cultures as well as amazing ancient drawings, all dating to the last half of the first century BC. Unfortunately, the monument and his historical value were badly damaged due to the urban growth and the expansion of the University of San Marcos. At least "Huaca San Marcos" still exists.
    According to Dr. Shelia Pozorski, professor at the University of Texas-Pan America and long-time investigator of pyramids and ancient ruins in Andean Peru, claims that recent research carried out by her and her husband, Tom, have shown that rather than early Peruvian cultures first developing on the coast and then working inland, that both the coastal areas and the inland areas developed at the same time (Henry Fountain, “Archaeological Site in Peru is Called Oldest City in Americas,” New York Times, April 27, 2001).
    This should be especially of interest to Book of Mormon researchers, historians and theorists that such development in Andean South America mirrors the scriptural record and not that of other locations. 
Huaca Middendorf was part of the ancient city of Maranga, and located in the northern part of today's "Parque de las Leyendas" close to the compound of University San Marcos 

Huaca Middendorf
Named after Ernst Wilhelm Middendorf, the great German doctor and pioneer known for his archaeological investigations in Peru, is located in the northern part of today's "Parque de las Leyendas" close to the compound of University San Marcos. Together with the "Huaca San Marcos" and "Huaca Concha" it formed the first ceremonial and administrative complex within the ancient City of Maranga. The huge pyramid was built during the Lima Culture mainly out of "adobitos." The complex is formed by two sections, "Hill A" and "Hill B". "Hill A" is the higher one in the south and has four platforms. 
Huaca Concha
The "Huaca Concha", on the premises of the University of San Marcos, was one of the highest pyramids of the Lima Culture in the ancient City of Maranga. Together with "Huaca San Marcos" and "Huaca Middendorf" was part of the first administrative center. Unfortunately, in the 20th century the expansion of the University ended up with the construction of a football stadium literally on top of the "Huaca Concha" (after demolishing and flattening the peak of the pyramid). This nearly completely destroyed the highly valuable and important historical complex. Even the discovery of significant archaeological objects during and after the construction phase did not stop renovation works of the stadium in the 1990's with even more damages done to the few remains of the "Huaca Concha."
    Archaeologist found yellow painted floors and adobe bricks. "Hill B", the smaller one, has at least two platforms and was presumably used as a cemetery. Only a few investigations of the huaca have been conducted but the whole structure has been stabilized to protect it from further deterioration. Hopefully studies will continue and this historical and archaeological monument will be restored. 
The Huaca Cruz Blanca was part of the Maranga Archaeological complex, inside today's "Parque de las Leyendas" 

Huaca Cruz Blanca
This was an important administration and ceremonial center for the "Chieftain of Maranga," and used in the period of regional chiefs and señoríos and was located in the "Parque de las Leyendas" has a rectangular shape and is divided into two sectors. The Huaca Cruz Blanca is built mainly using mud walls and contains many platforms, stairways, large walls and wide enclosures with public squares, open spaces and niches. 
    This enormous archaeological complex, one of the largest in the province of Lima, rose in its time over a fertile and extensive valley, now completely covered by the disorderly urban expansion. The site encompassed and middle and lower valleys of the Lurín and Rímac rivers, on the central coast at a time when the people dominated the area, and were associated with Pachacamac. There is little known about the site other than it began around the last of the first century BC, and almost nothing about it until the 7th Century AD.  
     In 1992 and 1993 the higher part was conserved and reconstructed, in 2003 the lower part. The archaeological site is open to the public and worth a closer look. 
(See the next post, “Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part IV,” for more on the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles, but now mostly covered over by building expansion of Lima area.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles.
The ancient disbursement of numerous peoples and their settlements within the greater Lima area
It should be noted that three groups came to the Comarca of Lima: a) the Collas, who came from the mountain ranges around Cuzco; b) the Huallas, who descended from the upper Chancay to the coast; and c) the Huanchos, who began their expansion towards the coast from the heights of Huarochirí
    It should be noted that archaeologists and anthropologists claim that numerous different cultures settled in the Lima area over time; however, what is really known is that there were people there and their affiliation to a “culture” does not mean they were different people, only that they existed in different eras along a time line—and that is typically determined by such things as the use of, artistic abilities of, and style of ceramics. As an example there is one group claimed to have existed in the Lima area called the Ruicancho or Lurigancho, and is one of the pre-hispanic groups of the valleys of the central coast, of which often only their names are known. In fact, some of these groups origins and activities are so shrouded in antiquity, that most of what is considered “known” today, and found in numerous writings, books, and so-called history, is merely a fabrication of those who found and studied a particular group, arranging their lives and accomplishments based upon the most minimal of standards that has led to such great misunderstanding among today’s researchers and historians.
    Finally, as for the Lima Prehispanic its historiography is still incomplete, information is lacking that facilitates the studies, misconceptions are repeated and the current population expansion throughout the three valleys erase the old toponyms and wipe out the archaeological monuments, many of them without having been studied. At best, our knowledge of this vast area is extremely limited.
The major pre-historic settlement areas that make up the Greater Lima Area of today. Initially, the cultures began in Pachacamac, but eventually spread throughout this metropolitan area

What is stated by those who work this area is that certain named groups of people moved into the Pachacamac-Lima area:
1. Collas, or Kolla, who spoke the indigenous language of Aymara, no doubt in part from the earlier Aymara kingdoms or lacustrine kingdoms, and who came from the mountains of Cuzco, spreading along the left bank of the Chillón River, occupying it from Yangas to the Callao—a people who were excellent architects and stone carvers, who worshipped Huiracocha (Viracocha) the “Creator God.” This culture inexplicably collapsed in the first millennia AD.
2: The Huallas, who descended from the upper Chancay River to the east of Huaral, down to the coast at Chacray Mar and Pasamayo to the coast, founding towns such as Kara Huallas, Maranca, Huadca Hualla, Sulco and Marca Huillca. Originally in the mountain ranges around Lima, their migration into the lowlands to the coast for lbetter lands drove them into this greater Lima area.
3. The Huallas who began their expansion towards the coast from the heights of Huarochirí and through the channels of the Santa Eulalia and Rímac rivers, reached the middle part of this last valley, settling in Huachipa, Huacho Huallas, Carapongo, Huampaní , Caxamarquilla, Pariachi, Lati and Hurin Huancho.
    In addition, it is believed during the early pre-historic times that a single power or government was combined in the valleys of the Comarca, i.e., the valleys of Chancay, Chillón, Rimarc and Lurín (Jose Antonio del Busto Duthurburu, General History of Peru: Discovery and Conquest, 1978).
Among these three early cultures, the ancient disbursement of people and settlements within the greater Lima area is shown

It should also be noted that among these cultures, another emerged that is barely known to archaeologists and yet to be understood, called by them the Ruicancho or Lurigancho. In fact, this entire area of the Huanchos has been confused by the various different claims of numerous researchers as to their identity, but assumed to belong to the various cultural groups in time. In addition, this area of Lima prior to about 200 BC was a conglomeration of large buildings without structure or overall organization. From 200 BC onward, archaeologists claim the area became an established culture, upon whose shoulders the later Lima culture rested.
    This idea is one that should be of interest to those theorists, historians and researchers of the Book of Mormon, for this fits the time frame of the early Mulekites living in an unorganized settlement under the direction of caciques (local chiefs), and about the time that Mosiah discovered them, began to be established as a productive culture, building a considerable complex and civilization from that point onward.
    In the previous post, the area of Maranga was discussed, and it should be noted, that while this area underwent much construction over several centuries beginning around 500 BC, the complex experienced considerable reconstruction period between 200 BC and 150 AD, during what has been called the Maranga II, "Blanco sobre Rojo Tradition," where earlier construction was almost entirely replaced by new construction of the city complex. In fact, until the 20th century, the ruins of Maranga were known as Huática, though this name really applied only to a very old irrigation canal located east of Maranga.
    In the period following, called Maranga III, Lima Tradition (150 AD to 450 AD), the pyramids grew. Cubical adobe bricks were used as construction material and the existing huacas were extended with platforms, enclosures and passages. Walls were plastered and painted yellow. This architectural style can be found in the "Huaca Middendorf," the "Huaca San Marcos," the "Huaca Concha," and the "Huaca Potosi Alto.” This period is characterized by the overall growth of the complex and a sophisticated urban establishment of the site.
Huaca El Paraís

El Paraiso. 
In the greater Lima area near Maranga og the Chillón River valley, is the pyramidal complex originally called Chuquitanta but renamed El Paraiso (The Paradise), this Late Preceramic archaeological site is located in the Chillón Valley and one of the largest settlements from this period, encompassing over 143 acres of land. It was occupied at a time a time when settlements were broadly distributed, located at various distances from the coast allowing access to a variety of marine and agricultural resources. While it is generally accepted as a Preceramic site by most archaeologists, the occupation actually was in the Ceramic Period and ceramics have been found there, along with textiles, such as cotton.
    The site housed around 3000 people and was built with thick wall construction of stone quarried in local hills, and was either an economic or religious center or both. Built around a U-shaped central plaza of almost two acres, it resembles many nearby sites in the Chillón, Rimac and Lurín Valleys, and was likely a precursor to such later sites.
    It was originally excavated by Louis Stumer, then Thomas C. Patterson and Edward P. Lanning, and finally by Fréderick Engel between the 1950s and 1965. In December 2012 a new investigation and excavation project led by Mark Guillen started at El Paraiso. And after three months a groundbreaking discovery was announced. Archaeologists found an ancient temple located next to the main temple of El Paraiso. First excavations uncovered an underground ceremonial center comprising of 4 levels each older than the other. The construction is believed to have been built around 3000 BC. The inside discovered fire place where presumably offerings were burnt earned the ceremonial center the name "Templo el Fuego" (Fire Temple).
    It is now believed that the overall complex consisted of around 10 to 15 pyramidal structures. Unit I or the main temple of El Paraiso was assumedly a ceremonial center used by the community, with Unit IV used for feasting ceremonies associated with the other units.
(See the next post, “Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part III,” for more on the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles, but now mostly covered over by building expansion of Lima area.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part I

When the Nephites discovered the descendants of Mulek in their city of Zarahemla, the city must have been insignificant, since it is neither described in any way, nor was the leader, Zarahemla, referred to as a king. In any event, with the inclusion of the Nephites, with their vast nearly 400-year history of building dating back to Nephi (2 Nephi 5:10,13,17), it should be expected that the city of Zarahemla, destined to be the capital of the Nephite Nation for several hundred years, would grow considerably.
    While the style and size of Zarahemla are never mentioned in the scriptural record, that it was the main city and location of the Nephites is quite clear in the events that unfolded over the several hundred years of its existence, even being rebuilt after a fire destroyed the city around 34AD (3 Nephi 8:8,24; 9:3; 4 Nephi 1:8). 
    Obviously, there can be little doubt that Zarahemla grew in size and scope as the Nephite capital expanded to accommodate the ever growing Nephite population (4 Nephii 1:23). Thus, for any place to be considered the city of Zarahemla in modern theory, it would have to include in size and scope, an ever increasing city of expansion. One where urban sprawl was evident from its constant growth as the people’s numbers grew until “the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea” (Mormon 1:7).
    We also need to point out that Mulek, who escaped from Jerusalem in the final year of his father, king Zedekiah, before the city fell to the Babylonians, landed along the West seashore of the Land of Promise, for Amaleki tells us that “Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:15-16, emphasis added).
The city of Zarahemla would have been near the coast where Mulek landed, with the Land of Zarahemla eventually running eastward from there to the Sidon River with the Valley and land of Gideon beyond

Thus, the city of Zarahemla would have to be reasonably close to the coast where Mulek landed, and that would not be the east coast, since the Land of Zarahemla stretched to the east of the city to the border of the land and the land of Gideon beyond eastward (Alma 2:20,26), with the Land of Gideon to the east of the Sidon River (Alma 2:15,27).
    It might also be understood, as the Amlicites and the Lamanites, which had sought to reach Zarahemla from the east after crossing the River Sidon, the Nephites chased them westward into the wilderness that stretched both toward Zarahemla to the west, and the open land to the north of the city (Alma 2:35-36) into the wilderness of Hermounts (Alma 2:37). Thus, we find a vast land to the east of the city of Zarahemla, encompassing an extensive wilderness, the River Sidon and the Valley and land of Gideon beyond.
    Since the Mulekites or people of Zarahemla came “across the great waters into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:15-16), it cannot be suggested that either the Mulekites landed on the east shore, or that the city of Zarahemla was on or near the east shore.
    As a result, we need to look to a landing in the West Sea of the Land of Promise, and along the coastal area of the west seashore for the city of Zarahemla. Such an area is found in Andean Peru of South America in the location of present-day Lima, Peru. In this vast city and urban complex of Lima, Callao, Maranga, San Isidoro, Miraflores, San Borja and southward to the present location of Pachacamac, was anciently an immense series of interconnected pyramidal city developments stretching more than a thousand square miles by the time the Spanish arrived.
    Since then, of course, this area has grown in modern times, with bulldozers and modern buildings destroying and building over the original archaeological sites that at present count, number more than 250 pyramids and building complexes. Many of these original pyramidal cities still exist as the urban sprawl of the 19th and 20th centuries built all around them. One such pyramid is that of San Isidro.
The complete reconstructed Huaca Huallamarca in San Isidro along the southern outskirts of the city of Lima

The pyramid of Huallamarca, also known as Huaca Pan de Azúcar, meaning “sugar bread,” was situated in the greater Lima area in what is today an upscale financial center that is home to politicians and celebrities.
    Surrounded by desert, the early ancient Peruvians needed to channel water from surrounding rivers in order to cultivate their soil for agricultural purposes. This resulted in the construction and maintenance of an extensive irrigational system, redirecting canals, and method of terracing that also had to be expended as the city complex grew in size. Today the Huaca Huallamarca is surrounded by modern constructions where excavations are still ongoing at the adobe pyramid.
    Findings to this point show the site was added to in three major stages, from the latter part of the first century BC, and again around 200 AD, and finally, after 421 AD. In addition, the site was home to several “cultures” over the centuries, including the Inca who moved into the area after their conquest of the Ishma culture. The pyramid structure, in the midst of modern buildings, stands out distinctly and is a testament of the highly developed building techniques and achievements of an earlier age.
    It is assumed that originally these pyramids served as areas of worshipping for the early Peruvians where Viracocha or Pachacamac, the Creator of the World, was the land’s reigning deity.
Location of the various archaeological sites in the greater Lima area

Huaca Huallamarca. The history of the "Huaca Huallamarca" goes back to the early Christian era when the "Hualla" from the Lima Culture occupied the complex. Its original purpose was to serve as a place of worship for the tribes of the Lima Culture. During the time of this development the big and main pyramid was built. It was constructed completely with adobe bricks, shaped by hand and assembled to platforms (one over the other) to create enclosures, patios, passageways and private areas. Everything was painted in a yellowish color. Side ramps were built to reach the different levels. Access to the ceremonial center was probably only allowed to a religious elite.
    During the early stages, the first burials were quite simple. The bodies were placed in an extended position, wrapped in cotton cloths and tied to a reed stretcher. The offerings placed around the head consisted of ceramic pots and food for the afterlife. As time passed, new urban and cultural centers arose in the valley and the "Huallamarca" was abandoned as a temple. The population only used the ceremonial complex as a burial ground. In this second phase burials became more elaborate. Funerary bundles with "false heads" were made. The bodies were wrapped in woven cloth and buried with textiles, decorated ceramic pots, gourds, tools, musical instruments, food and other valuable objects.
    The city of "Huallamarca's" as a human settlement grew with terraces added on the east side of the pyramid and added dwellings, patios, storage and cooking areas. Typical for this time period are the large in-built deposits and huge terra-cotta vessels used for the storage of grain and liquids. Archaeologists found measuring and weighting devices as well as goods for barter trade (swapping).
The vast, sprawling complex of Maranga, which was built with "adobitos" (small adobe bricks). Other examples for this period are the "Huaca Middendorf" and the "Huaca San Marcos"

Maranga Complex. The archaeological site known today as the "Archaeological Complex of Maranga,” originally extended over today's districts of Cercado de Lima (Lima Center), Pueblo Libre and San Miguel. By the beginning of the 20th century big parts of the once huge settlement were destroyed mainly due to urban growth and construction. The original dimensions of the once great complex can only be guessed at today since a soccer stadium was built over it during the 20th century expansion of the University of San Marcos,, resulting in the demolishing and flattening the peak of the huge pyramid.
    Located in the "Parque de las Leyendas,: which today houses not only the zoo and botanical garden of Lima but as well a big part of Lima's most extensive ancient city and one of the most important pre-Hispanic complexes at the central Peruvian coast. The ancient city of Maranga contained impressive huge monuments, numerous pyramids, palaces, temples and administrative centers.
    Also an ancient wall, roads, residential areas, water reservoirs and irrigation channels were part of the complex. The original buildings date back to 500 BC, and were added to considerably over time. All were built by different cultures who occupied the area continuously from around 600 BC until the Inca period in 1532.
(See the next post, “Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part II,” for more on the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Megatropolis of Ancient Andean Peru

In the ancient Latin Language, the word metropolis, which was borrowed from the Greek, meant “chief town or capital city of a province,” and was first used in English in the 13th century referencing “metropol” or “metropolitan” “pertaining to or belonging to a metropolis.” It was also found in 1530 referencing a “seat of a metropolitan bishop.”
    The word was used initially in the Greek for “Mother City,” and referenced a large city or conurbation which was a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections, and sent out settlers into the surrounding areas. This was later generalized to a city regarded as a center of a specified activity, or any large, important city in a nation.
    In ancient Peru, there is one area that exemplifies this definition more than any other and that is the area of today’s Lima and southward to Pachacamac, an overall area of more than a thousand square miles (by comparison New York City 468 square miles; Los Angeles is 503 square miles, and Mexico City is 573 square miles).
    The massive ancient buildings of Pachacamac and Lima, the Nephite Capital City and its Broad Urban Design is a true metropolitan conurbation that stretches along the central coast of Peru and into the Chillón, Rímac, and Lurín valleys where construction has developed and spread to link areas to create a single urban settlement.
    Lima is one of the most interesting and challenging cities in South America with a huge archaeological, historical and cultural past. Long before the Common Era until the arrival of the Spaniards numerous highly advanced cultures settled the area of today's Lima. Even today they amaze the viewer and historian with their complex skills in construction, agriculture and arts.
    There are to date about 250 discovered pyramidal and archaeological sites, many of which have only been uncovered in recent years. These huacas (sacred place) or archaeological complexes include sites that were at least partially spared from destruction and deterioration as the modern sprawl of this region swept over the entire Lima to Pachacamac complex. Some of these ruins stand out right in the middle of the huge metropolis as a permanent reminder of the great ancient cultures in the region.
    The area of today's Lima City and Province has been already inhabited for many thousands of years. That's the reason why you will find hundreds of ancient settlements hidden somewhere in Lima and the surroundings. But only around 250 archaeological sites and huacas in the capital are registered with the National Institute of Culture.
From Lima in the north to Pachacamac in the south, these 250 archaeological sites command great attention for their contribuiton to the knowledge of this ancient area

These ancient historical sites and buildings are spread over the traditional and modern districts of Lima. Explorers and archaeologists rediscovered a few hundred years back many of these historical monuments, but their findings were until generally ignored until only a few years ago. Unfortunately today only a few huacas are cared for, preserved, restored or investigated in an appropriate manner. Most of the valuable reminders of Lima's rich archaeological and historical past seem to be forgotten.
    Most sites are totally neglected, left to deteriorate and exposed to Lima’s urban expansion. There are, as an example, residences, small plantations, rubbish, a soccer field or even a garage in an archaeological complex or on top of an ancient temple. It is not surprising to see major roads literally cutting through a historical complex.
    Yet, at one time, this ancient metropolis covered more than a thousand square miles, larger than any modern city, with hundreds of known ancient sites, and several hundred more believed to have been permanently covered over by modern expansion nd building in the area.
    Fortunately, awareness of ancient cultures has grown over the past few years in Andean Peru, and thanks to the efforts of the Peruvian government, the Municipality of Lima, cultural institutions, archaeologists, companies and private citizen projects, Peru has started to save at least a few of these ancient relics. Huacas like "Huaca Mateo Salado" in Pueblo Libre, "Huaca Santa Cruz" in San Isidro, "Huaca Santa Catalina" in La Victoria, "Huaca Huantille" in Magdalena, "Huaca San Borja" in San Borja, "Huaca Rosada" in San Miguel, "Huaca Capillo" in Ventanilla and the "Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco" are being preserved from further deterioration, investigated and restored. These enormous efforts and the costs involved are opening the door to more and greater knowledge of the civilization that started these sites more than two thousand years ago.
The huge pyramid complex located in urban Lima of the downtown Miraflores District

Those sites that have been uncovered, have so far yielded great structures built by ancient cultures (or one single culture dominating the land for a thousand years), with valuable artifacts and mummies within a short time. Day by day more information and details about the life, culture, religion, social structure, skills, techniques and abilities regarding arts and handicrafts were revealed.
    The archaeological complex of Pachacamac is located within this overall metropolis, around 25-miles south-east of Lima’s present-day city center. The enormous site is very impressive with its great pyramidal temples, dwellings, remains of frescoes decorating the adobe walls and other interesting archaeological constructions built. The site was the most important religious center of indigenous people at the Peruvian coast in pre-Hispanic times.
    It was the main destination for pilgrims in the coastal region and attracted worshippers from all over Peru. Extensive research and excavations, especially in the last couple of years, revealed amazing findings about the significance and history of Pachacamac. The on-site museum displays artifacts discovered at Pachacamac (astonishing ceramics, beautiful textiles and religious pieces) and at the same time explains the history and importance of the Ceremonial Center of Pachacamac to its visitors.
The guarded entrance of Pachacamac, a complex built for and named after the “The One Who Animates the World,” and the God who created the world as understood by the Ancient Peruvians 

The Ceremonial Center of Pachacamac was dedicated to the most important "god" at the Peruvian coast in pre-Hispanic times—Pachacamac, which translated means "The one who animates the world"), who was a powerful god that was the creator of the world. The occupation of Pachacamac began around the end of the first century BC, and was the first temple site in the Lima cultural area. The materials used and the construction techniques were very complex for that timed, with stone walls serving as a base for the amazing structures made of "adobitos" (small adobe bricks that can also be seen at the "Conjunto de Adobitos", the "Templo de Urpiwachak" and the "Templo Viejo."
At the time, Pachacamac's influence was only local; however, as the people began to expand and fill up the land, the size of the complex and ever-expanding influence made it the most important site along the central coast and a place of continued growth, power, influence and the adoration of "Pachacamac."
    In time the ceremonial center of Pachacamac increased its magnificence. The "Templo Pintado" was fortified and 15 main temples and "stepped pyramids" with ramps, storage facilities and patios were erected. These constructions were mainly built with adobe bricks and mortar; plastered but not painted. Two main streets connected the magnificent temples.
Today, Pachacamac is a vast complex of buildings, temples, roads, and outlying buildings that dominates the entire region 

The complex of Pachacamac was one of the largest centers in central Peru, and over the years grew into the massive complex stretching across what is today Lima’s metropolitan area. Obviously, in the ancient past, when the pyramids and buildings were being constructed, the site would have been seen as a capital of an Empire, or the seat of the Nation. Just as obviously, it fits the description of the Nephite Zarahemla to which Mosiah I led the more righteous Nephites when they quit the city of Nephi in the midst of growing evil to which the Lord told him to leave and take “as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart with him” (Omni 1:12). The following description of the people of Zarahemla which Mosiah discovered was of a people who had not achieved much in the way of progress, and likely had little in the way of buildings of development. The story of Pachacamac is that at some point toward the end of the first century BC, the city began to grow and never stopped growing until it had achieved the conurbation that marked the height of 1000 years of Nephite achievement.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

All of the Middle East Built in Mud Brick and Stone

We receive comment from time to time regarding points that are inconsistent with the scriptural and historical record. Recently,  a reader sent in a comment in which he said, in part, “The Nephites built with wood; their houses in Jerusalem and surrounding areas were not cut stone. It is quite clear they built with wood (Hel 3:5-11).” We also have another comment regarding this issue: “I think that the mistake comes whenever somebody claims that the Nephites built exclusively of wood or exclusively with stone. The scriptures are clear that they used both. While many homes may have been primarily of wood, their important buildings were of stone—temples, fortresses, palaces, fortifications, anything meant to last.”
    The fact of the matter is, most theorists, especially those involving North America (Heartland, Great Lakes, etc.) have the wrong idea of how buildings in the Middle East were constructed, and of what material, thus they feel free to comment on such not knowing the errors of their opinion.
Bedouin tents are still in use today by the nomadic Jews and Arabs; however, many settlements and cities are permanent with stone buildings

First of all, it should be noted that these people in ancient Palestine used two types of housing: 1 tents, and 2) houses. The latter were found in villages and cities where numerous people gathered for their common good and protection.
    Most of the tribal people in the Book of Genesis were nomads who lived in tents and traveled with their flocks. They were often on the move, looking for fresh pasture for their flocks, water, and a shaded oasis. This constant movement necessitated a moveable dwelling, and tents were idea for that life style.
    Initially the area of the high hills between the Jordan and the coastal plain was dry and infertile. Many waves of people had, however, succeeded each other there, but the hazards and uncertainties of growing crops explain why nomadism always prevailed in Canaan at the very earliest date.
    These early people there have been designated proto-Canaanites by modern-day scholars because they had not yet established an identifiable culture. They worked in stone and developed trade with other nations, and by 2000 BC, began building permanent housing in the area.
    Initially, this area of Palestine, to which the early Patriarchs moved toward, and which first had a nomadic existence with only seasonal settlements (such as the site of the later city of Jericho). However, around 2000 BC permanent settlements were founded and the practice of animal husbandry established earlier, was developed further. When the early patriarchs traveled in Canaan or Palestine, they noted that the inhabitants of those areas lived in villages and fortified towns, and had a settled way of life.
Typical BC settlement in Palestine showing houses built out of cut stone, some dressed to form corners, doorways, lintels, etc., and most plastered over around a central courtyard

As early as 1570 BC, Canaanite cities were walled and well-fortified (Joshua J. Mark, “Canaan,” Ancient History Encyclopedia, UK, 23 October 2018). The Israelites soon saw the advantages of town life and began to live in permanent settlements. Clusters of houses sprang up wherever there was good land in Canaan and later Palestine that could be farmed, some claiming Jerusalem was first begun in 3000 BC. King David made Jerusalem his city in 1000 BC, and Solomon built the first temple there about 40 years later.
    That temple, dated to 960 BC, was made of stone. The wood used was for inside paneling, however, that was then covered with sheets of gold. During the time of David, houses largely replaced tents in most parts of the world as agriculture and settled villages replaced the nomadic way of life, though tents continued in use throughout biblical times—even right up to modern times.
    Stone for building, or mud and straw for mud bricks, was plentiful in most of Palestine, and stone was generally used at least in the foundations of all houses, with mud-brick walls and interior divisions (Elizabeth Fletcher, Women in the Bible: An Historical Approach, Harper Collins, New York, 1997).
    At first, the basic floor plan followed the layout of the tents: one long room at the front, and another one immediately behind it.
    However, as villages became the predominant pattern of life, the basic floor plan of a modest house changed. Now it had a central courtyard with a number of rooms opening off it, which rooms were small by our standards, with a minimum of windows. Lattice work and shutters were used to cover window openings.
    The size of the rooms, of course, were limited by the fact that rooms could only be as wide as the beams that supported the roof. Beams, usually wooden and roughly shaped, reached from one wall to the other, and were covered with a mixture of woven branches and clay, which was smoothed with a stone roller.
    The inner walls were finished with a smooth coat of clay or plaster, which could be decorated with frescoes, elaborate in the houses of the rich, simpler in the houses of ordinary people. Wide benches of mud brick or stone for sitting and sleeping, and shelves for storage, were built into the structure itself.
Except for an occasional window, the inside rooms were small and dark

The inside rooms tended to be small and dark, so the courtyard and the roof were important parts of the house, used for tasks that needed good light, such as spinning and weaving, and food preparation. Stairs or a wooden ladder led up onto the roof, which was used as an outdoor room that was partly shaded by matting or a ten-like superstructure, and the preferred sleeping area during the warm summer months. In some cases, the roof was where bathing took place, as seen in the case of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:2-4).
    The central courtyard contained such items as the mikveh, a pool of clean rainwater used for ritual cleansing by both men and women; a stone-based cooking area with a fire, cooking utensils and possibly an oven; a stone or clay implements for grinding small amounts of grain; a covered area where people sat while they worked or talked; a covered area for animals. This outside area was, if the weather was good, a center of activity and socializing.
    By modern standards, the houses of people in ancient Palestine were sparsely furnished.    Ordinary people sat on cushions or mats on the floor to eat, rather than sitting on chairs at a table. They slept on padded matting filled with stuffing. Tables, couches and beds were only used in the houses of the rich.
    It should also be noted that these houses had no outside property within the city area; space was at a premium, necessitating people living with their animals at close quarters. Animals, if had at all, were kept in the lower level of the house and the inner courtyard.
    Walls and large buildings in the Israelite cities were built of hewn stone, frequently inferior in quality to that used in the preceding Canaanite constructions. The stone used for house building varied from common field stones or bigger roughly shaped quarry stones held together with plenty of clay mortar, to carefully wrought dressed quarry stone.
    A typical Israelite wall was made of a mixture of hewn wrought and unhewn stones, the wrought stones being used for corners (cornerstones) and as headers and stretchers at fixed intervals; the space between them was filled by rough stones embedded in mortar.
    This was a quick and cheap method of building. The city itself was surrounded by an inner and an outer wall, as most cities were at the time, with the outer wall surrounding the whole city, protecting it from foreign intruders with the inner wall enclosing a central administrative compound for palace, temples, and large-scale food storage. Well-to-do people lived in the central compound, while poor and disreputable people lived in the outer compound, between the two walls.
Stick and thatch huts found in the eastern U.S. and Heartland dating to earliest times

The question that every theorist should ask themselves is whether the Nephites, coming from this background and knowledge through Nephi, Sam and Zoram. They knew about mud-brick building, and knew about cutting and dressing stone cut from quarries, for that was the only type of building knowledgeable to them. Why, then, would any theorist suggest that North America, With that said, the North American model, which lacks any stone structure remains of important buildings and fortifications throughout any part of the country, consider this to be where Lehi settled and the 1000-year Nephite nation existed?
    For the most part, these North American theorists want us to believe that Nephi, who was taught by the Lord (1 Nephi 18:3) then taught his followers how to build (2 Nephi 5:15), that such a technique would have been so primordal.
    What we find interesting is that members tend to believe that the Nephites were very primitive running around in loin cloths and building stick huts. Such a notion of a people with over 1000-year history of development and accomplishment, would be so described is clearly ludicrous. If one is to find the Nephites in the Western Hemisphere, then one needs to look for cultures that pretty much mimic the Palestinians of 600 BC, for that is what they knew and what they brought with them when they arrived in the Americas.