Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mulekite Landing at Pachacamac – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding several questions or comments from one of our readers about the Pachacama landing site of the Mulekites.
Comment: “Columbus proved you can navigate to Venezuela from Europe or Morocco. There is absolutely no reason to assume the Mulekites hit the beach and set up shop right there. Common sense would make one explore for the best place to settle.”
Columbus sailed from Palos, Spain, to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands before setting out on the western current toward the New World he discovered

Response: First of all, Columbus was never in Morocco that we know of, and he did not sail from there to the New World. He sailed from the Spanish port of Palos on August 3, 1492, and arrived at the Canary Islands for last minute preparation and restocking, which is 504 miles off the coast of Morocco. They left the Canaries 34 days later on September 6 and sailed on the westward current across the Atlantic to the Bahamas, a cluster of islands off the coast of southern Florida. Secondly, you cannot sail directly to the New World from Europe, but had to drop down to the area of the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa, to pick up the westward moving current.
    Third, history shows that people arriving to a virgin land by sea settle within a harbor or short distance of that landing site. This is not only true all along the eastern seaboard of the US., but also in early Europe. While Paris and London are not on the coast, they are upriver of a larger river system that provided protection from the sea, but close enough access to use the sea to their advantage.
Comment: “If they landed in Venezuela or Colombia and it was riddled with dead men's bones you can imagine why they might venture South through all the desolation to find game to hunt and lands to farm.”
Response: First of all, no one is saying Lehi landed in Venezuela or Colombia. He landed 3500 miles to the south at Coquimbo Bay, Chile. The Nephites never reached the area of the Jaredite lands, and therefore their bodies and bones, until around 500-600 years later. Secondly, since there is no record of anyone in the land where Lehi landed (2 Nephi 1:5-8), there is no validity to the question. If the Jaredite bodies are suggested, they were not discovered until long after the Nephites discovered the Land of Zarahemla, settled down and established themselves there. However, it was a small party of 43-men on assignment to find Zarahemla that ran across the Jaredite bodies and remains nearly 600 years after Lehi’s landing.
    It should also be understood that when Mosiah discovered the Mulekites at Zarahemla, we learn that they “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.” That is, the Mulekites (People of Zarahemla) settled where they landed and lived in that same place from the time of their landing until Mosiah discovered them.     
Comment: “Pachacamac is said by science to have been established in AD 200. How do you get over that?”
The vast complex known today as Pachacamac, with the ancient temple overlooking the sea from a hill beside the ocean

Response: We need to be careful of dating ancient sites. Often such dating is what is found there and placed by archaeologists within a time frame because of what they find. As an example, the Old Temple, also called the Temple of Pachacamac, is believed to be the oldest building in Pachacamac. It is built on a rocky promontory and is characterized by the massive use of small bricks of raw adobe dated to the Early Intermediate period, under the influence of the Lima culture (3rd to 7th centuries AD). In other words, the Lima Culture is dated to 3rd to the 7th centuries. The site of Pachacamac is considered part of the Lima Culture, therefore the site could not have been occupied prior to 200 AD. However, the dating of the culture has nothing to do with the existence of other groups there before that, and the dating itself is often erroneous to begin with. Also, we need to keep in mind that Archaeologists have uncovered multiple grave sites, and that the occupants date to different periods of Pachacamac's history which are located in different parts of the city (Ancient Origins, “The little-known Pachacamac mummies of Peru,” January 2015).
Comment: “Cajamarca was more important than Pachacamac when the Spaniards arrived.”
Response: Cajamarca is the setting of the encounter between the culture of Spain and the Andean world. The layout of the city and its buildings, both civil and religious, built of adobe and volcanic stone within the Historic Center of Cajamarca, offer an exceptional testimony of Spanish-Andean culture. The architecture, which is unique and covers every century from the 16th to the 19th, makes the city center of Cajamarca a monument of great cultural value.
    In the fifteenth century the city of Cajamarca became part of the Tawantinsuyo (Inca Empire) when the Kingdom of Cuismanco was conquered by the Inca Pachacutec. Cajamarca retained its importance since for the conquering Incas it was considered to be "head of a province,” with a body of functionaries that controlled this vast and rich region of the empire resided there.
    It was also the site of the "Ransom Room" which is still standing, and is the one remaining vestige of the lnca domination of Cajamarca. It was here that Atahualpa was held prisoner and also where he offered his Spanish captors the famous ransom of gold and silver in order to obtain his freedom. In the area around the Historic Center of Cajamarca there are a number of archaeological monuments of exceptional historic importance.
Comment: “Lehi had a natural port bay at the 30 degree South Latitude. There is no natural landing site in Pachacamac.”
The numerous areas along the coast from Punta at Callao to the Lurin River, where today numerous docks have been built for deep sea ships

Response: As mentioned in the previous post, the area from the Rimac River at Callao down to the Lurin River at Pachacamac has numerous landing sites, though none as major and simplistic as that of Coquimbo Bay in Chile where Lehi landed. Besides, the mouth of the Lurin River would have been an excellent place for the Mulekites to have landed.
Comment: “There is no way to reason for Pachacamac without a nearby River Sidon.”
Response: This idea of a Sidon River next to Zarahemla has been a favorite among theorists for some time, but once again, the scriptural description places the Sidon River in the eastern borders of the Land of Zarahemla (Alma 2:15). It also states that “And it came to pass that the war began to be among them in the borders of Zarahemla, by the waters of Sidon” showing Mormon placed the Sidon in the eastern lands along the border of the Land of Zarahemla (Mormon 1:10, emphasis added)—not next to the city of Zarahemla.
    The point to all of this is that the Chilean coast, where so many early prophets and Church leaders considered to be the landing site of Lehi is, indeed, consistent with all the scriptures relating to that topic and surrounding it, especially including Nephi’s writings as to what they found at their initial landing site (1 Nephi 18:25).

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