Sunday, October 13, 2019

Another Nephite Settlement Built Before King Mosiah Discovered Zarahemla

The archaeological Complex of Cutimbo, including buildings, temples, fortresses, squares and cemeteries, along with stone tombs and cave paintings, is located ten miles south of Puno at Lake Titicaca, and about ten miles southwest of the lakeside village of Chucuito. It is an archaeological site with stone tombs and cave paintings that date back to distant BC times.
    Cutimbo was one of the most important pre-Hispanic burial centers of the central highlands, linked to the manor of Collas (The Qolla or Qulla Kingdom was established in the northwestern basin of Titicaca, one of the Aymara kingdoms that occupied part of the Collao plateau after the fall of Tiwanaku) and the Lupacas (Lupaqa—a division of the ancestral Aymaras in the northern part of the Titicaca Basin).
    At Cutimboa, the oldest archaeological evidence consists of cave paintings from BC times and shows that it had prolonged occupation for its strategic geographical location, its area of influence, and its ceremonial use of religious ritual. The Lupaca kings used this site for their residences (John Hyslop, "Chulpas of the Lupaca zone of the Peruvian High Plateau", Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol 4, No. 2, 1977, p150).
The archaeological site of Cutimbo with stone tombs and cave paintings in Peru tn miles south of Puno along the shore west of Lake Titicaca

Cutimbo was composed of numerous funerary structures called chullpas or pucullos (storehouses), that are scattered throughout the plateau of the Collao. Thy are circular, square and rectangular, of various dimensions, with the smaller ones rustically manufactured with semi-chandered stone and mud mortar, with a cornice on top. Inside the advancing vault, the trapezoidal door faces east towards the sunrise. In the construction of the largest, concerted masonry of basaltic stone was used in a polygonal way, with zoomomorphic carvings in high relief, picturing felines, vizcachas, monkeys and snakes.
    It was occupied by the Qolla and later the Lupacas and much later even the Inkas. The Tiwanaku, a more modern name of an Aymara culture meaning “stone in the center,” alluding to the belief that it lay at the center of the world. While many archaeologists claim Tiwanaku did not exist prior to about 1000 AD, Carlos Ponce SanginĂ©s claims the site was first occupied around 1580 BC, which is the site’s earliest radiocarbon date (Carlos Ponce SanginĂ©s, Tiwanaku: Space, Time and Culture, National Academy of Sciences of Bolivia, La Paz, 1971).
    However, since 1980, researchers recognize this dater as unreliable, leading to the present consensus that the site is no older than 300 BC (David Browman, "Tiwanaku Expansion and Economic Patterns,” Archaeological Studies, vol.5, University of Tehran Publisher, Theran, Iran, 1980, pp107–120); Charles Stanish, Ancient Titicaca, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 2003).
Top: Location of Cutimbo in relationship to Puno and Lake Titicaca; Bottom: Cutimbo sits atop of a large, circular plateau (Collao Plateau)

Cutimbo was most likely built by the Paracas, a culture that emerged around 300 BC in this area, later being occupied by several newer and younger cultures, including the Lupaca who occupied seven urban centers, all of them present day cities and village in the Puno region—Chucuito, Acora, Llave, Juli, Pomata, Yunguyo and Zepita. Topa Inca Yupanqui, crushed a revolt in this area in 1471-1493 of the Lupaca and their northern neighbors the Colla. Chucuito, a rich and powerful center and people, was the largest of these sites, believed to have held a population of about 100,000 people.
    The Collao Plateau was a high, cold plateau dotted with mountains. Lake Titicaca wa at an altitude of 12,507 feet), and freezes occur every month of the year. Only about two percent of land in the Andean highlands is arable. A few crops such as potatoes, oca, olluoco, and quinoa can be grown in favored locations with techniques such as terracing, raised beds, and Waru Waru—a technique to moderate the cold temperatures that combines raised beds with irrigation channels to prevent damage by soil erosion during floods. The technique, which was invented in 300 BC in Andean Peru, ensures both collecting of water (either fluvial, rainwater or phreatic water) and subsequent drainage.
    The wealth of the Lupaca was their herds of llamas and alpacas which grazed the barren uplands up to the snowline at about 15,700 feet.
    Like the conquering Incas, and many other Andean peoples, the Lupaca were divided into two moieties each with its separate leader. The "Alassa" or upper moiety was headed by Qari and the lower moiety, the "Massaa" was headed by Kusi. Each of them directly controlled many of the people and much of the land in the kingdom, but other wealthy Lupaca also incited the envy of the Spanish when the conquerors arrived, to whom the Lupaca seemed "extraordinarily wealthy” (John V. Murra), "An Aymara Kingdom in 1567," Ethnohistory, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1968, p117-120).
    In the central part of Cutimbo is a chullpa built with two-color andesitic volcanic rock (volcanic tuff), of square morphology of 21-feet by approximately 28-feet, with a trapezoidal shaped entry, and made of concerted masonry and polygonal rigging. Inside to the west, are three niches, and two niches to the north and south; on top two brackets on each side was where the funeral bales would have been placed.
Cutimbo burial Chollas in various states of ruins

As stated in earlier articles, the chullpa was an ancient Aymara funerary tower originally constructed for a noble person or noble family. Chullpas are found across the Altiplano in Peru and Bolivia, with the tallest at about 39 feet high. A high-elevation plateau, or plain, the Altiplano stretches across large parts of southern Peru and western Bolivia and has small areas in Chile and Argentina. It is the widest part of the Andes mountain range and consists of several mountain basins that are connected together. The Altiplano has an average elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level, although it can reach well over 13,000 feet in some places. This area was inhabited long before the Inca Empire by several cultures, the most well-known of which are the Tiahuanaco and Chiripa. Stretching around 600 miles at its widest point and covering an area of 40,000 square miles, the Altiplano is the largest and highest plateau in the world outside of Tibet.
    Formed when the floor of the Pacific Ocean ran into the South American continental mainland, the Altiplano resulted from the collision that shoved the two masses together, pushing up two separate Andes mountain peaks and leaving the flat basin between them. Volcanoes along the present-day border between Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile emitted lava that further enclosed the Altiplano. Some theories suggest that the tectonic plates under this area are weaker than those surrounding it. This weakness would explain why the basin did not also elevate during the tectonic plate collision.
    These chullpa tombs on the Altiplano are quite famous, with recent research focused on the connection between chullpas and the ritual pathways etched into the landscape around Nevado Sajama, as well as possible patterns within chullpa sites.
    The finer built chullpas, the more excellent the manufacture, because of their form of mortar free construction, which is compared to such works in Cuzco as Sacsayhuaman and the Coricancha, obviously quite ancient in construction, long before the Inca arrived in this area. While many archaeologists and anthropologists claim the Inca built most things found in Andean Peru; the Inca were not the builder of the walls, pyramids and building found there.
    In fact, it is claimed by those who have done actual archaeological work in the Andes recognize that the Inca did not found the city of Cuzco, nor any of the buildings of antique excellence, they merely found and settled in them. The earlier builders had vastly superior technology, and were likely called the Perhuas, from which we get the word Peru, and also Viracochans, the followers of Viracocha, the Creator God of early Perruvian civilization and cultures.
A burial chullpa in Sillustani, 10 miles northwest of Puno

The corpses found in each tomb were typically placed in a fetal position along with some of their belongings, including clothing and common equipment. In virtually all cases, the only opening to the tomb faces the rising sun in the east. The construction of the chullpa varied with ethnic group: in general, those of the north Altiplano are circular and constructed with stone, while those of the south are rectangular and constructed with adobe. It is of interest that some of the chullpas are unadorned, while others have intricate carvings. At Sillustani, as an example, many of the chullpas have lizards, which were considered a symbol of life because they could regenerte their tails, carved into the stone.
    Very similar stone constructions on Easter Island known as tupa have sometimes been suspected to be closely related to chullpas (Thor Heyderdahl, Easter Island - The Mystery Solved, Random House, New York, 1989).
    Once again, that period of time in the Nephite history that is the least known, from about the end of Jacob, around 500 BC to the time of Mosiah, around 130 BC, a total of about 370 years, when the Nephites “were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceedingly more numerous than were they of the Nephites… and multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war” (Jarom 1:6,8).
    During this expansion, they would have built many cities and settlements, roads and temples, plazas and public buildings, of which there is little or no mention in the scriptural record by name or location. Cutimbo would have been one of these locations.

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