Monday, March 16, 2020

The City of Jerusalem in the Land of Promise

Obviously, the Nephites built numerous cities in the Land of Nephi and round about as late as 150 BC. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient information in the record to place any of these cities in the Land of Nephi, other than the City of Nephi and by extension, the cities of Shilom and Shemlon, except possibly for one and that is the City of Jerusalem. This city the Lord said that he buried in the sea, along with the cities of Onihah and Mocum. Unlike the cities of Gilgal, Gadiandi, Gadiomnah, Jacob and Gimgimno, which were sunk into the depths of the earth, where hills and valleys covered them (3 Nephi 9:6-8), Jerusalem was covered by the sea.
    This could mean that Jerusalem was near the East or West Sea. The probability of this location would be the East Sea since that was the coastline that changed dramatically, with waters flooding the land before mountains were raised up “whose height was great.”
If the Land of Jerusalem was along the east coast, and the city was near the shore, it would make sense that it was buried in the tidal waves that would have occurred as the “entire face of the land” was changed, the shores were inundated with flood waters before the mountains rose up out of the sea bed and formed the tall mountains that Samuel the Lamanite foresaw. This action would have caused a giant wave to have hit the city, the waters to come up and flood the land round about, and then the mountains rising which took the remnants of the city up into the air as the mountains continued to rise.

Map of Tiwanaku or the city of Jerusalem

Such an occurrence is seen today in the ruins of the ancient city now called Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) by archaeologists. It is one of the largest sites in all of South America and covered 2.5 square miles and include decorated ceramics, monumental structures, and megalithic blocks. The site's population probably peaked around 10,000 to 20,000 people.
    Today, though located at an elevation of 12,533-feet above sea level, both Tiwanaku and Puma Punku shows signs of their being hit with a tidal wave or some other kind of cataclysm in ages past. Puma Punku covers a large part of the massive ancient city of Tiwanaku and it is located just southeast of Lake Titicaca in the Andes. The city predates Inca presence in that part of South America.
    The stones, some weighing up to 80 tons, are scattered around both sites, and often embedded within the mud. Some excavation has been done there, most recently at the Kantatalita Temple at Tiwanaku, and Puma Punku, where they have now revealed that it is a great platform pyramid, similar, but much larger than Tiwanaku’s Akapana Pyramid.
    The massive pyramid once touched the edge of Lake Titicaca, though the lake is 20 miles away today.
Lake Titicaca. Was this lake once at sea level and part of the Nephite East Sea before it was raised up to its present elevation when the mountains, “whose height is great,” rose

These ruins attest to the fact that Tiwanaku was covered with water at one time and was hit by a giant tidal wave that left its mark on the ruins seen and written about by professor Posnansky, whose 50-year-study is contained in a 4-volume work entitled “Tiwanaku, The Cradle of American Man” and first published in 1945.
    The size of Tiwanaku was very large, the largest ruins found in the eastern Peru, second only to the size and scope of the fortress, city and temple now called Sacsahuaman and the valley below it the Spaniards named Cuzco. This, then, would place the city of Jerusalem along the southern reaches of the present high-altitude Lake Titicaca and the border between Peru and Bolivia.
    This city could not be renewed by the Nephites (4 Nephi 1:9), and therefore was lost to them and not rediscovered until the 20th century.
    Tiwanaku in the Bolivian Andes lying over two miles above sea level is about two miles from the shores of Lake Titicaca. Strangely, though inland from any sea, Tiwanaku was considered a seaport as early as 1945 by archaeologists. On the rock cliffs near the piers and wharves of the port area are yellow-white calcareous deposits forming long, straight lines indicating pre-historic water levels. These ancient shorelines are strangely tilted, although they must have once been level. The surrounding area is covered with millions of fossilized seashells. It appears, from the tilting of the ancient shoreline striations and the abundant presence of fossilized oceanic flora and fauna, that a tremendous uplift of land has taken place sometime in the not-too-ancient past.
    In fact, oceanic creatures live to this day in abundance in the salty waters of the lake, indicating that it was once a part of the ocean, although it is now over 2 miles above sea-level. What appears to be the original seashore shows signs of a tremendous geological upheaval that once took place.
    The port of Tiwanaku, called Puma Punku or "Door of the Puma," is an area filled with enormous stone blocks scattered hither and yon like matchsticks, and weighing between 100 and 150 tons!
Some of the stone blocks that were scattered about as the result of an ancient tidal wave and cataclysm
One block still in place weighs an estimated 440 tons! One wonders, how were these blocks quarried, how were they transported from the quarries to the building site, and how did the builders manage to place these huge blocks so skillfully to form this massive complex of megalithic buildings? And above all, what tremendous forces of nature tumbled these gigantic stones over one another as if they were light as driftwood? Archeologists have no answers for these questions.
    However, the disciple Nephi did: “Behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:18).
Some of the docks and piers in this area are so large that hundreds of ships could dock comfortably; yet there is nothing "oceanic" near these docks except a prehistoric coastline indicated by chalky deposits of ancient salt water fossils.

    Lake Titicaca, languishing miles away, is nearly 100 feet lower than the ruined docks. What tremendous geological upheaval has occurred in the land in the last two thousand years that could have tumbled these huge stones while heaving the entire altiplano region two miles into the sky?
    Scientists know of nothing, however, the Book of Mormon makes it perfectly clear: After describing the destruction of several cities, from being sunk into the sea to having mountains carried up over them (3 Nephi 8:8-11), the record goes on to say: “There was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for the whole face of the land was changed” and the “exceeding great quaking of the whole earth” which lasted “for about the space of three hours” (3 Nephi 8:12,19).
For anyone that has been through a devastating earthquake that lasted about two to three minutes, can appreciate the unbelievable destructive power of a quake that lasted three very long hours.
    It was the Lord himself who spoke of “all these cities have I sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof” (3 Nephi 9:7), and “many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people” (3 Nephi 9:12), and “that great city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depth of the sea” (3 Nephi 9:4), and “that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth” and “the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk” (3 Nephi 8:5-6).
    When cities are sunk into the sea, when mountains raise up to cover cities, when cities are buried beneath valleys and hills, one might want to consider the enormous and wide-spread cataclysmic event this three hour earthquake caused. No wonder that Lake Titicaca was raised nearly two miles into the air from sea level as mountains rose about it, and the city of Tiwanaku, once a great seaport city, now sits high in the Andes, and all the tumultuous damage done to huge slabs of rock weighing hundreds of tons.
    Science may not have the answer, but the Book of Mormon certainly does.

1 comment:

  1. Lake Titicaca has a salinity of only 5.5 parts per thousand and thus wouldn't taste salty. It is considered a freshwater lake.

    Compare Lake Poopo which is highly saline and is a remnant of a much larger lake than Titicaca. Salar de Uyuni (largest salt flats in the world) is also a remnant of that lake. It is called Lake Tauca and was larger than Lake Bonneville.

    That the water was there is a fact. The shorelines are marked on the mountains, the salt flats remain, and ancient reefs remain as well as sealife remnants.

    Lake Tauca was either an extention of the Eastern Sea inland through what it currently the Altiplano.

    Or, it was made up of seawater trapped between the western and eastern mountains post global flood. Being unsustainable, the water had nowhere to go but dry up and get wiped out in large part by the cataclysm.

    In either scenario, its waters were ample enough to have been the body of water upon which the docks rested, and to have washed over and wiped out Tiwanaku.

    The vanished Lake Tauca was a bigger player than Titicaca with almost 10 times the surface area. Though again, you could argue that Lake Tauca was the Eastern Sea before the mountains came up on the east. Though the current underlying tectonic plate of the Airplano has interesting characteristics which may tell a different story.