Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Ancient Peruvians – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding the connection between the Land of Promise and Andean Peru.

In 1644, considered at the time to be the 5404 year from the world's creation, Aaron Levi, otherwise called Antonius Montezinus visited Amsterdam and related to Menessah ben Israel the story about having met Israelites in Peru.

Mule trip into the interior of Peru


Montezinus had met Franciscus Castellanus and went by mules into the Province of Quiti along with another Indian, whose name was Francis, who everyone called Cazicus. In 1622 Caspar Bergarensis went from the City Laxa, which is in the Province of Quiti in Peru, and accompanied Colonel Don Diego Vacade la Vega going to seek a new country.

According to their discussion regarding a discussion about an ancient Spanish understanding of the origin of the Indians of Peru, the Indian legends talked about those settled the West Indies first inhabited New Spaine, and as they increased, spread to the Island Cuba, from thence to the continent of America; and after that towards Panama, New-Spaine, and the Isle of Peru.

It is interesting to note that while the Indians of Panama, St. Martha, Cuba and Barlovento, near the coast of Venezuela, went naked, those of Peru were different and fully clothed—anciently, they were white men, bearded, and civil in in converse. In addition, additional differences is seen in the fact that the gods of Peru were benevolent and good ones while the gods of Mexico were demons and evil (Menessah ben Israel, Hope of Israel, Roy V. Boswell, Gilroy CA, 1973, originally published by R.I. for Hannah Allen at the Crown in Popes-Head Alley, London, 1650). Actually, the  ancient Peruvians worshipped the same God we worship today, whom they called Pachacamac or Pacha Kamaq, meaning “Earth-Maker'” who was considered the creator god before the Inca conquest. After the conquest, the Inca received Pachacamac into their pantheon  (William H. Prescott, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Harper and Bothers, New York, 1847; reprinted by Dover Publishing, Mineola New York, 2005).

Pachacamac, who was called later by the name of Viracocha, was the great creator deity in the Andes region of South America (Wiracocha, Apu Qun, Tiqsi Wiraqutra, and Con-Tici or Kon-Tiki (Edgar and Fernando E. Elorrieta Salazar, Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Sociedad Pacaritanpu Hatha Publishing, Cusco, Peru, 1996; Originally published 1656).

The scholar Benedictus Arias Montanus (Montano), a Spanish priest, Orientalist (Asian studies), and historian, who Philip II, King of Spain, Portugal, Naples and Sicily, entrusted the editing of the Polyglot Bible which was printed in Antwerp in 1568, thought that the Indians of New-Spaine, and Peru, were the Off-spring of Ophir the son of Jokton (brother of Peleg), and the nephew of Heber. He backed his opinion with the name Ophir, which by transposition of letters, is the same with Peru and he adds, the name Parvaim in the dual number, doth signify the Istmus between New-Spaine and Peru, which first was called Ophir, then Peru.” He also claimed the River Piru, which according to Gomoras, lies in the second degree from the Equinoctall line, from Panama 222 miles; as also by the name of the Province Jucatan, which may be derived from Joktan the father of Ophir. It should be noted that Ophir’s older brother was named Jerah, which is also spelled Jared.

A lone fisherman along the Pelu River in Peru


Garcillasso de la Vega in the first part of his Commentary on Peru, said that when Basco Nunnez de Balboa, lived in Peru, he asked a fisherman what was the name of that Province, to which the man answered Beru, and further said, that the name of the River where he fished, was called Pelu.

Another early conquistador chronicler was Pedro Cieza de León, who wrote a history and descriptions of Peru, visited Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano in 1549, and marveled over the ruins of Pumapunku, wondering what tools could have been used to achieve such perfection.

As one early chronicler put it: “On the shores of Lake Titicaca stand sun-kissed and wind-swept pylons, erected in dim, far-off ages by vanished human hands.  What people built the stupendous edifices of Tiahuanaco we have no means of knowing.  They have lost their very name in the mist of the past.  Even the memory of them is gone forever.” Tiahuanaco is recognized as older than Thebes and is one of the great riddles of the universe.  Mystery upon mystery, solutionless. It was once the home of myriads of people who have passed on. We can only imagine them, as we try to peer through the long telescope of unwritten history. According to Professor Ross of Wisconsin University, it was an ancient city of a million inhabitants; however, few historians agree with that assessment, with most figuring between 10,000 and 20,000 occupying the city.

  The ruins of Tiahuanaco were hoary with age before the Incas had settled around Titicaca.  Bryce tells us that "they are extremely ancient, among the oldest known to mankind, from very remote times."

Tiahuanaco along the Peruvian-Bolivia border. The size and complexity of the stonework has puzzled professionals ever since the site was discovered


French explorer, adventurer, photographer and Archaeologist Claude-Joseph Désiré Charnay carefully measured one square building At Tihuanaco and found it to be 2,000 feet wide on each side. Dr. Rudolf Mueller, the eminent German scientist claims that Tiahuanaco is earth's oldest city, and that human civilization of Tiahuanaco is older than recorded civilization, with all evidence pointing to a long continued civilization in the Andes

The monolithic gateway of Tiahuanaco is the largest known example of stone-cutting in the entire world—It was hewn from a single massive block 13 feet 5 inches by 7 feet 2 inches thick, the doorway being cut through the center. Unfortunately, the site was decimated by the modern railroad that runs past the ruins of the city when the tracks were being laid. The builders utilized 500 carloads of cut stones in the erection of nearby bridges, and thousands of tons of the sculptures and stonework were crushed for ballast. Many of the monoliths were found to be too massive for modern machinery to raise—so they were left where they stood—where they were placed millenniums ago.

In addition, Alpheus Wyatt Verril, an American zoologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author, claims that there is no doubt that these prehistoric American races far excelled every other race of their times in many ways (A. Hyatt Verril, Old Civilizations of the New World, The New home library, 1942).

Peru is a huge graveyard of long-dead cultures, with many miles of half-buried or wholly-buried ruins which are mute memorials of those departed ones who have descended into utter oblivion. As an example, in northern Peru there are marvelous ruins in which are found palaces, temples and tombs covering not less than twenty square miles.  Immense pyramidal buildings, some of them half a mile in circuit, show this to have been a place of great importance, with at least 100,000 people.

Chimú ceramics, considered as fine as anything produced since the Greeks


Mineralogist F. Hewitt Myring declared that "some of the ceramic specimens found in Chimu are so beautiful that experts on the subject of pottery say that nothing finer has been seen from the days of ancient Greece to the present—long before we had a knowledge of art in Europe, in that country now called Peru there existed an artistic, sensitive race, who wore elaborate clothing.  Peru was one of the most civilized parts of the earth” (Thomas Hewitt Myring, Nature Journal of Science, vol.83, Macmillan and Co. Publishing, London, 1910, p148)

Alexander von Humboldt said "There were civilized communities on the tableland who had a remarkable civil and religious organization, a regular system of computing time, a peculiar calendar, and who used small circular gold plates as coin” (John D. Baldwin, Ancient America: Notes on American Archaeology, Harper and Brothers Publishing, New York).

Near Lima are the ruins of Pachacamac, the "City of Gold", the abode of Pachacamac, "He Who sustains or gives life to the Universe." No ruins in South America, if indeed in the New World, hold more historic and romantic interest than those of the holy city of Pachacamac.  No one can say when the city was first established, no man even can guess at its age.  It may be five thousand years old, or even ten thousand. (Scientific American)

The mystery lies not in the disappearance, rather, the unfathomable problem concerns their origin.

(See the next post, “The Ancient Peruvians – Part III,” for more information about the early people of Peru and tie-in to the Book of Mormon)

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