Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part VI

The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part VI

Continuation of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record: 1 thru 19 are in the previous posts. Here we continue with 17 below:

Top: Defensive walls guarding the edifice behind them; Bottom: A massive structure totally undefended by walls or other means


(20) Forts, Resorts. Evidently, the Nephites built two types of places of security, one they called a “fort,” the other a “resort.” In all cases where “fort” is used in the scriptural record, it is used in the plural—meaning “numerous, comprising a great number,” according to the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.

In addition to having numerous forts in the land, the Nephites built “resorts,” which Mormon identifies as a “small fort” (Alma 48:8). Obviously, the Nephites built both large and small forts, which we might identify today as small forts and large fortresses. These forts were built on earthen banks they erected that were circled about by stone walls. As Mormon states: “Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (alma 48:8, emphasis added).

In addition, Mormon wrote of this: “For they knew not that Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for every city in all the land round about (Alma 49:13, emphasis added).

Thus, throughout all the land of the Nephites, they built forts encircled about by stone walls, and small forts, or resorts, on top of earth banks they built.

Six random ruins sites in Mesoamerica: Top: LtoR: Teotihuacan, Palenque; Middle: Tikal; Bottom: Becán, Caracol; Note in all shown there are  no defenswive walls or any other means for defense


It should be noted that there are no forts found in North America that date before 1200 AD, thus neither site of the Heartland nor the Great Lakes match the scriptural record on this subject. Nor can it be said that wood forts disappeared with age, since stone constructions do not disappear but remain for thousands of years as are attested by numerous sites in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece.

As for Mesoamerica, the recent LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey in Guatemala revealed a lot of ancient projects, but most seem to be along the lines of the low outlying wall around Tikal; still not much evidence for massive fortifications or central citadels. In fact, Mesoamerica is unique in that none of the massive constructions there show any evidence of forts, fortresses, defensive walls, or other such structures. Instead they are basically stepped pyramids, sometimes with outlying buildings. Thus, neither Mesoamerica or North America meets Mormon’s criteria of forts and resorts.(Image C – Peru has over 2,000 sites, with one hundred major sites listed by the Ministry of foreign Commerce and  Tourism

Mesoamerica is filled with numerous stone buildings constructed in a stepped-pyramid manner. However, these sites were not built for defense, have no high outside walls, and are wide-open to access from anyone as shown in the representative sites above.

Examples of ancient Peruvian forts built atop steep slopes


Peru: On the other hand, Andean Peru has thousands of sites, most of which have defensive walls around them, such as: Kuelap with its 65-foot-high,31-inche-thick stone wall all around the city; or Ollaytatambo which has scores of levels, each partitioned by high stone walls;

Or Machu Picchu with its numerous terraced levels, each with its own high stone walls, or the unique stone walls of Sacsayhuaman.

Indeed, Moroni built stone walls “all around the land.” All of the ancient forts of Peru were built with defense in mind—this was either by constructing them with high walls built around them, or by being built on top of a steep mountain, or both. Examples are Acaray, Chanquillo, Kuelap, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, and Sacsayhuaman among scores of others. All these forts and the many others were built of stone, and their remains, though in ruin for the most part, were built of stone or brick

Stone wall of Wat’a (“island”) that surrounds the ancient complex at 13,000 feet about 20 miles northwest of Cuzco


(21) Walls of Stone. Lehi, along with Nephi and Zoram, were well aware of stone construction of the Hebrews. Nearly 500 years before Lehi, David’s palace at Jerusalem was built of stone, and the stone walls of Solomon’s palace were revealed during a recent excavation. Plus they built their temples and religious edifices using the best material available to them to honor their God.

There were no stone buildings in North America prior to the arrival of the Europeans, and hardly any even during the Colonial Period. They built of wood—one can only imagine Nephi building his temple, like unto Solomon’s, to honor God out of wood. As he stated: “the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine” (2 Nephi 5:16).

The stone edifices behind impenetrable high rock walls; Top: 65-foot high walls at Kuelap; Bottom: 25-foot walls at Ollaytatambo


Peru. On the other hand, the walls found in Peru range from Cajamarca in the north, to Tiahuanaco in the south; from Chan-Chan and Pachacamac in the west to 214,000 square-foot Kuelap that housed 3,000 people and Cuzco in the East. It is claimed that there are thousands of these sites throughout Peru and Ecuador, but only about 25% have been located, and even less excavated.

These are formidable rock walls defending sites in Peru, range from 20 to 65 foot in height, and 24 to 3 inches thick, some a perfect fit, form-fitted without mortar, others cut and dressed for straight alignments.

Top: The daunting view of a hilltop fortress in Peru; Bottom: huge blocks block the way and provide secure protection to those within


(See the next post, “The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part VI,” for the continuation of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record)

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