Lost Cities of The Americas
Ancient Map of the World
In the Americas lie perhaps the archetypal lost cities: temples, palaces and pyramids that rear up out of virgin jungle, with only weird petroglyphs to hint at the nature of the cultures that once dwelt there and the dark histories that played out against such awe-inspiring backdrops.
Cities such as those of the Maya and the Inca, where a combination of circumstances – the swift and total destruction of indigenous civilizations and cultures, the remoteness of the sites and the rate at which the rainforest encroaches – conspired to allow them to disappear from human ken, remained hidden for hundreds of years.
El Castillo — ‘The Castle’ — in Chichen Itza, also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent.
Large crowds gather here on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes to watch the sun cast serpentine shadows across the northern face of the pyramid.
The tales of their rediscovery are equally the stuff of romantic legend, with intrepid explorers hacking through the jungle in search of lost cities of gold.
Other pre-Columbian civilizations left their mark on the Americas, from the mound builders of Mississippi and the canyon-dwelling Pueblo peoples of the southern deserts to the Aztec Empire of Mexico and the mysterious ancient Tiwanaku culture of the Andes.
In many cases the remains left by these kingdoms and empires are relatively young, compared to the ancient sites of the Old World, and are therefore in good enough repair to amaze and enthral visitors even today.
From the point of view of the historian, New World civilizations offer a unique opportunity. Unlike in the Old World, where civilizations inevitably developed in the context of a network of influences and legacies that stitch one to another, the New World civilizations developed in glorious isolation, from first principles to fully-formed, sophisticated cultures with writing, monumental masonry and many other forms of technology.
The ancient kingdom of Tiwanaku was a major Indian civilization in the Andes Mountains of South America.
The main Tiwanaku ruins are located near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in what is now Bolivia.
The similarities and differences between these lost cities and those of the Old World are instructive and they offer valuable insights into the importance of ecology, the fragility of the environment in the face of urban civilization and the world views of exotic cultures.
Perhaps it is this last feature that adds to the allure of the lost cities of the Americas – the religion and mysticism of their builders are both strange and intriguing, lending an extra layer of mystery to the already enigmatic.
When I was growing up I was taught that Christopher Columbus found North America in 1492 (according to Ruggero Marino he had reached America in 1485) so my understanding was that South and North America were vacant until that time.
The Vikings were Scandinavian raiders of the 8th to 11th centuries.
Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians all came down from the cold north and plundered Europe.
For almost 300 years they terrorized the world.
But it has been found that the Norse and Vikings had been there somewhere around 500 years before that, and others had been in Alaska 40,000 years ago.
When God created the world everyone spoke the same language (Gen 11:1) and then man started building the evil Tower of Babel (Gen 11:4), i.e., the devil’s choice of “One World Order.” God then chose to segregate the people by giving them different languages and moving them around the world (Gen 11:6-9).
Therefore, it only makes since that the Americas are not as young in population which I was taught, so tomorrow we’ll start our study with…
2 Corinthians 7 – The Joy of Good News
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
“We have wronged no man” – implies that Paul had been accused by the false teachers of being unjust, destructive and fraudulent – the very things they themselves were guilty of.
3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
The Tower of Babel = “One World Order”
by Lucas van Valckenborch (1535 or later–1597).
Again he declares the depth of his affection for the Corinthian believers and appeals to them to respond, contrary to the wishes of the false teachers, by displaying their love for him, their genuine apostle.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
“I do not repent…I did repent…now I rejoice” – Paul was didn’t regret writing the letter, but the situation that required him to write it. The result of the letter gave the desire Paul was looking for, the Corinthians did not become angry and hostile, but repentant.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
When we repent it makes God and the angels happy and instead of death coming to us we are saved (Lk 15:10).
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
14 For if I have boasted anything to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.
15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
…Lost Cities of the Americas: Cahokia.