Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

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Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

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Easy answers being so rapidly generated by proponents of the “Heartland Theory” and various other North and South American settings for the Book of Mormon cannot be valid when those answers disregard the most basic geographical evidence presented in the book. Furthermore, they completely ignore the vast amount of factual evidence that has been compiled concerning the ancient cultures and environments of North and South America—factual evidence which does not mesh with the cultures and environments described in the Book of Mormon.

This series of short articles addresses the fundamental issues posed by the Book of Mormon, clearly demonstrating that the setting described in the book readily conforms to the factual evidence for ancient Mesoamerica (see Figure 1.1 below) and not North or South America.

This first article addresses the key issue of writing. The presence of writing in any given culture should never be confused with inscriptions and symbols found on random artifacts of unknown origin. Writing is a cultural event embodying a complex system of symbols and associated ideas that permeate the very soul of a culture and are reflected in its art and mores. If writing had been practiced in the “Heartland” of North America, its evidence would be unmistakable and undisputable among the numerous archaeological sites that cover that land.

Anciently, written language in the Americas was confined to southern Mexico and northern Central America; writing was not practiced elsewhere in the Americas and claims otherwise should be very carefully considered. In some cases when the Book of Mormon has become pertinent to a Mormon community, there have been instances of individuals finding and exhibiting fraudulent artifacts and monuments of unknown origin containing inscribed symbols which are claimed to be Hebrew, or hieroglyphic, or cuneiform, or “Adamic,” or “Reformed Egyptian.”

As an archaeologist, this author has carefully examined many such items procured in Utah and Mexico. Such fraudulent items are generally used to demonstrate a “special” understanding that will greatly illuminate the message and validity of the Book of Mormon. They do not do anything of the sort! The Adversary has used the subsequent confusion and loss of finances generated by these false claims to sow dissention and confusion among the Latter-day Saints. I am concerned that claims made by proponents of the “Heartland Theory” fall within this same category. Random inscribed artifacts coming from unknown origins will never adequately demonstrate the presence of a written language in North America.

The Salama valley, situated in the northern highlands of central Guatemala, had a fundamental role in the local development of writing at least for one of the regional communities. That community readily correlates with the Lamanite population residing near the city of Nephi during the 2nd Century BC.

In the early 1970’s archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania discovered a primitive form of writing on boulders and stela recovered in the eastern region of the Salama valley. That form of writing dates to the transition of the Middle to Late Preclassic (ca. 400-500 BC) and appears to be associated with the development of Maya hieroglyphic writing. This primitive method of writing, known as the cupulate system, was initially identified and analyzed by Robert Sharer and David Sedat during their excavations in the San Jeronimo locality. Figure 2 shows three examples of this writing system.

These authors state on page 383 of their excavation report: “The early presence in the Salama Valley of two distinct, yet overlapping, sculptural and notational systems raises intriguing questions regarding their role in the development of writing systems, and the sociopolitical and economic organizations they reflect. Overall, the cupulate tradition seems to be a logical candidate as a precursor to a true writing system. But more importantly, perhaps, the presence in the Salama Valley of two traditions, one notational and the other glyphic, that seem likely to have originated in the Middle Preclassic era, has important implications for the genesis of Maya writing.”

According to Sedat & Sharer several different writing systems were being developed in different portions of the valley during the middle and late Preclassic Period which would extend from ca. 500 B.C. to 150 A.D. They state: “The trends seen in this era include the emergence of a special function focus…involving the recording of apparently calendrical, numerical, or other cupulate (cup-like) notational symbols…. Although the role of such notation remains uncertain, it could represent an ancestral component of later Maya writing. Another component of this development is more securely indicated by an early form of hieroglyphic writing, Monument 1 at El Porton, dated to slightly later within this same time span.” (see endnote 1, page 431)



An example of this primitive form of cupulate writing was identified during the author’s exploration and mapping of the site of Pacala in the Guatemalan highlands.[ii] Pacala is an extensive Middle to Late Preclassic mound, reservoir and cemetery complex on the hill north of San Juan (Shilom) which meets the requirements for the location of King Noah’s watchtower north of Shilom and the rendezvous location of Mosiah’s people when they fled Nephi sometime between 250 and 220 BC.

Our 2008 explorations resulted in the discovery of writing on stone slabs that had been used to cover vandalized Preclassic tombs that would date between 500 and 100 BC.
The primitive writing system that Sharer and Sedat discovered in the eastern portion of the Salama valley can be considered in reference to the Lamanite and Nephite populations that apparently inhabited this same region. If our current model is correct and the Salama valley was the setting of the land and city of Nephi, there would have been four separate written language systems in operation in the valley:

The Nephite sacred writing system that utilized the Reformed Egyptian script—originally featured on the Brass Plates of Laban (Mosiah 1:2-4)—used by prophets Nephi to Mormon to condense and simplify their engravings on the various metal plates of Nephi (see 1 Nephi 1:2 and Mormon 9:32).
The original Hebrew system of writing noted by Moroni in Mormon 9:33 that was utilized by the Nephites throughout their history—probably on perishable materials like bark paper—as attested by the several references in the text to the Hebrew alphabet’s 9th and 10th characters, “tittle” or “Tet,” and “jot” or “Yod,” (see Alma 34:13, 3 Nephi 1:25, 12:18) and Alma’s twice use of the Hebrew word for repent, “Tavah,” (which is an aspirated extension of the Hebrew letter “Tav” anciently written in the form of a cross meaning not only the letter “Tav” but the end or completion of the Hebrew alphabet). Alma uses this word several times when he calls his son, Corianton, to repentance; he tells him to bring his sins to a completion and to an end, stating: “repent and forsake your sins and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things…. Oh remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in all these things” (see Alma 39:9).
The Maya hieroglyphic writing system that was in use in the Salama valley by the highland Maya (a separate culture not to be confused with the Lamanite or Nephite cultures) as early as the Terminal Late Preclassic and perhaps as early as 400 BC according to archaeologists Sedat and Sharer (see endnote 1, pages 382-383).
The cupulate system of writing that was used in the Salama valley and elsewhere in southern Mesoamerica during the Middle to Late Preclassic (ca. 800 BC to 100 AD) and, according to those archaeologists, “seems to have survived at least in attenuated form into the Classic period and later” (see endnote 1, page 384).

The Sharer and Sedat excavations at El Porton uncovered evidences of these last two writing systems. The first two writing systems in use by the Nephites (see Nos. 1 and 2 above) have yet to be identified in archaeological excavations or associated with artifacts but appear to exist in stylistic formats presented on sculptured stela at certain sites. Later articles in this series will discuss such associations in greater detail.

The geographic model used by this author places the city of Nephi at Tzalcam and Shemlon at El Porton in the Salama valley. Nephite leaders and clergy at Nephi, located just three miles to the west of Shemlon, utilized the two sophisticated forms of writing noted as 1 and 2 above.[iv] The Lamanite population situated in the same valley several miles to the east knew about the Nephite’s capacity to keep records and probably tried to develop a similar writing system possibly as early as 450 BC. The cupulate system is assumed to have been their attempts to record pertinent events. We read in Mosiah 24:4-7 that the Lamanite peoples lacked a concise writing system until ca. 120 BC when they were taught by Amulon and King Noah’s other renegade priests how to write using the Nephite system, which we can assume used the Hebrew alphabet as noted in No. 2 above. Prior to that event the Lamanite peoples lacked the materials and capacity to, “keep their record…that they might write one to another”[v] and were apparently experimenting using the cupulate system.

One can imagine how this cultural disparity must have grated on the Lamanites. Zeniff, the king over the adjacent Nephite communities at Nephi and Shilom, comments on this disparity in record keeping and its influence on his Lamanite adversaries. In his brief record Zeniff lists a litany of grievances they held against the Nephites (Mosiah 10:12-17) and concludes, “And again, they were wroth with him (Nephi) because he departed into the wilderness as the Lord had commanded him, and took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, for they said that he had robbed them.” Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry at Nephi for retaining the written record not just because they believed that they were the legitimate leaders of the extended family, but because as leaders they had lost one of the most important symbols of their authority—the brass plates of Laban—and with that loss the capacity to maintain a written language.[vi] Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that prior to 120 BC the Lamanite leaders were experimenting with this primitive cupulate system of writing that has only recently been discovered in southern Mesoamerica.

The common use of the Nephite writing system among both the Nephites and the Lamanites after about 120 BC evidently persisted for several hundred years based on various comments made in the text. For instance, this system of writing enriched and stabilized the Lamanite culture to the point that they, “began to increase in riches, and began to trade one with another and wax great, and began to be a cunning and wise people, as to the wisdom of the world….” (Mosiah 24:7, see also Helaman 6:7-14). This practice of writing among the Lamanites undoubtedly helped refine their culture so that King Lamoni and his father were more susceptible to being taught the Gospel of Christ from the scriptures carried into the land of Nephi by the sons of Mosiah some 30 years later.

Apparently the Lamanites abandoned the Nephite writing system and borrowed the hieroglyphic system from the surrounding Maya culture at AD 231 when rebellious Nephites completed their cultural corruption by accepting the idolatrous Maya beliefs including human sacrifice. Mormon informs us that after AD 231 rebellious Nephites took upon themselves the ancient title as Lamanites (4 Nephi 1:38-39). In their total repudiation of the Nephite culture they apparently abandoned the Nephite writing system taught to their forefathers by Noah’s wicked priests.

The written text of portions of the Book of Mormon evidently began long before 1000 BC. with the record left by the brother of Jared and concluded with Moroni’s final account at AD 421 (Moroni 10:1). Furthermore, we know that written Mesoamerican texts fall within this same time period. All the art, power and capacity to inform inherent in a written language is evident in the Book of Mormon and, in a parallel mode, was fully developed in Mesoamerica—the same cannot be verified for North America and should not be accepted as viable evidence that the setting of the Book of Mormon was in North America.

Part 2, Coming to Grips with Geography, will address the fundamental geography of the Book of Mormon’s core area drawing from the original chiasm containing that geography. That chiasm, which involves the ancient writing format Mormon used for engraving his concepts of Lamanite and Nephite geography, is what we have today as Alma 22:27. Mormon’s chiasm and the model it provides facilitate our capability to assess the validity of any and all the current geographies concerned with the setting of the Book of Mormon.

Dr. F. Richard Hauck is the founder of the Archaeological Research Institute, a not-for-profit organization founded for the purpose of conducting archaeological research, including studies correlating the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica. Dr. Hauck graduated from the University of Utah in 1975 with a Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology, dissertation titled: "Preconquest Mayan Overland Routes on the Yucatan Peninsula and their Economic Significance." His books include Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon, 1988, Deseret Book; and he is the author of many articles and papers. He is a popular speaker, sharing his many adventures as one of the few LDS archaeologists who spends most of his research time on site in Mesoamerica.
See pages 376-381 in the Sharer and Sedat 1987 publication, Archaeological Investigations in the Northern Maya Highlands, Guatemala—Interaction and the Development of the Maya Civilization. Published by the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

[ii] During the past five years (2007-2011) the Archeological Research Institute (ARI) of Bountiful, Utah has been involved in conducting reconnaissance and excavations in the north central Guatemalan highlands funded through the generosity of Joe V. Andersen and family. The purpose of this research has been two-fold: (1) to expand the previous work of other archaeologists by addressing the ancient ceremonial centers, settlements and trail systems that were in use from the Early Preclassic through the Classic and Postclassic Periods (1200 BC through AD 1530); and (2) to identify, investigate and document any viable evidences of cultural development and expansion in Mesoamerica which correlate with the historical setting of the Book of Mormon. ARI’s extensive explorations in these highlands include the discovery and documentation of ancient trail systems and excavations at a variety of Preclassic sites including Tzalcam (the primary candidate for the city Nephi) and Valparaiso (hypothesized to be the first line of defense protecting the fortified settlements in the Manti region).
[iii] See page 219 in J Eric S. Thompson’s 1960 publication, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

[iv] Numerous examples are given in the Book of Mormon that the Nephite people had access to sacred texts, which probably were written on perishable materials including the bark paper manufactured in Mesoamerica. For example: King Noah’s priests quote scripture to Abinadi (Mosiah 12:20-24) demonstrating that Zeniff’s colony returned to Nephi carrying sacred texts; the sons of Mosiah carry scripture with them on their mission to the Lamanites (Alma 18:38, 22:12-13); Helaman made records of the sacred texts and sent them “throughout the land” (Alma 63:11-13); and residents of Ammonihah had copies of the scriptures (Alma 12:20-21, 13:20, 14:1, 8) which were burned along with the new converts by the raging Nehors.

[v] See Mosiah 24: 4 through 7. This quote is from verse 6.

[vi] The Lamanites evidently lost their knowledge of writing after Nephi took the Plates of Laban and other sacred writings with him when he departed from his older brothers and relocated in the land of Nephi. A similar incident is recorded concerning the people of Mulek: their language became corrupted and they lost their ability to read and write because they lacked written records and sacred texts (see Omni 1:17-18).

Last edited by bobhenstra on October 12th, 2012, 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by larsenb »

Bob, thanks for posting, but try to change the thread title. It's Richard or Ric Hauck, not Ralph.

That was your mistake, but Ric's going to be extremely embarrassed by the typo: "This primitive method of writing, known as the copulate system".

Rickwill apparently be feated at the annual BMAF Conference held Saturday after next on 20 October. For more information go to:" onclick=";return false; or ... .49+PM.png" onclick=";return false;

BTW, the 7th speaker, near end of the day (4:50 - 5:50 pm) will be Daniel Johnson whose topic will be: “Hard Evidence of Horses in America”


PS. Bob, I see you got the name changed. Much better.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Lol, cupulate or copulate? No matter, I'm going to try and be there!


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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by Benjamin Harrison »

Just thought I would bring this one up to the top for further viewing.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Metals and Gold Plates in Mesoamerica
In October 2010, Daniel Johnson, principal author of An LDS Guide to Mesoamerica, gave this presentation at the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum's annual conference. One of his purposes was to show the current strong evidence for the history of metallurgy and metal artifacts in Ancient America, including late Classic Mayan gold plates with hieroglyphic writing. Another was to examine closely the text of the Book of Mormon itself to see what it says about the use of metals, tools, and weapons, rather than what we have imagined for years. Finally, he showed that all of the metals and metal items mentioned are accurate for the time period and setting in the Old World, suggesting that all Nephite metalworking, however long it lasted, can probably be traced back to Nephi, rather than to any known American cultures.

There is a sound presentation

An author from the Nephi Project website has written an article claiming that the presentation is misleading. See Daniel's response.

For more information on An LDS Guide to Mesoamerica and additional studies and presentations Daniel is doing, click here for his blog." onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Read, study and understand the truths about Book of Mormon lands!


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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

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In the Book of Mormon we read of many cities but few villages. How many people did it take to call a settlement a city? We read of armies with "huge numbers", populations that "covered the whole face of the land." In the Book of Ether we read of war casualties numbering in the millions. In Alma 11 we read that Amulek was offered six onties of silver by Zeezrom if he would deny the existence of a Supreme Being. When analyzing the money system adopted by King Mosiah, we calculate that six onties is only about six weeks' pay for a judge; hardly the huge amount "of great worth" it states in the text. How we view these qualitative words used in our Book of Mormon determines our vision of the size and probable location of Book of Mormon lands.

The following is by archaeologist David Swingler who believes we must change our perceptions of size in ancient times.

All of us take a daily inventory about who we are and what we've done by the end of the day. My observation is that when most people think of ancient times and how different they may have been, they focus on those things which in fact are not so changed - kinds of work, emotions, needs, the day's tasks. Seldom do people imagine in their visualizing the greatest difference - population size and city sizes - and distances between habitations because villages and towns and cities were so few by comparison.

This visualization came to me over years of actually visiting the Mediterranean and Middle East. I have been to Italy studying its ancient places and remains - 48 times. I have been 17 times to Palestine, and 28 times to Egypt. It was about 25 years ago - when I was in my later 30's - that I began to, with some shock, notice and then study just how small the populations were 2,000 and more years ago. I discovered that non-quantitative terms in ancient writings - "a great host," "covered the face of the land" were utterly subjective and had to be re-interpreted in actual comparative sizes and numbers, not the sizes and numbers WE think of by these non-quantitative terms, which, giving no actual numbers at all, leave us entirely to interpret what these mean by what reference we have.

As I began to increase my consciousness of this fact, I paid special attention to ancient texts which included numerical quantitatives aside generic allusions of huge numbers - and learned that to ancient peoples, a few was an enormous number. It all has to do with our reference. If we have always seen 10, 50, 80 people and no more, to suddenly see 2,000 is a staggering vision and boggles the mind. In our modern frame of reference of millions and tens of millions and billions, this is our reference, and we forget: to an ancient person, who has never seen more than a few hundred people at a time in one place, a thousand is an unforgetable host, multitudinous beyond counting.

And that is one of the last issues to awaken in my perceptions: ability to count numbers.

Today we talk huge numbers, but do we really visualize them? A million? A billion? A trillion? These are in our news today, every day. Yet we really cannot visualize them, though we think to ourselves we can and do. We do not. We see "a great host." "a multitude" and it is but a little bigger than the great host and multitude of our ancestors. When we go to express it in figures, we have at our familiar command huge numbers never used by our ancestors.

Most ancient peoples did not have good numerical systems.

The Hebrews did not. Try counting in ancient Hebrew, which used letters assigned a value. Try counting in ancient Egyptian, the same. Ancient Greek, the same. Most ancients did not have easily-used numbers. They used letters, and nothing as sophisticated as Roman Numeral letters system. Try using the Roman Numerals just a little to express today's large-number calculations - it gets utterly confusing very quickly.

Ancient texts seldom record numbers over 1,000 and even Roman texts talking about citizens of wealth whose fortunes were valued in millions of sesterces are very few, and use verbiage, not numbers in their descriptions. This is not only because the number systems were difficult, it is also because few people knew how to count very high. We speak of illiteracy among ancient peoples - mathematical illiteracy was even worse. Few knew how to cipher, at all.

Mathematical texts with numbers are so few in all ancient writing systems that they are considered the rarist and most precious due to their uniqueness - we just don't find them. When we do, we find that quantities were small.

A number over 100 was very big. Over 1,000 was very, very big. 10,000 was a quantity beyond most ancient people's understanding.

Those few priests, shamans, astronomers and mathematicians who knew and could use and calculate large numbers were a very few, an elite class, whose gnosis was not shared with the masses and does not represent the majority of ancient population masses.

Again, this is why so often even in scripture we find no figures used, but rather, expressions like "a numerous people" and dozens of other expressions; it is also why so frequently in ancient writings - including scripture - we find "formulaic numbers" used repeatedly to indicate an idea of size, rather than to represent an actual count. This is true in scripture, where, for example, we repeatedly find events that we are to understand as having been "a lot of days" as being 40 days. Formulaic numbers - as words, not figures - were used because few people could cipher, number systems were crude, clumsy and difficult to use, exact counts were seldom made, estimates were commonly used, and, to express a concept of time or size, certain numbers became popular as denoting "small," "medium" and "large." Societies in which a majority of people were illiterate, and of those few had learned their own system of figures to know ciphering, used formulaic number terms to convey numbers without using numbers. Generic numbers, we would say today, for visualizing something.

It is this visualizing that is so subjective; these subjective terms are what trip us up today because we have a totally different frame of reference, not to mention mathematical capability wherein to us, the term "big numbers" has jumped from 50 to billions and trillions.

David Swingler

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

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Joseph Smith’s Actual and Verifiable Words as a Supreme Source for Book of Mormon Geography
Joseph Smith’s Actual and Verifiable Words as a Supreme Source for Book of Mormon Geography
Dr. John L. Lund
Defining Joseph Smith’s Authorship of Actual and Verifiable Words
Joseph Smith’s authorship is defined as those writings which he personally wrote, dictated, or assigned to be written and were subsequently approved for publication by him. For our purposes a very strict standard was applied to any statements attributed to Joseph Smith. During his lifetime was the statement or document attributed to Joseph subject to review and correction by Joseph?
In order to qualify as a “Supreme Source” one of two realities must exist. The first or “actual” reality includes the holographic [personally handwritten] writings of Joseph and the dictated words of Joseph recorded by a scribe and subsequently read and approved of by Joseph. The second or “verifiable” reality would be an article written by assignment under Joseph’s authority by another but signed by Joseph as having his approval.
Examples of documents that were read and approved of by Joseph included the first three editions of the Book of Mormon. There were hundreds of changes and corrections made from the 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon in the 1837 Kirtland, second edition of the Book of Mormon. How do we know whether those changes in the scriptures were approved of by Joseph Smith? In the preface of the 1837 second edition the following statement assures the reader that:
…..the whole has been carefully re-examined and compared with the original manuscripts, by elder Joseph Smith, Jr. (Preface p. v).
There were additional changes and corrections made from the 1837 edition in the 1840 Nauvoo third edition of the Book of Mormon. It was the 1840 edition that Joseph made specific reference to when he said the Book of Mormon was:
…..the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book (H.C. 4:461, November 28, 1841).
Were the changes made in the Nauvoo edition approved of by Joseph Smith? Absolutely; as evidenced on page “3,” the frontal page, which carried the following declaration:
The Book of Mormon, Translated by Joseph Smith Jr., Third Edition, Carefully Revised By The Translator, Nauvoo, Ill., Printed by Robinson and Smith…1840 (emphasis added).
This means that the reader can have confidence that whatever changes made in the 1840 edition by the printers or scribes were “carefully revised” and approved of by Joseph. These are examples of Joseph Smith’s actual or verifiable approved of words. This is what qualifies as a “Supreme Source.”
Another way to establish that the words were the actual words of Joseph is through a competent and replicable author identification study. Such a study was completed in 2012 on editorials attributed to Joseph Smith written in the Times and Seasons, an early Church newspaper published in Nauvoo, Illinois. In these editorials Joseph identified the City of Zarahemla as being in the Guatemalan boundaries of 1842.1 He also identified the “Small or Narrow Neck” of land to be in Central America.2 The Book of Mormon land of Desolation is located north of the “Small or Narrow Neck” of land which separates a Sea East from a Sea West (Alma 22:27-32). The land of Zarahemla is located southward of the “Small or Narrow Neck” of land (Ether 10:31). Once Zarahemla or the “small neck” of land has been identified, one has found the axis mundi of the lands of the Jaredites, Mulekites, and the children of Lehi. From the land of Zarahemla and those lands which immediately surround it, the descendants migrated, intermarried with many others who were brought to this land by the hand of the Lord (2 Nephi 1:5-6), and filled the continent from sea to sea.
The Importance of Identifying Joseph Smith’s Actual and Verifiable Words as a Supreme Source from Unverifiable Statements Attributed to Joseph
The issue is this: what words and writings can we prove that Joseph actually said versus what someone else reported that Joseph said? Most of the confusion and argument about Book of Mormon geography comes from conflicting lesser sources claiming something that Joseph supposedly said. Because there are conflicting reports about what Joseph said, what he wrote, what he dictated and approved, it is vital to separate the verifiable from the unverifiable. The unverifiable source may be a true account. The point is that “maybe” is an unreliable lesser source.
Tremendous confusion ensues as one proclaims that my “lesser sources” are better than your “lesser sources.” As it relates to the geography of the Book of Mormon, all lesser sources are trumped by the supreme sources of the Book of Mormon and what Joseph actually said or approved that was subject to his review and correction.
The Problem with Lesser Sources
The problems with lesser sources are just that—they are lesser sources. By definition a lesser source will be any statement attributed to Joseph Smith that was not subject to his review and correction and approved by him. Historians know that secondary sources are inherently problematic. What someone said in their writings or journals that Joseph said is always filtered through the biasness of the source. Even firsthand accounts of what someone said they heard Joseph say are suspect. Many of these firsthand and secondary sources, including reports from prominent Church leaders, were recorded years after the event. Most historians understand and are skeptical of memory of primary and firsthand events recalled after a number of years. It is not a matter of calling the person a liar or of impugning the sincerity of the one giving the report. All historical events are interpreted through the eyes of those who experienced them.
What You Heard is Not What I Said!
How often have you heard someone say, “That is not what I meant? It is very common in our everyday communications to be misunderstood. To avoid endless bickering about secondary sources and Book of Mormon geography, the problem of “who said what” can be solved by determining the authorship of the actual and verifiable words of Joseph Smith.
There is a hierarchy of evaluating a source. The supreme or highest standard is the actual and verifiable words of the person. It is also important that the words describing the event be as close to the time period of the event as possible. Ideally, during the lifetime of the speaker, the words were subject to the speakers review and correction. Generally historians are a skeptical lot whose creed is “Believe nothing and doubt everything.” Two historians will yield three firm opinions.
There is a Role for Lesser Sources That Support Supreme Sources
Can lesser sources play a role in better understanding the geography of the Book of Mormon? Sometimes they can and do. However, the current debate by different groups advocating for Zarahemla to be north or south of the Rio Grande has become clouded because of lesser sources. As it relates to the geography of the Book of Mormon each group advocating for Zarahemla to be in their favored location can quote from the journal of “whomsoever.” Joseph said “this” or I was there when Joseph said “that.” The story of Zelph is a classic example of why even firsthand accounts of others had to be “read and revised” by Joseph Smith.
The Zelph story is explained in detail in Addendum I. Dr. Ken W. Godfrey, a Church history scholar, has compiled all of the known firsthand accounts of Zelph. The essence of the Zelph story involves several prominent and faithful brethren. They discovered the ancient bones of a man, while on the Zion’s Camp march in a mound near Griggsville, Illinois, on the west bank of the Illinois River. The discovery was made on June 2, 1834.
Willard Richards was a scribe for Joseph Smith and an early Church Historian. However Willard Richards was not at the Zelph site. He compiled the Zelph story eight years later from the firsthand witnesses who were there. The Willard Richard’s account was written in 1842. The various accounts of what everyone claimed that Joseph said were subject to review and correction by Joseph. We know the Zelph account was edited after it had been compiled. An example of Joseph’s editing his person history was recorded on the 24th of December in 1842. Joseph had Willard Richards write the following, “read & revised history” (JSP-Journal I: 193).3 Do we know that it was the Zelph story revised on that day? No, but we do know that Joseph read and revised the first forty-two pages of the “Manuscript History” of the Church before he was martyred.4 We also know that the Willard Richard’s account was edited and subject to Joseph’s correction. What were the controversial edited out parts of the Zelph letter? Here are some excerpts from the Willard Richards’ 1842 account of Zelph:

“We visited several of the mounds … of this country, Nephites, Lamanites &c …”
“He was a warrior and chieftain under the prophet Omandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or Eastern Sea to the Rocky Mountains.
He was killed in battle…during the a last great struggle with the Lamanites and Nephites.

When a firsthand experience was attributed to Joseph, can the claim be supported by evidence of Joseph’s review and correction? Remember these several different Zelph stories were all the firsthand accounts by highly respected brethren and yet their statements of what they believe they heard Joseph say qualify only as lesser sources. The entire Zelph story was included in the Manuscript History of the Church with the crossed out words. Zelph is a perfect example of why it was important for Joseph to “read and revise” his personal history. The Zelph story also underscores the importance of separating a supreme source of Joseph’s actual and verifiable words, that were subject to Joseph’s review and correction, from unverifiable firsthand accounts of what others thought that Joseph said.
When There Are Conflicting Reports on What Joseph Said
When there is a conflict between Joseph’s actual or verifiable words that were subject to Joseph’s review and correction and a different firsthand account of what someone thought they heard Joseph Smith say, the “Supreme Source” of Joseph’s verifiable words has to take precedence. Agreeing to a lesser standard invites unnecessary conflict.
Why are Joseph’s Opinions Superior and Infinitely More Significant than the Opinions of Others as it Relates to the Geography of the Book of Mormon?
For the Latter-day Saint, the actual and verifiable teachings and writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith cannot be dismissed with impunity. President Gordon B. Hinckley said
The Book of Mormon is here. It must be explained. It can be explained only as the translator himself explained its origin” (Ensign, February 2004, p. 6, emphasis added).
In addition to being the translator of the Book of Mormon, what qualified the opinions of the Prophet Joseph to be a Supreme Source for the geography of the Book of Mormon? Ammon answered this question when he taught King Limhi “that a seer is greater than a prophet” (Mosiah 8:15).
Angelic visitations and the visions of the geography of the Book of Mormon given to the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator Joseph Smith qualified him as a first-person prophetic witness to the geography of the Book of Mormon.
Because of these many visions of the lands of the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s teachings become defining external evidence in the quest for understanding the geography of the Book of Mormon. His “vision after vision” of the geography, the buildings, and cultures that once occupied this continent made Joseph Smith uniquely qualified to identify where the primary Book of Mormon events in America occurred.
There are, and will be, sincere LDS scholars who disagree with the basic premise that Joseph Smith was an unimpeachable source and that his words are a “Supreme Source.” Some have taken a point of view that a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking as a prophet and unless he says, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ his words, though respected, are nonetheless his opinion. However, Ezra Taft Benson said, “The prophet does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture.”5
Joseph Smith is an unimpeachable source for most Latter-day Saints. Independent of being a Prophet, he was a Seer, and the head of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He was shown by angelic visitation and panoramic visions the original inhabitants of this continent and the geographical lands upon which they dwelt (JS–H 1:33-50; T&S 3:707).
Joseph’s credentials are more than adequate to qualify his statements and opinions about Book of Mormon geography to be held in higher esteem and given greater weight than the opinion of even the most ardent scholar of the Book of Mormon. This is why Joseph’s verified statements as a supreme source take precedence over what other lesser sources reported they believed that Joseph said.6 It is beyond reason and arrogance to set aside the testimony of the Dispensational Prophet of God. Therefore, I have taken the position that the actual and verifiable statements made by Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni will have preeminence over the sincere opinions of others.7
Joseph’s actual and verifiable dictated words are a narrow, but necessary, definition to avoid endless bickering about what is or isn’t a reliable source. For the Latter-day Saint, the teachings and writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith relative to Book of Mormon geography are a window into the visions shown to Joseph. Among the historical-geographical issues of greatest interest to many are answers about the what Joseph saw and later taught about the geography of the Book of Mormon.
What Geographical Sites Were Shown to Joseph Smith in the Many Visions He Received Before and During the Translation of the Book of Mormon?
Joseph Smith’s earliest lesson about the geography of the Book of Mormon occurred when he was seventeen years old. It was during the evening of the 21st of September in 1823, that Joseph was introduced to the angel Moroni. Joseph was informed about many future and past events and shown a vision of the geography of the American continent and of the people in the Book of Mormon that once dwelt upon this land:
I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people was made known unto me: I was also told where there was deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgement of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things.
After having received many visits from the angels of God unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the 22nd of September A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into my hands (The Wentworth Letter as published in T&S 3:707)
It is important to note that Joseph was “informed” and “told” about future as well as past events. He saw in vision the geography of the Book of Mormon before he translated one word of what is now the Book of Mormon.
Following is an example of how a lesser source can support a supreme source. The mother of Joseph Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, reported on some of the pre-translation visions, which Joseph shared with his immediate family. The visions included specific and detailed geographical information about Book of Mormon lands, buildings, and structures:
In the course of our evening conversations Joseph would give us some…recitals… He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, their manner of travel… the cities that were built by them, the structure of their buildings, with every particular of their mode of warfare, their religious worship as particularly as though he had spent his life with them.8
Joseph’s numerous visions included picture-perfect scenes of geographical places. Joseph recorded,
[Moroni] told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold, I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited; he said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham.9 (Emphasis added.)
So clearly was Joseph shown the geography of where the plates of gold lay hidden in the Hill Cumorah that Joseph dictated the following:
While he [Moroni] was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it (Joseph Smith—History 1:42).
Imagine the Angel Moroni Narrating on the History Channel on Television
The vision process involved the angel Moroni revealing information verbally and Joseph seeing a vision of the very events and the geographical settings about which Moroni was speaking. It would be similar to watching the “History Channel” on television while the angel Moroni provided the narration. Look at how specific Joseph was in describing the geography of the hill Cumorah.
On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth (JS─H 1:51)
I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it (Joseph Smith—History 1:42).
The Prophet Joseph Smith’s Geographical and Historical Visions Were Similar to Those of Moses and Enoch
Joseph’s vision-journey through history and geography was common among prophets in all dispensations of time. The scriptures recorded that Moses was given a comprehensive lesson in the geography of the earth:
And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle [geography] of it which he did not behold…(Moses 1:27, emphasis added).
The striking similarity of seeing the geography while the voice was “still speaking” was precisely the experience of the Prophet Joseph. The great Prophet Enoch, who “walked with God,” recounted the vision of the people and the specific places he saw as he “journeyed from the land of Cainan” (Moses 6:42). Enoch witnessed “the Son of Man lifted up on the cross” (Moses 7:55) and the events surrounding the Second Coming of Christ. Included among the geographical features that Enoch saw were the earth’s oceans: “he also saw the sea” (Moses 7:66).
The Prophet-Historian Mormon was also shown a vision of our day when the Book of Mormon would “come forth among you” (Mormon 8:34). Mormon described the “wearing of very fine apparel” (Mormon 8:36) and the buildings, “churches,” and topographical settings of the “earthquakes in divers places” (Mormon 8:30). To fully appreciate the extent of the geographical details of these visions, one need only read the account of Nephi in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 11-14). The interaction between the messenger of God and the narration he gave to Nephi was similar to that given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Nephi was shown the clothing and “fine-twined linen” the people wore (1 Nephi 13:7). He saw the geographical and topographical features of the “many waters” and the “land” upon which they were driven and scattered (1 Nephi 13:13-14). Joseph Smith was given similar details in the several visions he received about the geography of the Book of Mormon.
The events shown to Joseph Smith and the other prophets did not take place in a vacuum. They were visions of real people who wore fine apparel, lived in real buildings, and walked on real roads. Joseph wasn’t shown a generic Hill Cumorah where the plates were buried. It was the actual Hill Cumorah in New York, in its true geographical setting. The topographical features of rocks and trees and the geographical environs were vividly impressed on the mind of the Prophet.
Those Who Want to Relegate Joseph Smith’s Vision Experiences with the Geography of the Book of Mormon to “Just His Opinion” are Grossly Underestimating the Basis of Joseph Smith’s Opinion.
One of the great scholars of the life of Joseph Smith was Truman Madsen. He identified twenty-three visits between the angel Moroni and Joseph, some of which involved geographical visions. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism reports that the angel Moroni met with Joseph in instructional sessions “at least twenty times” from 1823 to 1829. George Q. Cannon reported,
Moroni, in the beginning, as you know, to prepare him [Joseph] for his mission, came and ministered and talked to him from time to time, and he had vision after vision…
Many of the recorded visions that Joseph received about the geography of the Book of Mormon were prior to the translation of the Book of Mormon.
Most of Joseph Smith’s Documents Were Dictated—Even the Book of Mormon Was a Dictated Document
Dean Jessee quoted Joseph Smith as saying that "a prophet cannot be his own scribe” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1345):
Friday, July 5, 1839—I was dictating history, I say dictating, for I seldom use the pen myself. I always dictate all my communications, but employ a scribe to write them (HC 4:1).10
Most members of the Church are not aware the extent to which Joseph used scribes. On the 13th of December 1841, Willard Richards began serving as “Scribe for the private office of the President.”11 Willard Richards would remain the primary scribe for Joseph until the Prophet’s death in 1844. When Richards was unable or not present with Joseph, other scribes were used. William Clayton was also a principal scribe for Joseph during the Nauvoo Period. Eliza R. Snow and Erastus Derby assisted William Clayton in copying correspondence.12 Including Emma, there were at least twenty scribes that recorded Joseph’s dictations and even kept Joseph’s personal diaries.13
The Book of Mormon was both a translated and dictated document. Joseph used scribes and dictated nearly all of his history, letters, and documents. Howard C. Searle pointed out that
There are only thirty-five holographic pages in Joseph Smith's [in his personal handwriting] diaries, representing only two percent of the content of his eight separate diaries.14
In addition to Joseph’s diaries and the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants is primarily a compilation of Joseph’s dictated documents. All of these documents were subject to Joseph’s review and correction. Emma records a rather unique testimony about her experience receiving dictation from Joseph:
The Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity—I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, [Joseph] would dictate to me hour after hour;… It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.15
Because Joseph was very particular and yet dependent on scribes, he was careful to review and correct his dictated words. This was true for all of Joseph’s scribes. Regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon, with others than Emma, Joseph required them to read the transcribed portion back to him. David Whitmer, one of the Three Witnesses reported that
Smith would read to his scribe, who wrote it down exactly as it fell from his lips. The scribe would then read the sentence written, and if any mistake had been made, the characters would remain visible to Smith until corrected.16
William Clayton, who acted as a scribe for Joseph, reported,
After the whole was written, Joseph asked me to read it through slowly and carefully, which I did, and he pronounced it correct.17
Joseph used several different scribes to record his dictation during the Nauvoo Period. This encompassed the time of Joseph’s editorship of the Times and Seasons between March 1, 1842, and October 15, 1842:
For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me (HC 6:409).
As Dean Jessee reported, Joseph was very careful to review and correct his dictated words (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 3:1345). There were numerous examples of Joseph crossing out words and correcting his dictated “History of Joseph Smith,” personal correspondence, and editorials. Joseph corrected the first forty-two pages of the Manuscript History of the Church before his demise.18 On the 18th of January in 1834, Joseph recorded, “Reviewed and corrected the minutes of the organization of the High Council” (HC 2:31). Joseph also made corrections in the 1837 and the 1840 editions of the Book of Mormon and was going through additional corrections in the Joseph Smith Translation of the King James Version of the Bible before he died. The point being, Joseph was very serious about correcting mistakes and “getting things right.” Another insight about Joseph’s “intense concern” about accurate record keeping comes from Dean Jessee, who pointed out that when the Church was organized on April 6, 1830, there was a revelation given on that date that deeply impressed Joseph and cause sincere consternation; “Behold, there shall be a record kept among you (D&C 21:1).”
The writing of his history was a subject of intense concern during the remaining years of his life… The Prophet added: "There are but few subjects that I have felt a greater anxiety about than my history which has been a very difficult task." On another occasion he told William Phelps that "the history must go ahead before anything else." The records created as a result of this concern for history constitute the prime sources for the life of Joseph Smith and for early Mormon history.19
John Taylor was asked to write a synoptic article upon which Joseph had discoursed. It dealt with the Ancient of Days, keys of the Priesthood, and the dispensations of the Gospel. John Taylor reported,
I found it a very difficult thing to do. He [Joseph] had to correct me several times… said he, “That is not right.” I wrote it again, and again he said it was not right. It was very difficult…20
Persnickety and obsessive may be too harsh of words to describe Joseph’s overseeing that his scribes “got it right.” Whatever word one would choose to characterize Joseph’s serious attitude toward his responsibility as an editor or historian, casual or negligent wouldn’t apply.
When editorials are questioned as to their authorship, it is appropriate to ask if Joseph approved it. Dean Jessee, in his “Preface” to the Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, stated,
In general, it matters very little whether or not a person writes his own diaries, letters, and speeches or delegates others to write for him, because as H.C. Hockett has pointed out, if the one whose name appears on a work is the responsible source of the ideas set forth, he is the real author even if the writing is that of another (PWJS xiii).
This specifically applies to the first three Book of Mormon editions, the Doctrine and Covenants, the first forty-two pages of the Manuscript History of the Church, the personal writings and letters signed by Joseph, and the Times and Seasons newspaper during Joseph’s editorship. All of these documents were subject to Joseph’s review and correction. When there are statements made by Joseph himself that are verifiable, turning to any other source to contradict Joseph or to equate a secondary source with Joseph’s actual words is beyond poor scholarship.

1 Times and Seasons, 3:927, October 1, 1842, hereafter T&S.

2 T&S 3:915, September 15, 1842 and T&S 3:927.

3 JS-Journal II:193. See footnote #21, this was the third December 1842 session of Joseph “actively directing Willard Richards in compiling and writing JS’s history.”

4 Howard Searle, “Authorship of the History of Joseph Smith,” BYU Studies Vol. 21, Number 1, Winter 1981.

5 Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1988), p. 136.

6 The issue becomes this: what statements attributed to Joseph are truly Joseph’s? Addendum IV is a report on an author identification “Word Analysis Study” on three editorials in the Times and Seasons newspaper of 1842. These articles, attributed to Joseph, identified the “narrow neck” of land as being in Central America and “Zarahemla” as being in Guatemala. Some scholars have questioned whether John Taylor or Wilford Woodruff authored these statements attributed to Joseph. All three worked in the Times and Seasons office at the time the three articles in question were published. However, the “Word Analysis Study” was conclusive that Joseph authored and/or dictated the editorials.

7 If a current or future Prophet in his capacity as President were to make an official declaration, proclamation, or statement regarding the Book of Mormon geography, it would take precedence.

8 Dan Vogel, compiler, Early Mormon Documents (SLC:Signature Books,1996), 1:295.

9 Joseph Smith, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, compiled and edited by Dean C. Jessee, p.74 - 77

10 Since this is the first reference to the History of the Church, it is incumbent upon me to acknowledge its imperfections. As Howard C. Searle pointed out, “The first six volumes, containing the ‘History of Joseph Smith’ were published from 1902 to 1912, and although Elder Roberts made significant contributions to the history through his editing…, he also made additions and deletions right in the text, without any annotation, as if these too were the product of the Prophet's own mind.” BYU Studies Vol. 21, Winter, 1981. Where possible all of Robert’s quotes of Joseph were cross-checked with the original sources used by Roberts from “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons, other early Church newspapers, and extant original sources. The Joseph Smith Papers answered many questions about Robert’s History of the Church and which statements were dictated by Joseph Smith.

11 Joseph Smith Papers: Journals 2:11.

12 Joseph Smith Papers: Journals 2:xx.

13 Dean Jessee, “Writings of Joseph Smith,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1344.

14 Howard Searle, “Authorship of Joseph Smith History: A Review Essay,” BYU Studies, Vol. 21 (1981), Number 1-Winter 1981.

15 “Statement of Emma Smith to her son, Joseph Smith III,” cited in The Saints Herald, (Oct. 1, 1879), 289-290.

16 LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p.263

17 The Historical Record, pp. 225-226, cited in Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, reprint 1965), pp. 820-821.

18 Howard Searle, “Authorship of the History of Joseph Smith,” BYU Studies Vol. 21, Number 1, Winter 1981.

19 The Writing of Joseph Smith's History by Dean C. Jessee Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 11 (1970-1971), Number 4 - Summer 1971, p.439

20 John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 357, hereafter cited GK.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

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Actual examples of Mesoamerican writing


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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

1 post by 1 author in BMAF



The Use of Cement in Mesoamerica

By Jeff Lindsay

A long-ridiculed "anachronism" in the Book of Mormon is the reference
in Helaman 3:9-11 to cement work among some of the ancient inhabitants
of this continent in the 1st century B.C. At this time, many Nephite
people moved into the north lands (probably southern Mexico). Trees
were very scarce there, apparently because of environmental
irresponsibility among a previous, fallen civilization (I refer to the
"Jaredites," probably correlated with the Olmecs). While taking care
to protect and nurture trees for the future, the Nephites used other
materials to build their cities. Buildings made from cement are
specifically mentioned. For decades, this seemed like a mistake.

Mesoamerica: The Most Likely Ancient American Setting for the Book of

There is near consensus among LDS scholars that Mesoamerica (e.g., the
region now occupied by southern Mexico, Guatemala, etc.) is the best
candidate for the New World setting of the Book of Mormon. In this
paradigm, Book of Mormon lands are viewed as having a limited
geographic scope--a few hundred miles of north to south extent versus
a continental scope. One version of this model is impressively
explained in John Sorenson's book, "An Ancient American Setting for
the Book of Mormon" and in David Palmer's "Searching for Cumorah."
Mesoamerica fits the general setting required for the Book of Mormon
in many ways such as providing a region with an ancient tradition of
written language, the existence of ancient temple building, many of
the elements of civilization described in the Book of Mormon, ancient
practices of warfare and fortification, implications regarding
climate, the presence of volcanism, etc.

However, there is a recently popularized alternate theory that puts
Book of Mormon events in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
This theory fails on numerous counts such as the lack of a history of
written language in the region, but has been buttressed by drawing
upon alleged statements of Joseph Smith and other Church leaders that
supposedly show they were "revealing" divine information about Book of
Mormon geography. Such claims are highly misleading. In fact, there is
support from statements of Joseph Smith and other leaders for
Mesoamerica as a candidate for Book of Mormon geography in the New
World that should immediately rebut any claims that Mesoamerica has
been ruled out by divine revelation. In 1842, after receiving a copy
of John Lloyd Stephens' work, "Incidents of Travel in Central America,
Chiapas and Yucatán", Joseph Smith was iimpressed with the detailed
new knowledge about ancient civilization in the New World, and saw in
these works supporting evidence fo the plausibility of the Book of
Mormon. Joseph wrote in a letter that this book about ancient
Mesoamerica "supports the testimony of the Book of Mormon." He also
said we would do well to compare the lands described by Stephens with
those of the Book of Mormon. See "Joseph Smith, John Lloyd Stephens,
and the Times and Seasons" by David C. Handy (Book of Mormon
Archaeological Forum, 2010" onclick=";return false;). BMAF is an
important resource in understanding the fallacy of the arguments used
in buttressing the weak Great Lakes theory based on claims to
revelation about the topic of Book of Mormon geography. I recommend
reading David Handy's article on this topic. It's purpose is not to
prove any one model for Book of Mormon georgraphy, but to disprove the
irresponsible claim that revelation has ruled out Mesoamerica.

For more information, see the FAIRLDS reviews of Rodney Meldrum's DVD,
DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography (Meldrum is a key promoter
of the so-called Heartland model). Also see Gregory Smith's review,
"Often in Error, Seldom in Doubt: Rod Meldrum and Book of Mormon
DNA."" onclick=";return false;

In 1929, Heber J. Grant (former President of the Church) told the
story of a man with a doctorate who had ridiculed him for believing in
the Book of Mormon. That learned man cited the mention of cement work
as an obvious lie "because the people in that early age knew nothing
about cement." President Grant, who was a young man at the time of
that conversation, said: "That does not affect my faith one particle.
I read the Book of Mormon prayerfully and supplicated God for a
testimony in my heart and soul of the divinity of it, and I have
accepted it and believe it with all my heart." I also said to him, "If
my children do not find cement houses, I expect that my grandchildren
will." He said, "Well, what is the good of talking with a fool like
that?" (April 1929 Conference Report, p. 128 ff.)

President Grant's statement was prophetic. Today, tourists to
Mesoamerica can find ancient cement work in abundance at Teotihuacan
(which is clearly "in the land north" according to modern models for
Book of Mormon geography). Mesoamerican cement was being used at least
by the first century B.C. (David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah,
Horizon Publishers, Bountiful, UT, 1981, p. 121). Palmer shows a
photograph of cement used to surface a temple at the Chiapa de Corzo
site. Palmer also cites Monte Alban, which is south of Teotihuacan but
still in the "land north," as another example of ancient cement work.
Several examples of cement work use tiny volcanic stones (0.5 to 2 mm
diameter) mixed with clay and lime to produce the cement. Cement was
also used in the ancient city of Kaminaljuyu (modern Guatemala City).

Mesoamerican work with cement involved more than merely applying a
veneer to buildings. Important structural elements were made with
cement, and the use of cement in Mesoamerica dates to about the time
when the Book of Mormon reports its development (46 B.C.). John Welch
provides further data in his article, "A Steady Stream of Significant
Recognitions" in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, ed. D.W.
Parry, D.C. Peterson, and J.W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), pp.

No one in the nineteenth century could have known that cement, in
fact, was extensively used in Mesoamerica beginning largely at this
time, the middle of the first century B.C.[1] One of the most notable
uses of cement is in the temple complex at Teotihuacan, north of
present-day Mexico City. According to David S. Hyman, the structural
use of cement appears suddenly in the archaeological record. And yet
its earliest sample "is a fully developed product." The cement floor
slabs at this site "were remarkably high in structural quality."
Although exposed to the elements for nearly two thousand years, they
still "exceed many present-day building code requirements." [2] This
is consistent with the Book of Mormon record, which treats this
invention as an important new development involving great skill and
becoming something of a sensation.

After this important technological breakthrough, cement was used at
many sites in the Valley of Mexico and in the Maya regions of southern
Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, which very well may have been close
to the Nephite heartlands. Cement was used in the later construction
of buildings at such sites as Cerro de Texcotzingo, Tula, Palenque,
Tikal, Copan, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza. Further, the use of cement is
"a Maya habit, absent from non-Maya examples of corbelled vaulting
from the southeastern United States to southern South America." [3]
Mesoamerican cement was almost exclusively lime cement. The limestone
was purified on a "cylindrical pile of timber, which requires a vast
amount of labor to cut and considerable skill to construct in such a
way that combustion of the stone and wood is complete and a minimum of
impurities remains in the product." [4] The fact that very little
carbon is found in this cement once again "attests to the ability of
these ancient peoples." [5]
John Sorenson has further noted the expert sophistication in the use
of cement at El Tajin, east of Mexico City, in the centuries following
Book of Mormon times. Cement roofs covered sizable areas: "Sometimes
the builders filled a room with stones and mud, smoothed the surface
on top to receive the concrete, then removed the interior fill when
the [slab] on top had dried." [6]


1. See Matthew G. Wells and John W. Welch, "Concrete Evidence for the
Book of Mormon," Insights (May 1991): 2
2. David S. Hyman, A Study of the Calcareous Cements in Prehispanic
Mesoamerican Building Construction (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University, 1970), ii, sec. 6, p. 7.
3. George Kubler, The Art and Architecture of Ancient America, 2nd ed.
(Baltimore: Penguin, 1975), 201, emphasis added.
4. Tatiana Proskouriakoff, An Album ofMaya Architecture (Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), xv.
5. Hyman, A Study of the Calcareous Cements, sec. 6, p. 5.
6. John L. Sorenson, "Digging into the Book of Mormon," Ensign,
October 1984, 19.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Volcanism in Mesoamerica; There are none in the heartland model!



Just so you can tell what one looks like----


And this one in Utah

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

More Mesoamerican writing;




Zapotec (Nephite) writing, 300 BC



Need more? ... 67&bih=678" onclick=";return false;


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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by JohnnyL »

Why the need for volcanoes?

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

JohnnyL wrote:Why the need for volcanoes?
Volcanism and Earthquakes in the Book of Mormon

Volcanism and Earthquakes in the Book of Mormon

Dr. Stephen L. Carr

Let me say at the outset that this essay is not the result of my original research. In fact, I’ll be quoting so extensively from Dr. Hugh Nibley that it is essentially his work. The main reason for the article on the BMAF website is to show that the events that occurred throughout the Book of Mormon could not possibly have been located in the eastern half of North America. For clarification, my comments will be printed in blue, with the majority of the article quoting from the Book of Mormon, Dr. Nibley, and two other researchers at the end will be in the normal black type face.

Nephi, son of Nephi (3 Nephi 8:5-25), possibly edited by Mormon during his abridging of the record, provides a very accurate description of the earthquakes and volcanic activity that occurred in the western hemisphere, which accompanied the crucifixion of the Savior on the other side of the earth. For purposes of this article, we’ll quote the Book of Mormon in narrative form, although you can read it directly in versified form directly from the scripture.

“And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. And there was also a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder. And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

“And the city of Zarahemla did take fire. And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned. And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

“And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward. But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth; and the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.

“And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate. And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many of them who were slain. And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.

“And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth. And 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.

“And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease – for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours – and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land. And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness; and there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all; and there was not any light seen neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.

“And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. And in one place they were heard to cry, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared, and they would not have been burned in that great city Zarahemla. And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah. And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible.” (3 Nephi 8:5-25)

Now quoting Dr. Hugh Nibley in Since Cumorah, starting on page 262, Some Fairly Foolproof Tests –

To the trained eye every document of considerable length is bound to betray the real setting in which it was produced. . . . What is the world of experiences and ideas that one finds behind the Book of Mormon? . . . We can start with actual experiences, not merely ideas, but things of a strictly objective and therefore testable nature; for example, the book describes in considerable detail what is supposed to be a great earthquake somewhere in Central America (emphasis added), . . . Here are things we can check up on; but to do so we must go to sources made available by scholars long since the days of Joseph Smith. Where he could have learned all about major Central American earthquakes . . . . But the first question is, how well does he describe them?

The Great Earthquake. Since Cumorah, the earth has done a great deal of quaking, and seismology has become a science. Today it is possible to check step-by-step every phenomenon described in the account of the great destructions reported in 3 Nephi 8-9 and to discover that what passed for many years as the most lurid, extravagant, and hence impossible part of the Book of Mormon is actually a very sober and factual account of a first-class earthquake. It was a terror – about XI on the Wood-Neuman scale – but at that it is probably not the worst quake on record, since we are expressly told that the damage was not total. . . . Take the Book of Mormon events in order:

First “there arose a great storm . . . and . . . also a great and terrible tempest,” from which it would appear that the storm developed into a hurricane. (3 Nephi 8:5-6) Major earthquakes are so often accompanied by “heavy rains, thunder and hailstorms, violent tempests, “ etc., that some specialists insist that “there is some indication that certain weather conditions may ‘trigger’ an earthquake,” . . . . At any rate, great earthquakes are preceded by great storms often enough to cause speculation.

Next there was a lot of noise, “terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.” (3 Nephi 8:6) This is another strange thing about earthquakes: “In accounts of earthquakes we always hear of the frightful noise which they produce. . . .”

“And there were exceeding sharp lightnings. . . .” (3 Nephi 8:7) According to an eyewitness account, the at earthquake that completely destroyed the old capital of Guatemala on September 11, 1541, was preceded by “the fury of the wind, the incessant, appalling lightning and dreadful thunder” that were “indescribable” in their violence. One of the still unexplained phenomena of earthquakes is that “all types of lights are reported seen. . . there are flashes, balls of fire, and streamers.”

“And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.” (3 Nephi 8:8) It would appear from the account of the Nephite disaster that the main cause of destruction was fire in the cities (3 Nephi 9:8-11), which agrees with all the major statistics through the centuries: for “earthquakes are largely a city problem: mainly because the first heavy shock invariable sets fires all over town: in the Japanese experience “wind-driven flames were shown to be more dangerous than the greatest earthquake.”

“And the city of Moroni did sink into the depth of the sea. . . .” (3 Nephi 8:9) The tsunami or sea wave “is the most spectacular and . . . appalling of all earthquake phenomena” and almost invariably follows a major shakeup on the coast. Along with this, however, we have in the Book of Mormon record what seems to be a permanent submergence of coastal areas when “the waters . . . came up in the stead thereof” and remain. (3 Nephi 9:7) In the New Madrid, Missouri, earthquake of 1811 two vast tracts of land were covered with fresh water both by the damming of streams and the bursting out of numerous earthquake blows or fountains, flooding the newly submerged areas.

“And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah that in the place of the city there became a great mountain,” (3 Nephi 8:10) In September 1538 during a tremendous storm and tidal wave a volcanic mountain suddenly appeared and covered a town near Puzzuoli on the Bay of Naples . . . . The carrying up of the earth upon the city suggests the overwhelming of Pompeii by vast heaps of volcanic ash or the deep burial o Herculaneum under lava in 79 AD.

“. . . there was thick darkness . . . the inhabitants . . . could feel the vapor of darkness; . . . neither could there be fire kindled . . . so great were the mists of darkness.” (3 Nephi 8:20-22) This, like much else in the account, suggest nearby volcanic activity. And, indeed, in many cases “earthquakes are the preparation for the volcano that follows,” . . . . Most of the victims of the great catastrophes of Pompeii, St. Pierre, and Mt. Pelee died of suffocation when earthquake dust, volcanic ash, steam, and hot gases (mostly sulfurated hydrogen gas) took the place of air. In some areas, the Book of Mormon reports, people were “overpowered by the vapor of smoke and of darkness,” and so lost their lives. (3 Nephi 10:13)

According to 3 Nephi 8:20-21 the “Vapor of darkness” was not only tangible to the survivor, but defeated every attempt to light candles or torches for illumination. Recent studies regarding a volcano on the Greek Island of Thera (today Santorini) describe terms exactly paralleling the account in 3 Nephi. Among other things it is pointed out that the overpowering thickness of the air must have extinguished all lamps.”

As is well known, “Central America lies in the heavy earthquake belt,” as well as being both a coastal and a volcanic area – a perfect setup for all the disasters, which the Book of Mormon describes so succinctly and so well. The remarkable thing about such statements is their moderation. Here was a chance for the author of the Book of Mormon to let his imagination run wild, with whole continents displaced, signs in the heavens, and monsters emerging from the deep. Instead, we simply get ‘level roads spoiled and smooth places made rough’!

Most earthquake data are of this very human nature, and exactly match the account in 3 Nephi. The Book of Mormon description emphasizes the fact that it was not any one particular thing but the combination of horrors that made the experience so terrible. The picture of cumulating disaster at the destruction of Guatemala City in 1541 strikingly parallels the story in the eighth chapter of 3 Nephi. “It had rained incessantly and with great violence . . . the fury of the wind, the incessant, appalling lightning and dreadful thunder were indescribable. The general terror was increased by eruptions from the volcano . . . and the next day vibrations of the earth were so violent that people were unable to stand; the shocks were accompanied by a terrible subterranean noise which spread universal dismay . . . .

We have then in the Book of Mormon a factual and sober account of a major upheaval in which by comparison with other such accounts nothing seems exaggerated. However wildly others may have chosen to interpret the Book of Mormon record, so far is it from bearing the marks of fantasy or wild imagination that it actually furnishes convincing evidence that the person who wrote it must have had personal experience of a major Mesoamerican quake or else have had access to authentic accounts of such.

Since the publication of Since Cumorah, by Dr. Nibley, additional information has been discovered to show that there probably was a lot more volcanism involved with the events described in 3 Nephi than even Brother Nibley suggested. The following excerpts from two excellent essays by Russell Ball and John Tvedtnes demonstrate the likelihood that a major volcanic eruption accompanied the earthquakes mentioned. The entirety of both articles should be read by all interested in these phenomena.

Quoting from Russell Ball, starting on page 112, Hypothesis Explaining the Destruction –

This general area in Mesoamerica (emphasis added) is quite active seismically, and large areas are covered by lava flows and volcanic ash. With this background, let us formulate a hypothesis that might explain all the events described in Helaman and in 3 Nephi.

The hypothesis is composed of the following:

1. The basic cause of the destruction was a tremendous seismic upheaval.

2. Numerous destructive mechanisms were involved, . . . .

3. The accompanying period of darkness was caused by an immense local cloud of volcanic ash.

4. The unprecedented lightning was due to electrical discharges within the ash cloud.

5. The intense thunder was due both to the lightning and to the rumbling of the earth due to seismic movements.

6. The vapor of darkness (1 Nephi 12:5; 19:11) and the mist of darkness (3 Nephi 8:20) were volcanic ash and dust stirred up by the quaking of the ground.

When a huge ash column is ejected from a volcano, it can rise to thousands of feet. When such a column collapses back on the volcano, it generates an ash surge that can travel at speeds up to one hundred miles per hour. Such a surge collapses houses, breaks through windows in rigid structures, and buries the people inside in an instant. Some of the descriptions in the Book of Mormon account are consistent with such phenomena.

Joseph Smith has presented us with a document that describes catastrophic events far removed from his own experience. A proper understanding of the period of destruction among the Nephites and Lamanites requires examining numerous rather casual comments by several Book of Mormon authors who were separated by several centuries. To me this is yet another evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Quoting from John Tvedtnes, starting on pages 170 and 173, Wind, Lightning, and Darkness –

The great destructions which took place among the Nephites and Lamanites at the time of Christ’s crucifixion can be likened to the effects of hurricanes and tornadoes as well as tectonic activity such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

While it is not impossible that a hurricane may have accompanied tectonic activities at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, there are tectonic explanations for the tempest, whirlwind, and lightning described in 3 Nephi. The explosive force of some volcanic eruptions has been great enough to cause severe winds. Huge balls of burning gases from volcanoes have also been known to create firestorms whose winds are fierce.

Great displays of lightning have also been observed in the ash-laden volcanic clouds thrown up from volcanoes.

The volcano is nature’s greatest source of fire. It not only spews burning gases and rocks, but it ignites flammable materials, which can continue to burn long after the volcanic flames have subsided. Forests and human dwellings are readily destroyed by volcanoes, as Hawaiian lava flows have demonstrated in recent years.

The thick darkness that followed the cataclysm at the time of Christ’s crucifixion is described as a “vapor” that would not permit the kindling of fire. Ash- and dust-laden air would explain this phenomenon. The depletion of the oxygen supply following the great fires would have made it impossible to kindle torches.

Critics of the Book of Mormon have suggested that the vast array of destructive forces described in 3 Nephi are impossible. But an examination of tectonic activity in various parts of the world shows that all of these phenomena are not only possible, but expected. It is significant, too, that some of the best examples of the kinds of natural phenomena described in the Book of Mormon have occurred in the vary area – Mesoamerica (emphasis added) and the nearby Caribbean – where most Book of Mormon scholars place the story in 3 Nephi. The fact that such phenomena are known in nature does not detract from the miraculous nature of the events surround Christ’s crucifixion. The Lord is more than capable of using natural phenomena to accomplish his purposes.

Research has shown that there are no volcanoes east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, aside from four extremely ancient ones: one in Mississippi dating to 65 million years ago; two in New Hampshire that last erupted 400 million years ago, and one in Missouri, the last eruption of which was one-and-a-half billion years ago.

Earthquakes, also, are extremely rare in the US heartland. Dr. Nibley mentioned the earthquake in 1811 of New Madrid, Missouri, down in the very southeast corner of the state. There have been no reports of any earth tremors since then and there appears to be no indication if there was any earthquake activity before 1811, especially around the time of Christ; whereas there are minor earthquakes that occur almost weekly and major ones that happen every few years in Mesoamerica. Volcanoes are a way of life in Mesoamerica with at least two of them smoking all the time outside Antigua, Guatemala. At least two volcanoes erupted in Mesoamerica closely around the time of Christ’s crucifixion.

Some people make note of the multiple tornadoes that occur in the heartland of America (Tornado Alley), stating that one or more tornadoes would account for the destruction that has been mentioned. Even half-a-dozen tornadoes occurring simultaneously, although causing much devastation, would not produce all the factors that are discussed in 3 Nephi, especially the poisonous gases that were developed. Only a volcano could produce those effects.

Mention was also made of the possibility of a hurricane being involved in 3 Nephi. The only place in the western hemisphere where a hurricane, volcanic eruption, and a major earthquake happening at the same time is in Mesoamerica and the nearby Caribbean area.

Please consult the following sources:
Since Cumorah, by Hugh Nibley, Deseret Book Company, 1973, chapter entitled, “Some Fairly Foolproof Tests,” pages 261-269.

“An Hypothesis concerning the Three Days of Darkness among the Nephites,” by Russell H. Ball, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 1993, FARMS, pages 107-123.

“Historical Parallels to the Destruction at the Time of the Crucifixion,” by John A. Tvedtnes, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 1994, FARMS, pages 170-186.

“In the Thirty and Fourth Year: A Geologist’s View of the Great Destruction in 3 Nephi,” by Bart J. Kowallis, BYU Studies, Volume 37, Number 3, 1997-98, pages 136-190.

“A Scientific Look at the Cataclysm in 3 Nephi,” FARMS Insights, August 1998, page 1.

“When Day Turned to Night,” by John L. Sorenson, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Volume 10, Number 2, 2001, FARMS, pages 66-67.

“A Note on Volcanism and the Book of Mormon,” by Matt Roper, FARMS Insights, Volume 29, Number 4, 2009, page 4.

Most of the above sources also cite numerous references by reputable non-LDS authors, researchers, and geologists. Please consult the sources to see those actual references.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

A through study of the Book of Mormon's 3 Nephi 8:1-5 with D&C 20:1 and a bit of simple math tells us that the Death of our Savior took place on 1 April 33 AD. Gregorian (our current calendar).

Which date, 1 April 33 AD (Gregorian) is the date of the conflagration explained in 3 Nephi 8.

Last edited by bobhenstra on December 4th, 2012, 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Katun (Mayan Calendar) Predictions and the Nephite Record

Post by bobhenstra »

Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum

December 1, 2012

Katun Predictions and the Nephite Record
by Dave Gray
( November 2012)

What is popularly known as the Mayan Calendar is what archaeologists, anthropologists, and archaeoastronomers call the Long Count. The Long Count is a large segment of time (1/5 of the 26,000-year cycle of the precession of the equinoxes) with a definite starting and ending point. The period began on August 11, 3114 BC and it ends on December 21, 2012. The Long Count, a span of 5,125 years, was further divided by the ancient Maya into 13ths, 20ths, and 260ths. The 13th parts (394 years) were called baktuns. The 260th parts (19.7 years) were called katuns. The 20ths of the Long Count were groups of 13 katuns (256 years) sometimes referred to as the "short count." This later grouping had a long prophetic tradition. The Mayan calender is divided into different time sections. While it is not known what these were called anciently, archaeologists have named them Baktuns, Katuns, Tuns , Winals and Kins. This paper focuses on the Katun but we need to first understand the other elements of the calendar and how they relate.

A Kin represents 1 day.
Winals represent 1 Maya month. The Maya month was 20 days.
Tun represents a 360 day year.
Katuns represent a period of 19.7 years .
Baktuns represent a period of 394.3 years

There are longer periods used in the calender but these five were generally sufficient to record dates on the monuments that the Maya erected. While the above is the most common calender cycle that the Maya used, they also used many other cycles, such as those of Venus, Mars, lunar, Lords of the night and the predictive Katun cycles.

The 256-year cycle of thirteen katuns, the "short count," was clearly a Mayan prophecy or predictive cycle. Each of the 13 katuns has a specific "fate" attached to it and the Maya believed that the occurrence, or arrival, of each katun brought with it this fate. It is the predictive or prophetic Katun cycle that this article will primarily examine. Each individual Katun in the cycle contained a prescriptive element describing what the coming Katun was going to be like.

As mentioned before, a Katun lasted for 19.7 of our (Gregorian) years. The manner of distinguishing these thirteen katuns from each other is complex, but the name of each katun in the 256-year cycle is taken from the day on which it ends, or, from the perspective of the Maya, the day it reaches completion. It turns out that each of the thirteen katuns in the cycle is indicated by a number and the name Ahau, this being the day of the 260-day calendar on which the last day of the katun falls. 13 Katuns made up the Katun cycle for a total of 256 years.

Each prophetic katun cycle was not a straight 1-13 count; instead, starting at 11 count down by twos, then starting at 12 count down by twos, then lastly the number 13.

In the several books of Chilam Balam, the influences of the thirteen katuns are stated, usually as a description of historical events that occurred during previous cycles. It becomes clear to the reader, however, that the Maya always expected history to repeat itself and it is also obvious that the ancient Maya were not very optimistic about their fate. Most of these "fates" are negative, but then this may have been was how life was for them.*

These are the predictions/prophecies of the 13 Katuns, listed in counting order:

Katun 11-Ahau: Apparently food is scarce during this katun and invading foreigners arrive and disperse the population. There is an end to traditional rule, there are no successors. Since this is the first katun it always opens up a new era. It was during the span of this katun that the Spanish began their takeover of Yucatan and imposed Christianity on the natives.

Katun 9-Ahau: This is a period of bad government where the ruler abuses his people and commits misdeeds. Rulers are so bad that they wind up losing some of their power to the priests. Carnal sin and adultery are practiced openly, by rulers and others, and it is also a time of wars. It is the katun of the "forcible withdrawal of the hand," a phrase the meaning of which is unclear.

Katun 7-Ahau: This is apparently a time of social excess including drinking and adultery, a low point in the history of the society. Governments stoop to their lowest. The "bud of the flower," an allusion to eroticism, is said to sprout during this katun.

Katun 5-Ahau: During this katun of misfortune, rulers and their subjects separate -- the people lose faith in their leaders. Leaders may be harshly treated, even hung. There is also an abundance of snakes, a great famine, and few births during this period.

Katun 3-Ahau: This katun brings changes and calamities such as drought and wars. The people will become homeless and society will disintegrate.

Katun 1-Ahau: This katun brings even worse troubles, weak rulers and destruction. Governments fall apart due to rivalries. There may also be a great war which will end and brotherhood will return.

Katun 12-Ahau: Finally a good katun. During this period government and rulers are wise. Poor men become rich and their is abundance in the land. There is friendship and peace in the land. There will be six good years followed by six bad before well-being returns.

Katun 10-Ahau: Although this is a holy katun, there is trouble in the land once again. This katun brings drought and famine and is a time of foreign occupation, calendar change, and sadness.

Katun 8-Ahau: This may be the worst of the katuns as both Chichen Itza and Mayapan, the two great ruling cities of Yucatan, were destroyed during its period. The texts speak of demolition and destruction among the governors, an end to greed, but much fighting. It is the katun of "settling down in a new place."

Katun 6-Ahau: This is a time of bad government and deceptive government. There is also starvation and famine.

Katun 4-Ahau: There will be scarcities of corn and squash during this katun and this will lead to great mortality. This was the katun during which the settlement of Chichen Itza occurred, when the man-god Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl) arrived. It is the katun of remembering and recording knowledge.

Katun 2-Ahau: For half of the katun there will be food, for half some misfortunes. This katun brings the end of the "word of God." It is a time of uniting for a cause.

Katun 13-Ahau: This is a time of total collapse where everything is lost. It is the time of the judgment of God. There will be epidemics and plagues and then famine. Governments will be lost to foreigners and wise men, and prophets will be lost.

In comparing the predictive Katuns with what was happening in Nephite history at the same time, correlations that we found between the two are quite amazing.

The years that we use in the following discussion are our own calculations, so there may be some inaccuracies. However, we feel confident they are accurate to within 2+- years of the start/finish of the actual Katun.

The Nephites arrived somewhere in the Americas about 588 BC. This is according to Nephi's recounting of how long they were in the wilderness ( 8 years) and a guestimated 1 year building the boat and 1 year sailing it. This is confirmed based on the first year of the reign of Zedikiah being in 598/97 BC.

If they arrived just before Katun 8 started they would have arrived in Katun 10 . A time when it was expected that foreigners would come and take over the land. This arrival was either just before or just after Katun 8. Recall the prognosis for Katun 8-Ahau: This may be the worst of the Katuns as both Chichen Itza and Mayapan, the two great ruling cities of Yucatan, were destroyed during its period. The texts speak of demolition and destruction among the governors, an end to greed, but much fighting. It is the Katun of "settling down in a new place.”

This Katun started in 588 (590) BC. In this 19.7 year period the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and both the Nephites and the Jews were forced to settle in a new place. The Nephites where forced to settle in a new place twice.

After Nephi's time and prior to Mormon's abridgement of the record, it is hard to be precise in lining up Katuns with the years mentioned in the record. However, we will continue to research and are optimistic about future findings.

One possible correlation is found in the Book Of Omni. Amaron, the son of Omni, describes how the wicked among the Nephites were destroyed. During this Katun (275BC – 254 BC), many of the wicked Nephites were destroyed. Possibiy the “ending of the word of god” is represented by the exodus of Mosiah1 taking those righteous Nephites and the scriptures with him, going out to the wilderness and finding Zarahemlah.

Katun 2-Ahau: For half of the Katun there will be food, for half some misfortunes. This Katun brings the end of the "word of God." It is a time of uniting for a cause.

While there are many more correlations between Nephite history and the Katun predictions we will analyze two in particular.

On 5 September, 41 AD a very significant time cycle ended. On this day the Baktun as well as the Katun ended. Katun 11-Ahau: Apparently food is scarce during this Katun and invading foreigners arrive and disperse the population. There is an end to traditional rule and there are no successors. This being the first Katun, it always opens up a new era.

What an apt way to describe what happened to the Nephites during this period. During the first part of the Katun there was the arrival of Jacob and the breakup of the population into tribes. Traditional rule ended in two ways. Firstly with the breakup of society into tribes and secondly when Christ appeared in Bountiful. The destruction that happened when Christ came may have led to a scarcity of food. It also started a new era for the Nephites. It was also the time of the end of one Baktun and the beginning of another.

While it is not within the scope of this article to analyze Baktun prophecies in depth, a Baktun lasted 394.3 years and the end was seen as a time of renewal and change, a time when the heavens and the earth could be renewed and re-established. We propose that the coming of Christ to the Nephites just before this crucial time had a profound effect on those who heard about His coming. That may help explain the somewhat "Instantaneous" conversion of the entire population that lasted 200 years.

A most convincing comparison between Nephite history and Katun predictions is the destruction of the Nephite nation. Katun1 started in 376 AD when Mormon states that the Nephites no longer had power over the Lamanites when they came to battle in their full strength. This Katun brings even worse troubles. Weak rulers, destruction, and governments falling apart due to rivalries mark the years prior to a great war which will end the nation(s). Eventually, brotherhood will return.

As with the Katun 11-Ahau prediction mirroring the coming of Christ, so too does this katun prediction seem to mirror the closing days of the Book of Mormon. The great war between the Nephites and the Lamanites did end the Nephite nation. From the Lamanites' point of view brotherhood did return as there were only a very few unorganized Nephites remaining .

2 September, 385 was half way through the Katun. Though probably of minor significance to the Maya,it was the day that Mormon chose to make his final stand against the Lamanites. We presume that Mormon chose this day, as he wrote a letter to the King of the Lamanites outlining his desire to gather to Cumorah for a final battle. Had the Lamanites commenced the battle immediately, it may have been an inauspicious day for them to do so, according to their beliefs.

The evidence of the relationships between the Katun predictions and the history of the Nephites seems quite compelling, However, It may be only coincidental due to our interpreting events to fit what we have found in the Katun predictions. But, one reliable element of the Katuns is the dates. The fact that major dates outlined in the Book of Mormon correspond to the start of Maya Katuns may be another evidence that the Book of Mormon is an ancient Mesoamerican record that was translated by Joseph Smith.


* The Maya Katun Prophecies by Bruce Scofield (This article was originally published in Alternate Perceptions, issue #37, 1996.) Scofield notes we have recently lived through katun 6-Ahau: 1973-1993. During this period there was deceptive government (Watergate, Iran/Contragate) and we did have an actor for a president. There has also been an acute awareness of famines in Africa. The last time this katun occurred was between 1717 and 1736. During this period the "South Sea Bubble," a major business failure caused a financial panic, and in England, the old and young "Pretenders" continued to claim the throne. It was during another katun 6-Ahau, this one from 1460 to 1480, that the Spanish Inquisition was established and Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled Florence. Finally, katun 6-Ahau of 1204 to 1224 saw the Children's Crusade, an example of mass deception if there ever was one.
And what of the present katun, katun 4-Ahau? According to the Maya inscriptions, the katun began on 4/6/1993 and ends with the entire Long Count/creation epoch on 12/21/2012. Following the prophecy scheme of the cycle of the 13 katuns listed above, we could expect scarcities and the arrival of great leaders. It is also the katun of "remembering knowledge and writing it down." It does appear that in the past this katun coincided with a questionable measure of stability in the world and also significant advances in the written word. For example, katun 4-Ahau lasted from 1224 to 1244. During this time Frederick II took Jerusalem, but he took it diplomatically. The next time this katun came up was between 1480 and 1500. Clearly, this was a period of great voyages and discoveries -- but things were also relatively stable politically which made exploration possible. This period also marks an important period of growth in printing. Katun 4-Ahau came up next between 1736 and 1756. Interestingly, it was during this period that the first encyclopedia was published. The War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748 did bring a settlement of territories and a measure of stability, and there were a number of alliances formed during this time as well. Power kept shifting, but did not erupt in an all-out way. Such may actually be the case from 1993 to 2012.
Finally, the present Long Count/creation epoch of the Maya comes to an end on December 21st (the winter solstice), of 2012. What will the katun that begins this new era be like? The Maya regarded katun 2-Ahau as half good and half bad, a time of uniting for a cause, but also as the katun during which came the "end of the word of God." And what does that mean? It is true that in previous 2-Ahau katuns there were great religious or ideological crises. Between 1500 and 1520 the Aztecs were conquered and forced to convert to Christianity. Also in 1517 Martin Luthor started the Protestant Reformation. 256 years later, between 1756 and 1776, the ideas of liberty and the rights of countries and individuals became a growing trend and this led to the American colonies declaring independence from England. One could say that a new era was indeed dawning, although it took a few more katuns before it could stand on its own two feet. Quite possibly some of our most taken-for-granted beliefs, secular and religious, will begin to lose cohesiveness and credibility after 2012, paving the way for a genuinely new age. If the Maya were right, then don't be disappointed with the uneventful millennium, the year 2000, hang on for the real changes that should begin twelve years later in 2012 and culminate with katun 13-Ahau which starts in 2032.

NOTICE: We now have two presentations from this year's October conference on You Tube. We will have all available soon. Click on the links below:

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We hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season. We join with you in our gratitude for our Savior.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Mesoamerican Fortifications and the Book of Mormon

This page is a supplement to my Book of Mormon Evidences page. If you aren't familiar with the Book of Mormon, please see my "Book of Mormon Introduction" page and get your own free copy at
In this page, I discuss the recent discoveries in Mesoamerica which have caused a complete paradigm shift in the thinking of scholars. For many years, experts believed ancient Central America and southern Mexico (Mesoamerica) to have been a peaceful, tranquil place during the times that the Book of Mormon speaks of frequent, large-scale wars. Now it is known that warfare was relatively common. Further, the discoveries of ancient fortifications that fueled the paradigm shift are remarkably consistent with descriptions of fortifications given in the Book of Mormon. Together, the evidence about ancient warfare and fortifications in Mesoamerica strengthens the case for the plausibility of the Book of Mormon as an ancient text.

2004 Update: Photograph showing earthworks as apparent fortifications in Mesoamerica from the Early Classic period of the Mayans are available at" onclick=";return false; and" onclick=";return false; on the site.

Background: Why Mesoamerica?

Many people have asked why "unbiased" archaeologists have not come out in support of the Book of Mormon. Part of the problem is that few have understood what is needed to support or refute the book. Many people have made the assumption that the Book of Mormon claims to offer "the" history of "the" American Indians - as if there were a single culture with a single history. It most clearly does not. But those who assume that the Book of Mormon makes such an outlandish claim will quickly dismiss it because, obviously, there are many distinct population groups with many diverse origins. The problem is that critics aren't criticizing the book itself, but what they THINK the book is. Even some LDS writers have made such erroneous assumptions, resulting in shoddy "evidence" and contradictory conclusions. Comparing ancient artifacts to Book of Mormon scenes is of no value unless the artifacts are from the proper time and place, and unless the comparison is made with careful analysis of the data. Such has not been the case for some past popular works of Book of Mormon enthusiasts. On the other hand, professional archaeologists have frequently been no more rigorous in their work. John Sorensen explains (Ensign, Sept. 1984, p. 28):
[T]he few professional archaeologists who have attempted such comparisons have often been mistaken on two counts: (1) they have been naive about the Book of Mormon itself - what it says and what it does not say; and (2) they have not adequately considered the archaeological details from the right time periods and in the most likely areas of ancient America. In fact, it has only been in the past few years that enough research has been done to create a reliable, plausible picture of events and characteristics of the proper times and places.
Examples of such errors can be seen in the widely circulated statements of Michael Coe about the lack of support for the Book of Mormon. Coe's conclusions are based on his initial assumption that the Book of Mormon describes events throughout the entire New World. Any meaningful discussion of Book of Mormon plausibility must begin with a careful understanding of what the text says. As Sorenson and many others have shown in recent years, the Book of Mormon deals with an extremely limited geography, on the order of a few hundred miles in extend, rather than covering all of North and South America. Further, the Book of Mormon is a record maintained by one particular line of people in one small ethnic group, and was intended not to provide a history but rather a religious text to teach people of the Messiah.
Much of the information we have about Book of Mormon geography is obtained in subtle clues and incidental details, rather than in detailed descriptions of where a city or village was. Those details, however, are sufficient to provide a plausible geographical setting for the book of Mormon using detailed maps of terrain. The only plausible area is that of Mesoamerica - southern Mexico and northern central America. This plausible setting also offers no major problems in terms of fitting in with the cultural and climatic milieu of ancient Mesoamerica - which is what Sorenson has shown so well in An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon. That's not to say that anything is proven, but specific sites can be placed in reasonable relationships to each other and to Mesoamerican terrain. However, with professional archaeologists having long been misinformed about the nature of the Book of Mormon and its geographical scope, it is hardly surprising that professional archaeologists have not found much of value because they haven't know what to look for - and where - in terms of confirming or contradicting the account. That is beginning to change now, perhaps.

Mesoamerica is the only place with a definite ancient tradition of a written language. Over a dozen writing systems are known, some of which remain undeciphered, with evidence of writing going back to over 1000 years before Christ. No other area of North and South America has a tradition of written language, but written language is one of the most prominent features of Book of Mormon peoples. The Mesoamerica area also fits many of the geographical features given in the Book of Mormon, including features (and the absence of such features in some places) like mountains, passes, waters, rivers, basins, in reasonable and plausible relationship to each other. Cultural details, such as patterns of war, the ancient presence of secret societies and trade networks, building materials, etc., are also consistent with Book of Mormon descriptions.

As parallels between ancient Mesoamerican society and the Book of Mormon continue to be noted, some critics have taken the approach that Joseph Smith could have known all about Mesoamerica based on nineteenth century writings. The reality is that even if Joseph could have had access to the finest libraries, which he did not, what little he might have gleaned would not have been very helpful. (See my article, "What Could Joseph Smith Have Known about Mesoamerica?." For the issue of whether Joseph could have plagiarized available materials to come up with his description of fortifications, see my Mormon Answers page, "Was the Book of Mormon Plagiarized from Modern Sources?.")

To examine whether the Book of Mormon is plausible, we must turn our attention to ancient Mesoamerica. Archaeological progress in this area is still in its infancy compared to the extensive work in Israel, for example. Multiple ancient cultures, languages, and writing systems existed, but only a few aspects are understood in any depth.

On this page, we will focus on the issue of warfare in particular, where long-held scholarly opinions and the Book of Mormon have clashed - until recently.

Mesoamerican Fortifications and the Book of Mormon

Insight into the infant nature of archaeological understanding of central America is found in reviewing the issue of warfare. For decades, scholars thought ancient Mesoamerica was a peaceful place, especially in the Classic era of 300 AD to 800 AD, in contrast to the many wars described by the Book of Mormon in its concluding pages, roughly covering 300-400 AD. It wasn't until the 1970s that a paradigm shift began among scholars. Today, scholars recognize that warfare was a common part of life during that era. An important discovery helped bring about the change in understanding. In 1970, researchers from Tulane University discovered a huge defensive fortification at Becan in the Yucatan Peninsula. The center of the site is surrounded by a fortification - a ditch - that is nearly 2 kilometers long and roughly 16 meters wide. (Aerial photos of Becan sites are available at" onclick=";return false; and" onclick=";return false;.) Dirt had been piled to make a ridge on the inner side of the ditch. This fortification dates to 150 AD to 450 AD, which fits into Book of Mormon times. David Webster of Tulane describes how he thinks the fortification worked: "To throw 'uphill' from the outside is almost impossible. Defenders, possibly screened by a palisade, could have rained long-distance missiles on approaching enemies using spearthrowers and slings." (David L. Webster, Defensive Earthworks at Becan, Campeche, Mexico: Implications for Mayan Warfare , Tulane University, Middle American Research Institute, Publication 41, 1976, p. 108, as cited by John L. Sorensen, Ensign, Sept. 1984, p. 33.
Compare a Book of Mormon account (Alma 49:18-20) from around 70 B.C. with the description of Dr. Webster above:

18 Now behold, the Lamanites could not get into their forts of security by any other way save by the entrance, because of the highness of the bank which had been thrown up, and the depth of the ditch which had been dug round about, save it were by the entrance.
19 And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.

20 Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites.

Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon used such fortifications throughout Nephite lands, as explained in Alma 50:1-4 (ca. 72 to 60 B.C.):
1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
2 And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.

3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.

4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.

5 And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach near the walls of the city.

6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.

A related description is in Alma 533-5:
3 And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had finished burying their dead and also the dead of the Nephites, they were marched back into the land Bountiful; and Teancum, by the orders of Moroni, caused that they should commence laboring in digging a ditch round about the land, or the city, Bountiful.
4 And he caused that they should build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch; and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers; and thus they did cause the Lamanites to labor until they had encircled the city of Bountiful round about with a strong wall of timbers and earth, to an exceeding height.

5 And this city became an exceeding stronghold ever after; and in this city they did guard the prisoners of the Lamanites; yea, even within a wall which they had caused them to build with their own hands. Now Moroni was compelled to cause the Lamanites to labor, because it was easy to guard them while at their labor; and he desired all his forces when he should make an attack upon the Lamanites.

The breakthrough discoveries of Webster and others at Tulane University were soon followed by related findings which fueled a paradigm shift in our understanding of the prevalence of warfare in ancient Mesoamerica. Other findings have confirmed the use of palisaded fortifications (palisade = fence of "pales" or pointed sticks made as a defensive barrier, according to the American Heritage Dictionary), ditches, and earthen walls. John Sorenson summarizes these Mesoamerican findings as of 1984:
More than one hundred fortified sites are now known. Ray Matheny's work at Edzna revealed a large, moated fortress dating to around the time of Christ [1]. Loma Torremote in the Valley of Mexico was a palisaded hilltop settlement by about 400 B.C. [2] Part of the three kilometers of defensive walls at famous Monte Alban dates before 200 B.C. [3] The core of Los Naranjos in western Honduras was entirely surrounded by a big ditch sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C. [4] Besides the actual sites, graphic art, remains of weapons, and warrior figurines have been found for many periods. So have stone walls. (Compare Alma 48:8) [5] And the public skull-rack (Aztec tzompantli), used at the time of the Conquest by the Aztecs to strike fear into the hearts of potential rebels against their military control, has now been found in Cuicatlan Valley of Oaxaca dating from before the time of Christ. [6]
"Increasingly, it is apparent that war practices in use when the Europeans arrived go back to the very early history of Mesoamerica. Yet as late as ten years ago, most of the published descriptions of early life in the area directly contradicted this view."

(Ensign, Sept. 1984, p. 33.)

References cited by Sorenson:
1. Ray T. Matheny, D. L. Gurr, D. W. Forsyth, F. R. Hauck, Investigations at Edzna, Campeche, Mexico, Vol. 1, Part 1: The Hydraulic System (Brigham Young University, New World Archaeological Foundation, Paper 46, 1983), pp. 169-191.
2. "Current Research," American Antiquity, 45 (1980), p. 622.
3. Richard E. Blanton and S. A. Kowalewski, "Monte Alban and after in the Valley of Oaxaca," in J.A. Sabloff, ed., Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 1, Archaeology (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), p. 100.
4. Claude F. Baudez and Pierre Becquelin, Etudes Mesoameriques, Vol. 2, Archaeologie de los Naranjos, (Mexico: Mission Archaeologique et Ethnologique Francaise au Mexique, 1973), pp. 3-4.
5. Angel Palerm, "notas sobras las Construcciones Militares u la Guerra en Mesoamerica," Anales del Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, (Mexico), 7 (1956), p. 129; and Webster, op. cit., p. 98.
6. Charles S. Spencer and Else M. Redmond, "Formative and Classic Developments in the Cuicatlan Canada: A Preliminary Report," in Robert D. Drennan, ed., Prehistoric Social, Political, and Economic Development in the Area of the Tehuacan Valley: Some Results of the Palo Blanco Project, University of Michigan, Museum of Anthropology Technical Reports, no. 11 (Research Reports in Archaeology, Contribution 6), 1979, p. 211.

Further support comes from other recent discoveries about palisade-like structures. Richard Hauck, who is LDS, describes a finding in a Guatemalan valley near Coban which he tentatively correlates to a Book of Mormon location ("Ancient Fortifications and the Land of Manti," This People, Summer 1994, pp. 46-55). He describes how easy it has been for researchers to overlook the remnants of dirt and timber structures, but discusses the trenches, the soil changes, the growth of aligned trees, and other clues that point to their previous existence. The site he discovered, in addition to extensive arrays of palisades, also had an identifiable long and narrow pass, consistent with Book of Mormon descriptions, lined with palisades for a long distance, apparently presenting the only way into the fortified area. Attacking armies entering the pass would be prey to defenders along the palisades. Although the identification of Hauck's site with the land or city of Manti is debatable, there continues to be strong evidence that the military fortifications described in the Book of Mormon are consistent with the most recent discoveries in Mesoamerica - and inconsistent with long-held "expert" opinion prior to the radical paradigm shift that began in the 1970s.
Joseph Smith had no military experience when the Book of Mormon was published (apart from being threatened by mobs and thugs). Certainly forts of timber were built by armies in the early days of the United States, but I am unaware of anything quite like the trench and palisade systems described in the Book of Mormon that Joseph would have known about and could have borrowed from his own experience to fabricate the Book of Mormon. Indeed, even a cursory reading of the war chapters in the Book of Mormon reveals that the battles there are quite foreign to anything a farm boy in New York would have experienced. The accuracy of realistic detail, problems with logistics, rebellion, prisoners of war, morale, spies, etc., reflect authorship by someone intimately familiar with real ancient battle. Accurately describing ancient fortifications in Mesoamerica is just one tiny part of the military mosaic that reflects ancient authorship of the Book of Mormon. And again, recall that the whole idea of significant warfare in ancient Mesoamerica was dismissed by the experts until about 20 years ago. As always, the more we dig into the Book of Mormon, the stronger it becomes. Time continues to erode rather than fortify the many attacks against it.

Return to the Book of Mormon evidences page
Other resources:

Jeff's Introduction to the Church
Introduction to the Book of Mormon
LDS Resources
"Mormon Answers: Frequently Asked Questions About Latter-day Saint Beliefs"
What Could Joseph Smith Have Known about Mesoamerica?
Was the Book of Mormon Plagiarized from Modern Sources?
Jeff Lindsay's home page
FARMS - The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research is a new group dedicated to providing an intelligent defense of the truth. Many serious and well written papers can be accessed at their site.
And please don't miss Mike Ash's Mormon Fortress, a rich site loaded with great material.
Hopewell Culture - a Web site for a national historical site in Ohio dealing with the ancient Hopewell Culture Indians who built great mound of earth. Did they have a connection with Mesoamericans?
Earthmovers of the Amazon by Charles C. Mann -
Last edited by bobhenstra on December 5th, 2012, 2:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Mesoamerican earth works;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; site.

From above, seems there are those who refuse to read----

More than one hundred fortified sites are now known. Ray Matheny's work at Edzna revealed a large, moated fortress dating to around the time of Christ [1]. Loma Torremote in the Valley of Mexico was a palisaded hilltop settlement by about 400 B.C. [2] Part of the three kilometers of defensive walls at famous Monte Alban dates before 200 B.C. [3] The core of Los Naranjos in western Honduras was entirely surrounded by a big ditch sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C. [4] Besides the actual sites, graphic art, remains of weapons, and warrior figurines have been found for many periods. So have stone walls. (Compare Alma 48:8) [5] And the public skull-rack (Aztec tzompantli), used at the time of the Conquest by the Aztecs to strike fear into the hearts of potential rebels against their military control, has now been found in Cuicatlan Valley of Oaxaca dating from before the time of Christ. [6]
"Increasingly, it is apparent that war practices in use when the Europeans arrived go back to the very early history of Mesoamerica. Yet as late as ten years ago, most of the published descriptions of early life in the area directly contradicted this view."
Last edited by bobhenstra on December 5th, 2012, 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by samizdat »

What is interesting, is Samuel the Lamanite's Baktun prophecy in the end of the Book of Helaman...four hundred years pass not away before the Nephites are destroyed...

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by larsenb »

bobhenstra wrote:Mesoamerican earth works;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; site.

From above, seems there are those who refuse to read----

More than one hundred fortified sites are now known. Ray Matheny's work at Edzna revealed a large, moated fortress dating to around the time of Christ [1]. Loma Torremote in the Valley of Mexico was a palisaded hilltop settlement by about 400 B.C. [2] Part of the three kilometers of defensive walls at famous Monte Alban dates before 200 B.C. [3] The core of Los Naranjos in western Honduras was entirely surrounded by a big ditch sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C. [4] Besides the actual sites, graphic art, remains of weapons, and warrior figurines have been found for many periods. So have stone walls. (Compare Alma 48:8) [5] And the public skull-rack (Aztec tzompantli), used at the time of the Conquest by the Aztecs to strike fear into the hearts of potential rebels against their military control, has now been found in Cuicatlan Valley of Oaxaca dating from before the time of Christ. [6]
"Increasingly, it is apparent that war practices in use when the Europeans arrived go back to the very early history of Mesoamerica. Yet as late as ten years ago, most of the published descriptions of early life in the area directly contradicted this view."
Good work, Bob. Compelling information here and in your other posts.

Recent work by Dr. Ric Hauck has included mapping and trenching through various defensive trenches in the area he is working in in Guatemala. One trench, in particular, he couldn't quite figure out the purpose of, but one of the people he was working with was an ex-military officer with a lot of combat experience in Vietnam, who said the trench was a communication trench allowing rapid, protected communication between undermanned points on the defensive perimeter.

Ric is very careful to tic off criteria from the Book of Mormon as being present in any area he thinks stands a chance of being an actual Book of Mormon site. I won't mention what sites he thinks he has identified from the Book of Mormon, but some of the recent criteria he has confirmed is in the realm of metals.

One of the specifics of this is his discovery of a probable iron smelter. I've been privileged to work with him on the data/samples he was able to collect. It has all the characteristics of being just that: an iron smelter; even has a venturi-like opening to allow bellows-like forced air to drive the ore reduction process.

The only problem is that the local Mayan sub-group in the area voted to prevent him doing any more work there; so he hasn't been able to look for datable charcoal residues allowing RC dating, thereby tagging the site a pre-Columbian or early Spanish. The local tribal group knew nothing about the smelter site.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by larsenb »

A telling article posted on BMAF: This Idea: The "This Land" Series and the U.S.-Centric Reading of the Book of Mormon , by Brant Gardner. Makes excellent points from Book of Mormon text that don't 'quite' match the heartland model." onclick=";return false;

An excerpt:
Materials, concepts, maps or conclusions presented at our forums or appearing on this website or
emailed to BMAF members and guests is the sole responsibility of the contribiuting author(s) and does
not necessarily imply that members of the Board of Directors or members of BMAF agree with all or
any part of the subject matter and is not sponsored in any way by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Book of Mormon was first published in Palmyra, New York. It was published in a young and growing country, only a scant generation removed from the violent throes of its birth and a nation struggling to define itself politically, geographically, and, in many ways, religiously. Those subcurrents carried the early readers of the Book of Mormon. For those who accepted it, it became a symbol of their personal redefinition as no longer Methodist, Baptist, or seekers. They were rather those who accepted that the God of old was present again and that the ancient blessing of a prophet had also become present again in the person of the man who translated the golden plates into the miraculous text of the Book of Mormon.

It didn't take long for those early believers to extrapolate their wonder in the Book of Mormon to their own position in a new nation and even newer community. The very understandable reading of the Book of Mormon was that it was about them. The Book of Mormon world was their world, not only religiously, but geographically. Nevertheless, various opinions about where the Book of Mormon occurred developed relatively early. It is important to remember in our discussions of geography and the Book of Mormon that this has been left in the hands of the researchers and is not a matter of official church doctrine or definition. There were sufficient differences of opinion that George Q. Cannon felt it important to address the issue in 1890. Cannon knew Joseph Smith; in fact he was living with his uncle John Taylor during the terrible time when Taylor accompanied Joseph and Hyrum to Liberty jail.[1] He worked with his uncle at the Times and Seasons and was certainly in a position to know whether there was an established geography. Later, as a member of the First Presidency, he noted:

The First Presidency have often been asked to prepare some suggestive map illustrative of Nephite geography, but have never consented to do so. Nor are we acquainted with any of the Twelve Apostles who would undertake such a task. The reason is, that without further information they are not prepared to even to suggest. The word of the Lord or the translation of other ancient records is required to clear up many points now obscure. . . . Of course, there can be no harm result from the study of the geography of this continent at the time it was settled by the Nephites, drawing all the information possible from the record which has been translated for our benefit. But beyond this we do not think it necessary, at the present time, to go.[2]

The earliest associations between the Book of Mormon and a real-world setting were made between the land the early Saints knew and the land described in the new book. Because the plates had been retrieved from a hill in New York, that hill was called Cumorah, though it appears to have required ten to twenty years for the Saints to settle on that name for the location.[3] Once so named, however, it became even more important and merged in the minds of the Saints with the text of the Book of Mormon to become, in popular thought, the very hill at which the final battle between the Lamanites and Nephites took place. Oliver Cowdery himself described the hill in 1835 and noted specifically that it was the place where "once sunk to nought the pride and strength of two mighty nations."[4]

The confluence of name, place, and familiarity virtually assured that early Saints would look to western New York as the scene of the last battle and use the archaeology of the area as a support. With such a tradition behind it, it might seem surprising that there would still be books published strenuously arguing for the New York hill to be the Cumorah. One might expect it to be an accepted fact. Nevertheless, the location of the Book of Mormon's Cumorah has become a controversial issue following the publication and wide scholarly acceptance of the "Limited Geography Theory" of Book of Mormon lands, which places all of the events in Central America, including the destructions of the Nephites and Jaredites at Cumorah (which hill was called Ramah by the Jaredites).[5] This newer geographic correlation is sometimes called the "two Cumorahs" theory in contrast with the "one Cumorah" of older and more traditional geographic interpretations.[6]

One Cumorah Theory

Wayne N. May, founder of Ancient American magazine, has published (under the impress of his Ancient American Archaeological Foundation) three books adamantly supporting a "one Cumorah" correlation, as well as a particular geographic and cultural connection to the Book of Mormon. He has published a series of three books bearing the phrase "This Land" as part of the title.[7] Of the three, only the first deals with the arguments for a specific geography. The other two volumes concentrate on descriptions of artifacts that are used to support the basic geographic correlation found in the first volume.

The first volume, This Land: Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation, lists two authors, Edwin G. Goble and Wayne N. May. In this collaboration, Goble generally provided the geographic arguments and May the artifactual material.[8] The geography described in this volume has the New York hill as the final Cumorah/Ramah of the Book of Mormon. Goble therefore locates most of the Book of Mormon lands along the Mississippi, which he considers to be the Book of Mormon Sidon.[9] This allows the Nephite homeland to be heavily in Ohio and to be correlated with the Hopewell culture, the "mound builders" who occupied that land during Book of Mormon times. Because we know that these theories are the products of mortal speculation rather than divine revelation, we must use the tools of scholarship to examine them and determine whether or not a particular geographic and cultural correlation could possibly represent the place and culture behind the Book of Mormon.

The claim that the Nephites can be seen in the remains of the Hopewell culture and the Jaredites in the earlier Adena has problems, I believe, from the perspectives of both geography and archaeology. The problems in the geography on which Wayne May hangs his artifacts are numerous. Perhaps the most significant problem is that the Mississippi flows south but the Sidon must flow north. The city of Manti is south of Zarahemla and is close to "the head of the river Sidon" (Alma 22:27). That the phrase head of the river should be taken for the headwaters rather than some other definition that might allow for the river to flow south is confirmed when we find that when Alma inquired of the Lord concerning the flight of a Lamanite attack party, he tells Zoram that "the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti" (Alma 16:6). The Book of Mormon uses the terms up and down in ways that are consistent with topography and may be used to envision the general lay of the land. John L. Sorenson uses this information to describe the reasons why a north-flowing Sidon is most consistent with the Book of Mormon text:

We have more information about the surface features of the land than a casual reading of the scriptures might imply. The recordkeepers consistently wrote about going "up," "down," or "over." (Some readers have maintained that these expressions reflect mere cultural conventions, like the Yankee expression "down South." But in many cases, the scripture connects the words to clear, consistent topographic circumstances; I see no reason not to take the prepositions literally.) This information allows us to draw a neat picture of relative elevations.

A dominant feature is the major river, the Sidon, which flowed down out of the mountains that separated the lands of Nephi and Zarahemla. This river ran "by" the local land of Zarahemla, which lay mainly on the stream's west (Alma 2:15). The only populated part of Nephite lands surely on the east of the river is the valley of Gideon (Alma 6:7). Since travelers had to go "up" to Gideon, and since there was a "hill Amnihu" just across the river from the city of Zarahemla extensive but gentle enough to accommodate a large battle, the Sidon basin must have slanted up more sharply on the east side than on the west. We also know that the river must have been fairly long. Its origin was deep in the wilderness above the highest Nephite city on the river, Manti (Alma 16:6). Zarahemla was downstream.[10] A second difficulty for the authors' argument arises in Helaman 3:3–7:
And it came to pass in the forty and sixth, yea, there was much contention and many dissensions; in the which there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land. And they did travel to an exceedingly great distance, insomuch that they came to large bodies of water and many rivers. Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land. And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate. And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.

These verses set up some very specific geographic requirements that intersect with archaeology. The location of this land must be "an exceedingly great distance" north of the Nephite lands. It must have "many waters" and have been "rendered desolate and without timber"[11] by its "many inhabitants," who could no longer use timber to build and therefore "did build houses of cement." If the Hopewell culture in Ohio is to represent the Nephites, then this important geographic feature must be farther north. There is simply nothing north of Ohio that fits any of these requirements save the "many waters." The Great Lakes are clearly candidates for "many waters," but during Book of Mormon times, there were no great cities, no deforestation, and certainly no houses of cement as dwelling places in that area.

The Michigan Artifacts . . . . . . . .

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by larsenb »

Another article from BMAF on accuracy in Book of Mormon archaeology; this one by Rick Hauck titled: Finding Accuracy . located at:" onclick=";return false;

An excerpt:
How to Find Accuracy

Why is redundancy in geographic reference association so important? Because redundancy eliminates confusion; one single reference should never be used to establish a critical correlation. Take the idea of an isthmus, for instance. Only one single reference in the book’s text, Alma 22:32, can be interpreted as an isthmus explanation yet numerous current and historic geographies of the Book of Mormon pivot around this concept. If a variety of similar reinforcing references concerning an isthmus should actually exist, than everyone writing their geographies around this core concept would be standing on bedrock. Since there is no redundancy, these writers are standing on sand when they rely on the term “isthmus” as a correct interpretation of Alma 22:32.

This process of seeking redundancy among the references for Nephi, Manti, Zarahemla, the narrow strip of wilderness, the river Sidon and the demarcation line between the lands of Bountiful and Desolation all ties into Alma 22:27-34, Mormon’s classic description of the Nephite/Lamanite geography.

The search for authenticity based on redundancy begins with Alma 22:27, the fundamental reference Mormon gives us pertaining to the geography of the Lamanites about 85 BC. In this verse the converted Lamanite king sends out a proclamation to his people in his land and its “regions round about” which means throughout the greater land of Nephi extending from the city of Nephi, where he lived, to Lamanites settled on the east and west sea shores. This verse reads as follows in its original chiasm:

And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land,

1 A amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about,
2 B E F which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west,
3 C and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla
4 D by a narrow strip of wilderness,
5 B’ F’ E’ which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore,
6 D’ and the borders of the wilderness
7 C’ which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla,
8 B” E” F” through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—
9 A’ and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided (Alma 22:27).

This chiasm actually focuses on the narrow strip of wilderness (hereafter NSW) as shown by D and D, the red highlights and the central position occupied by lines 4 and 6. Mormon describes that wilderness in line 5 which features reiterations of couplets E and F as originally found in line 2 and as reiterated a second time in line 8. It is interesting that Mormon reverses his couplets in line 5 placing the sea east—sea west association before the bordering concept.

The relationship between the NSW and the lands of Zarahemla and Nephi are given in line 3 in which Nephi is “divided” from Zarahemla by the NSW. The relationship of the NSW with the land of Zarahemla, the land of Manti and the Sidon River is given in line 8. Although all of this is structured around the lands occupied by the Lamanites, the only lines that actually address the lands and peoples of the Lamanites are lines 1, 2, 3 and 9. This format means that the NSW, which is generally ignored in most geographies of the Book of Mormon, is fundamental for understanding the book’s setting. Any publication that does not address the narrow strip of wilderness with the clarity that Mormon provides should be rejected as an answer to the book’s setting.

Mormon writes Alma 22:27 in this format to clarify the following factors:

1.The NSW divided the Lamanites’ land of Nephi from the Nephites’ land of Zarahemla (lines 1, 3 and 4).
2.The NSW extended from the east sea to the west sea5 and 8) as did the lands occupied by the Lamanites shown in line 2 (note Mormon’s placement in the chiasm of lines 2, 5 and 8—all addressing the seas on the east and on the west).
3.The NSW was north of the land of Nephi by the land of Zarahemla (line 7).
4.The borders of Manti were also north of the land of Nephi (line 8).
5.The headwaters of the river Sidon were in or adjacent to the borders of the land of Manti (line 8). . . . . . . . .
This is really good. Actual article has pictures of the models that derive from these requirements. Incontrovertible, in my view and HO.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

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The Book of Mormon gives us a brief account of a surviving son of King Zedekiah, puppet King of Judah, set up by the conquering Babylonians. History tells us that this Zedekiah had all his sons murdered in front of him and then blinded. The Book of Mormon account tells us that he had one son who escaped. He was named Mulek and was probably an infant (or perhaps in the womb) when, with some kind of entourage, left Jerusalem and arrived in Mesoamerica at approximately the same time as Lehi’s group (600 BC). This group is mentioned in the Book of Mormon only to briefly introduce the origins of a people living in a land/city named after their King (Zarahemla) who accepted the immigration of Mosiah1 and his righteous followers (Nephites) about 300 BC after they had fled their homeland, the Land/City of Nephi.

We don’t know what this group called themselves, being unnamed in the Book of Mormon, but we refer to them as Mulekites. This people had also been led by the hand of the Lord on their trans-oceanic crossing (Omni16), though they eventually denied their religion, had many wars between themselves and much of their language became corrupted. Later, a group of Nephites under the leadership of Mosiah(1) joined with, and culturally dominated them, though they were fewer in number. (Mosiah 25:2) Given that only direct descendants of Nephi could ascend to the throne of the combined peoples shows their cultural domination. (Mosiah 25:13)

Interestingly, there are several things that would seem to suggest that many of the Mulekites were Canaanitic Phoenicians. We are not the first to suggest a Phoenician connection to the Mulekites. Robert F. Smith suggested that the Mulekites got to America with Phoenician help.1 Hugh Nibley did also, noting that there are names in the Book of Mormon that may have Phoenician ties.2 We read in the Bible that early on, the Kings of Israel had political and friendship ties with the Kings of Sidon (Tsydon) and Tyre. Solomon made an alliance with King Hiram of Tyre, who supplied materials for Solomon's temple, as well as Hiram Abi (Abiff), the metal worker, who is at the core of the Freemasonic ritual. Hiram Abi's father was a Phonecian, and his mother was an Israelite. Why is this significant? Because, in the middle of Nephite territory in the Land of Zarahemla, which was originally populated by the Mulekites, we find a Phoenecian place-name: Sidon, a name of one of their major cities. Why would Jews come to name the principal river in their Territory after a Phoenecian capital unless they had Phoenecian influence among them? Furthermore, most likely the Phoenecians were the only people who had the ships and the know-how to make the trans-Atlantic voyage.
Who were these people, the Phoenicians? The Bible's Old Testament refers to "Canaanites" generically in referring to the early Phoenicians who inhabited the eastern Mediterranean coast of what is now Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and part of Syria. Today, their primary descendants include the Lebanese, Palestinians, many Syrians and some Egyptians. They left little in the way of written records. Much of what we know of them from ancient times was recorded by Greek and Roman historians who mentioned their seamanship and shrewd business acumen. Phoenicians dominated Mediterranean sea travel, trade and commerce for over two thousand years. Masters of the art of navigation, Phoenician ships made of cedar ruled the seas. They were the first people to sail past the 'Pillars of Hercules' (Gibraltar) and discover the Atlantic. They discovered the North Star which the Greeks were to name the Phoenician Star in their honor. The Phoenicians made important contributions to the marine sciences, having been credited with the division of a circle into 360 degrees and having reliable celestial reference points. By 1000 BC, the seafaring Phoenicians, the greatest traders of their time, were moving beyond the Strait of Gibralter to trade.

“Their explorations, it seems, extended in every direction, their sails whitening the Indian Ocean, as well as the Norwegian fiords....A large portion of the African territory is asserted to have been peopled by the races expelled by Joshua and the children of Israel. At the time when Procopius wrote, columns stood in Mauritania Tingitana, which bore the inscription, in Phoenician characters, ‘We are those who fled before the brigand Joshua, the son of Nun or Nave.’ " (Isis Unveiled, I, 545) Rick Gore
Their theorized circumnavigation of Africa around 600 BC, mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus, would have been a remarkable achievement, but it has also been postulated that the Phoenicians ventured across the Atlantic to the Americas. Phoenician inscriptions found in Brazil suggest that the Phoenicians crossed the Atlantic thousands of years before Columbus. Based on the shipbuilding technology of their time, both voyages would have been challenging, though not impossible.
Items the Phoenicians exported were cedar, pine, fine linen, embroideries, metalwork, glass, wine, salt and dried fish. They imported papyrus for paper, ivory, ebony, silk, amber, ostrich eggs, spices, incense, horses, gold, silver, copper, iron, tin and jewels. The craft of glass making was raised to a fine art by Phoenician artisans, and they may have been the first to develop blown glass. Cedar was very important in the ancient Middle East, which had little wood. The fragrant cedar was much prized. The Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen had furniture in his tomb made of Phoenician cedar. Ancient Phoenicia also produced the rare purple dye that came from a special snail. Purple became the color of royalty.

The master craftsman Hiram of Tyre was commissioned to build and embellish the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Phoenicia provided the cedar wood and its craftsmen ( known as the "Free Masons" as they were not the "property" of any King ) did the actual construction. They were also called on to decorate many palaces throughout Mesopotamia. Needing some way to keep track of their commerce, the Phoenicians developed an alphabet, which the Greeks later adapted for their language and which in some ways shaped the English alphabet. Phoenicia ended with the fall of Tyre to the Babylonian king Nebuchandnezzar in 573 B.C.3

So, here is the scenario we support. A few aristocratic and elite Jews whisked away the son of Zedekiah, the lone survivor of the royal family. And they took him, fleeing to Phoenicia, and they made their way to America with Phoenicians on Phoenician ships. It appears likely that a good number of the Mulekites where Phoenicians by blood. And what better reason for the Mulekite language to have been corrupted so much, when many of the people weren't Jews, but were Canaanites from Phoenicia, and spoke other Canaanitic dialects? As far as we know, in the ancient Levant only the Phoenicians had knowledge of the Americas , and they kept the knowledge secret to themselves for a place where they could flee, as shown from the ancient records of Diodurus outlined below. And who else was fleeing from the Babylonians besides the Phoenicians? Their allies the Jewish aristocracy and elites.


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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by larsenb »

St. Bob, if you had followed the link at the bottom of the article you quoted, you would see the last 2 paragraphs they left off. Namely:
Writings from the ancient Greek historian Diodorus from 56 BC tell the story. Diodorus relates that there are “islands” which are in the “ocean.” And one in particular of “considerable size” lies quite a distance from “Libya” (i.e. Africa), and it is a long voyage of “a number of days to the west.” He says the land is fruitful and beautiful. Much of it is “mountainous” and it has “navigable rivers which are used for irrigation.” It has “private villas of costly construction” and “banqueting houses” and the “inhabitants.” And he goes on and on and on in his description of this land to the west of Africa. He seems to have quite a bit of knowledge about it. And there is no doubt that he is describing America, long before Columbus. This historical record suggests to us that the Phoenicians may have had contact with the Book of Mormon peoples in America. He relates that it remained “undiscovered because of its distance from the entire inhabited world,” but that the Phoenicians discovered it accidentally. He mentions the fact that they “planted many colonies throughout Libya and not a few as well in the western parts of Europe.” And that they ventured out “beyond the Pillars of Heracles into the sea.” Then, as they were in the Atlantic, they were “driven by strong winds a great distance out into the ocean” and were “storm-tossed for many days.” Finally, they arrived ashore to this “island” and “had observed its felicity.” He claims that the Tyrrhenians were intent on colonizing it, but the Phoenicians from Carthage kept them from doing it. This was because they didn't want all the people of Carthage to leave. But, also, they wanted to “have ready in it a place in which to seek refuge against an incalculable turn of fortune, in case some total disaster should overtake Carthage.” Because they figured that they would be able to move quickly to a place that was “unknown to their Conquerors.”

It is precisely this logic that ties the Phoenicians to Mulek, because it was they alone who could provide precisely what Mulek and the fleeing Jews needed: a place to go that was unknown to those who were seeking after them.
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I had never heard of this description by Diodorus. It makes perfect sense. I don't think Constance Irwin who wrote Fair Gods and Stone Faces describing Phoenician influences in the New World ever mentioned Diodorus. I'll have to pull the book off my shelf and look. Also fits very much with the Libyan/Punic, etc., inscriptions Barry Fell has found in various places back east.

Fascinating stuff! A lot more people have come here in pre-Columbian times than most would suspect, in my view.

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by bobhenstra »

Saint Brad, I did read the link you quoted above. I didn't add it because I found something else to do--This strange old man, took a nap---

Besides, I think you and I are the only ones reading this thread!

St. Bob

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Re: Meso American Model By Richard Hauck Ph.D

Post by livy111us »

bobhenstra wrote: Besides, I think you and I are the only ones reading this thread!

St. Bob
There are a few lurkers still hanging around :)

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