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Monday, May 22, 2017

Further Inisight on Book of Mormon Geography: Common Sense

Greetings Tennis Shoes Readers and Fans!

I have great discussions on Facebook, and I wonder if the info ever gets "seen" by anyone, except perhaps the person who brings up the topic. Recently I had someone discuss their perspective on Mesoamerica and Book of Mormon connections, which is addressed at some length in my latest podcast, "Battle of the Book of Mormon Geographies."  In one post I emphasized the legitimacy of pursuing Book of Mormon connections in the Great Lakes and other areas of the United States, but I also offered up a tidbit of information that is too-often ignored by those determined to tout an Eastern United States connection to Book of Mormon events. Certainly there's still a lot of digging to do, but just about any Mesoamerican scholar would happily confirm the following paragraph:

"There's really no comparison between Mesoamerica and the Midwest or Great Lakes regions of the United States as far as the sheer volume of archaeological sites. In southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, etc., artifacts and structures are unearthed practically every time someone digs the foundation of a house. Pottery shards are found in the backyards of almost everyone. SO MUCH has unfortunately been plowed under or destroyed. This destruction dates from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The stuff is literally EVERYWHERE. I personally found what appeared to be an ancient pot--fully intact--at a little-known site excavated by NWAF (BYU's New World Archaeological Foundation) back in the early 2000s (and got in trouble for even attempting to do so. So it was simply left in the dirt). The point is, you can't throw a rock without hitting evidences of the ancient Maya, Aztecs, Toltecs, Zapotecs, etc. 

In the continental U.S., yes, we have some nice "mound-builder" sites--Hopewell and Adema. (By the way, such designations are just place-holder names, like "Olmec". There was no actual tribe called the Hopewells or the Olmecs. These are simply modern nomenclature commonly used to identify certain varieties of sites or artifacts in the New World and elsewhere. We really don't know what they called themselves.) Still, there's no comparison inside the borders of the U.S. with the number of artifacts and structures and WORK that is waiting to be done in Mesoamerica. I've posted a few photos of Hopewell sites in the Eastern U.S.

Very little in the mound-builder cultures dates to the right time period of Book of Mormon events. About 95% of the sites unearthed postdate 400 A.D. Now, that doesn't mean there isn't a connection. D&C Section 32 verifies that some kind of link exists.
Further work should be pursued and MUST be pursued.
But until we find something earth-shattering (literally!) let's stick with the general facts. For the most part in the Eastern U.S. we find mounds and stone fences, simple stone buildings, a few petroglyphs (however, for wall paintings and more complex architecture inside the U.S. we typically must venture west of the Mississippi, to the Anasazi sites of New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona). 

The main ingredient missing in Ohio or Georgia or Great Lakes archaeology is a written language--glyphs, pictographs, calendars and other examples. Sure, there are a few anomalies in the States that demand investigation, but these are rare and so unique that when they ARE found, it makes big headlines because...well...we're AMERICANS and we pride ourselves in our pre-Columbian archaeological heritage, as scant as it is, and give such finds as much publicity as possible. 

At the top of this post is a photo of the "Bat Creek" Stone from Tennessee, which was at first proclaimed to be evidence of Hebrew writing in ancient America. Such claims date to the 1800s. The hoax has since been exposed and is considered fraudulent by most archaeologists. 

However, genuine evidences of ancient writing literally "floweth over" in Mesoamerica, which is precisely what we oughta expect from the literate cultures associated with Book of Mormon peoples. Right?

I've also posted a link here to a lecture I gave at a BMAF convention a couple years ago that further illustrates some of the points made here and on my podcast

Just two more cents to add to the discussion. 

Stay close to the Lord, Chris Heimerdinger

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