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Hashbaz

Seven New Sites Found Near Merida That Date To Book Of Mormon Times

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OK, if your standards are low and you're only looking for what could be true, it is a bullseye indeed. Congratulations ;-)

I understand you are getting a little nervous now, but don't let your nerves get the best of you. acute.gif

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Good one. So is this a near-hit or a near-miss?

IT is neither. It is not about being a hit or a miss. It is more about gain a great understanding of how fast ideas can change once new evidence is presented. It is also a demonstration of how much we really don't know about the new world and mesoamerican archaeology.

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It's a bullseye! Admittedly, I've got a really big target since I'm an LGT generalist and don't hold to any of the specific geographies that have been offered. Mesoamerica in general is the right place, so discoveries like this are illuminating. It shows that a hitherto unknown culture (as defined by their ceramics) lived among the Maya from the period between 400 BC and 200 AD. It demonstrates that the argument made by apologists that the Nephites could have lived among the larger culture while maintaining their own identity now has a precise analogue in the archaeological record dating to the Nephite time period. The people of Oxmul managed to do it, so why can't we allow that Nephites could have done the same thing?

I, like Cal, did not realise this implication. I thought your post was what I summed up before this reply. Interesting, again.

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OK, if your standards are low and you're only looking for what could be true, it is a bullseye indeed. Congratulations ;-)

To some extent, is that not what science does in some of it theories? It posstulates on what is probable or plausible. Congratulations indeed.

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It's a bullseye! Admittedly, I've got a really big target since I'm an LGT generalist and don't hold to any of the specific geographies that have been offered. Mesoamerica in general is the right place, so discoveries like this are illuminating. It shows that a hitherto unknown culture (as defined by their ceramics) lived among the Maya from the period between 400 BC and 200 AD. It demonstrates that the argument made by apologists that the Nephites could have lived among the larger culture while maintaining their own identity now has a precise analogue in the archaeological record dating to the Nephite time period. The people of Oxmul managed to do it, so why can't we allow that Nephites could have done the same thing?

Having been raised in Buffalo NY's "Eastside" in the early '50's, now commemorated as "Polonia," I find this totally plausible. My great grandmother, though she spoke English, found no need to speak it, because she could go to the market and do all she needed to do completely in Polish. Even in my generation, my first language was a hodge-podge of English and Polish, though now I remember only a few phrases.

Of course now, these experiences are paralleled by immigrant groups in cities all across the USA.

That neighborhood, which was a bustling center for Polish culture, is now one of the worst in the nation, and a classic example of "urban blight".

And in a few hundred years what evidence will there be that these neighborhoods and towns even existed as ethnic enclaves? Virtually none!

It is very easy to imagine that all that might remain of such a settlement from that era would be a few shards of pottery in the "city dump"!

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Having been raised in Buffalo NY's "Eastside" in the early '50's, now commemorated as "Polonia," I find this totally plausible. My great grandmother, though she spoke English, found no need to speak it, because she could go to the market and do all she needed to do completely in Polish. Even in my generation, my first language was a hodge-podge of English and Polish, though now I remember only a few phrases.

Of course now, these experiences are paralleled by immigrant groups in cities all across the USA.

That neighborhood, which was a bustling center for Polish culture, is now one of the worst in the nation, and a classic example of "urban blight".

And in a few hundred years what evidence will there be that these neighborhoods and towns even existed as ethnic enclaves? Virtually none!

It is very easy to imagine that all that might remain of such a settlement from that era would be a few shards of pottery in the "city dump"!

Agreed....I live in Southern California, and can attest that there are entire communities within Los Angeles which are dominated by ethnic subgroups. Some parts of Los Angeles are indistinguishable from what one might expect to find in a foreign country. Take a stroll down Broadway in Los Angeles and if one didn't know better, they might confuse it for a boulevard in Mexico City....from the language one hears on the streets, to the business signs exclusively in Spanish, to even the smells emanating from the carnicerias, lavanderias and zapaterias.. Same goes for areas such as Little Tokyo, heavily Armenian neighborhoods in Glendale, or even Little Saigon in Orange County, where a Vietnamese immigrant could live comfortably never having to speak anything but his native dialect.

Though I don't know that this archeological find speaks to anything more than the above type of phenomena. Projecting who the "sub-cultures" within these Mayan cultures might be is anyone's guess, but I have a hunch who the LDS church might be leaning towards.

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It shows that a hitherto unknown culture (as defined by their ceramics) lived among the Maya from the period between 400 BC and 200 AD. It demonstrates that the argument made by apologists that the Nephites could have lived among the larger culture while maintaining their own identity now has a precise analogue in the archaeological record dating to the Nephite time period. The people of Oxmul managed to do it, so why can't we allow that Nephites could have done the same thing?

The antimormons proclaim that "There is no evidence of Hebrew culture in mesoamerica."

Once again, this points out that the BOM tells us that we should be looking for Nephites/Lamanites culture, not Hebrews.

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The antimormons proclaim that "There is no evidence of Hebrew culture in mesoamerica."

Once again, this points out that the BOM tells us that we should be looking for Nephites/Lamanites culture, not Hebrews.

And both the good news and the bad news is that we will never know what that "should" look like, nor perhaps can we.

There will always be room for both faith and doubt, so we better get used to it. That's why, though I find this interesting, don't see this as a search for "proof" of anything- because such things cannot be proven since we are not even sure what exactly we are looking for.

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Just saw this posted on a message board we Mesoamericanists use to disseminate information to each other and thought it might be of interest to you all. The post was made by Mike Ruggeri, who, as far as I know, is not LDS and knows (and cares) nothing about the Book of Mormon.

Please note that the names given to those sites are not ancient, but rather were made up recently by the archaeologists. I know according to most LGT models the Yucatan is not the right place for any of the events in the Book of Mormon, but this information illustrates how quickly paradigms shift in Maya archaeology and how little we really know about the Preclassic period.

The passing comment that "a type of polychrome ceramics never before found in the Maya area were found at Oxmul" is significant. We often define cultures by their ceramic styles, and a completely new style was found at Oxmul. Nephite pot, anyone? ;)

Very interesting. Any new developments in knowledge in that area of the world I view as a good thing.

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There will always be room for both faith and doubt, so we better get used to it. That's why, though I find this interesting, don't see this as a search for "proof" of anything- because such things cannot be proven since we are not even sure what exactly we are looking for.

I think if a stone/scroll/wall writing/etc spoke of a many specific (with names) things from the BOM there there would be a flurry of sincere archeological investigations relating to the BOM from non-members. I don't think they would discount it if there were big time specifics in the find that exactly correlated to BOM stuff.

As for anti-mormons discounting the BOM for lack of archeological evidence... I understand that argument if it is coming from an agnostic/atheist who's beliefs scale with the "evidence." But if it's coming from other religious strains like evangelicals, then the lack of archeological evidence can hurt some of their claims as well. You can't use a premise of argument that you are not also willing to put on your own beliefs.

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It demonstrates that the argument made by apologists that the Nephites could have lived among the larger culture while maintaining their own identity now has a precise analogue in the archaeological record dating to the Nephite time period.

Since some posters seem to find this a deep new insight, I wonder how it follows from the OP:

"A type of polychrome ceramics never before found in the Maya area were found at Oxmul. The timeline for the florescence of Maya culture in the northern Yucatan has been pushed back to 400 BCE as a result of these finds."

I don't see it. Is it in the Spanish piece referred to? As I read it, the OP does not imply that a small group of people lived among the Maya. Rather, it mentions a new time frame for Maya culture itself?

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To some extent, is that not what science does in some of it theories? It posstulates on what is probable or plausible.

Probable or plausible, yes; possible, not so much. The trick is to see where the evidence leads you instead of trying to fit selected bits of evidence to a foregone conclusion. The drawback, of course, is that you have to adjust your paradigms every so often but that's what makes science so exiting.

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Since some posters seem to find this a deep new insight, I wonder how it follows from the OP:

"A type of polychrome ceramics never before found in the Maya area were found at Oxmul. The timeline for the florescence of Maya culture in the northern Yucatan has been pushed back to 400 BCE as a result of these finds."

I don't see it. Is it in the Spanish piece referred to? As I read it, the OP does not imply that a small group of people lived among the Maya. Rather, it mentions a new time frame for Maya culture itself?

We typically define cultures by their ceramic types (Maya vs. non-Maya). The ceramics discovered at Oxmul are unlike those at any other Maya site before or since, so it could be argued that one of the seven sites that is mentioned, Oxmul, is a non-Maya site. There are other non-Maya sites (which is a designation given to them by non-LDS scholars) attested to later in the Classic period, such as the site of El Cafetal (which was located directly in between the very Maya sites of Copan and Quirigua), but Oxmul is more relevant to the Book of Mormon because it dates squarely to the Nephite era.

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Probable or plausible, yes; possible, not so much. The trick is to see where the evidence leads you instead of trying to fit selected bits of evidence to a foregone conclusion. The drawback, of course, is that you have to adjust your paradigms every so often but that's what makes science so exiting.

Who here has claimed that this new find is stricktly nephite? What I see being discussed is that it is possible to be, because it is not Mayan and it dates to BoM times. I doubt very strongly that that alone is enought to conclude that this is definatly a nephite site. What Hashbaz is saying is that because this site exists it is very plausable that other sites exsist that we do not know about, that could be Nephite. He also has specualted that this could be a Nephite site. Of course I doubt that he is going to say this is definiatly a Nephite site with out additional finds and evidence.

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Who here has claimed that this new find is stricktly nephite? What I see being discussed is that it is possible to be, because it is not Mayan and it dates to BoM times. I doubt very strongly that that alone is enought to conclude that this is definatly a nephite site. What Hashbaz is saying is that because this site exists it is very plausable that other sites exsist that we do not know about, that could be Nephite. He also has specualted that this could be a Nephite site. Of course I doubt that he is going to say this is definiatly a Nephite site with out additional finds and evidence.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I think it's a Nephite site; the "Nephite pot" comment in my OP was tongue-in-cheek. But I am saying Oxmul's material culture does not fit the standard Maya mold. I simply wanted to demonstrate that there were diverse cultures in the Maya area at the time of the Book of Mormon, one of which we knew absolutely nothing about until this report came out a couple of days ago, and about all we can say about it at this point is that their ceramics were totally different from everyone else's.

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Just to be clear, I'm not saying I think it's a Nephite site; the "Nephite pot" comment in my OP was tongue-in-cheek. But I am saying Oxmul's material culture does not fit the standard Maya mold. I simply wanted to demonstrate that there were diverse cultures in the Maya area at the time of the Book of Mormon, one of which we knew absolutely nothing about until this report came out a couple of days ago, and about all we can say about it at this point is that their ceramics were totally different from everyone else's.

I get that, I think some in this thread don't though. I am just glad I understand your point. Some times I miss the main point of people's writtings on this board.

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I tend to believe that the USA is where the Nephites and Lamanites lived; however, the above is fascinating! It is not difficult for me to consider that the Mayans, and many, many other peoples, could very well represent some of those who were scattered when the confounding of language took place at the tower of Babel before the land parted at the time of Peleg. Indeed, God has manifested a propensity for leading groups of people to new places throughout the history of mankind. Someday, we will finally have all of these mysteries resolved; but not until God is ready to make these things known.

jo

The actual ancient belief of Peleg is that the nations were divided in the days of Peleg to the seventy divine sons of El. They are the Table of Nations that came forth after the Flood. Yahweh was given Israel, which he had to establish for himself, including finding Abraham, testing him, and proving him worthy to be the Father of the Nations here on earth.

As for the peoples who came from the Tower to America, they arrived to the North, not the South. If you are going to use North America as the site for both Nephites and Lamanites, then you cannot place the Jaredites south of them. The Jaredites destroyed themselves as a nation(s), leaving Ether and Mormon believing they were completely annihilated. That does not suggest Jaredites stretching all the way into Mesoamerica, if you are talking about Nephites being Woodland era peoples.

Of course, good luck finding a narrow neck of land in the USA, unless you are thinking the Nephites/Lamanites were around the finger lakes of New York, as some do. But then, you have to find the armies containing tens of thousands of peoples. And there is absolutely no evidence for that anywhere in the USA, much less in the Northeast. The Mound builders had towns of no more than 1000 or so people. Most were much smaller, in the dozens. They didn't have the ability to raise Mormon's army of more than 100,000 for the last battle.

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I think if a stone/scroll/wall writing/etc spoke of a many specific (with names) things from the BOM there there would be a flurry of sincere archeological investigations relating to the BOM from non-members. I don't think they would discount it if there were big time specifics in the find that exactly correlated to BOM stuff.

As for anti-mormons discounting the BOM for lack of archeological evidence... I understand that argument if it is coming from an agnostic/atheist who's beliefs scale with the "evidence." But if it's coming from other religious strains like evangelicals, then the lack of archeological evidence can hurt some of their claims as well. You can't use a premise of argument that you are not also willing to put on your own beliefs.

I don't think we'd have many scientists or others jumping at such "evidence." One LDS apologist visited Sandra Tanner years ago and in the discussion, he asked her if archaeologists found in Mesoamerica an ancient sign saying "5 miles to Zarahemla", would she change her mind. Sandra paused and said it would be "a point of discussion."

As it is, there is a site in Guatemala named "Lamanai" (its ancient name). Coincidence or evidence? It all depends on your point of view. However, it DOES show that there is at least one BoM name that can be found in Mesoamerica.

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I think if a stone/scroll/wall writing/etc spoke of a many specific (with names) things from the BOM there there would be a flurry of sincere archeological investigations relating to the BOM from non-members. I don't think they would discount it if there were big time specifics in the find that exactly correlated to BOM stuff.

But I can't imagine how the names could correlate even if they were correct. Would we know, for example, how "reformed Egyptian" translates to Mayan to English pronunciation?

Certainly if parallels could be shown in the stories, that might be significant, and of course the more similarities which were found, the better.

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As it is, there is a site in Guatemala named "Lamanai" (its ancient name).

Belize.

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......Of course, good luck finding a narrow neck of land in the USA, unless you are thinking the Nephites/Lamanites were around the finger lakes of New York, as some do. But then, you have to find the armies containing tens of thousands of peoples. And there is absolutely no evidence for that anywhere in the USA, much less in the Northeast. The Mound builders had towns of no more than 1000 or so people. Most were much smaller, in the dozens. They didn't have the ability to raise Mormon's army of more than 100,000 for the last battle.

Evidence is a tricky thing. I am sure that many accept that the American buffalo roamed the plains in vast herds. A low estimate of herd size was 60 million and they roamed for over 3 million years. Their life span is around 20 years which means that 3 million of them died each year. So over the years the dead bones gathered one would think. In fact over the three million years there would be 1651 cubic miles of bones. But since we don't have mountains of bones I guess the plains never really had any buffalo. Like I said evidence is a tricky thing.

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Yes, the buffalo were a large group. We are rather certain of them, because early pioneers, mountain men, and settlers wrote about them. We can read concerning the millions that were slaughtered by the buffalo hunters in order to feed the troops and decimate the Native American's way of life. So, while we may not find bones, we do have evidence still.

Their bones, of course, were made of matter that would decay back into the soil. This is very different than cement cities that do not decay as easily, or weapons, jewelry and armor made of metal. Charred remains from fires, garbage dumps, and other such also provide a wealth of information on ancient Americans.

As it is, we CAN find the civilizations of North America. Many were Mound Builders. Their mounds are very obvious throughout the eastern portion of the United States. I've personally seen their mounds from Alabama to Ohio. More than a century of research has consistently shown that the numbers were small, even around the mounds. Why would we consistently find such small numbers of people around every mound, if we were looking for a civilization of hundreds of thousands, or even millions? It is one thing if we could not find any evidence at all. It is another thing to find many small communities, but no big communities.

So given the evidence that does exist, it is unlikely that we could find all of the towns of a few hundred, while not finding any cities of one hundred thousand, unless those larger cities simply never existed.

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Evidence is a tricky thing. I am sure that many accept that the American buffalo roamed the plains in vast herds. A low estimate of herd size was 60 million and they roamed for over 3 million years. Their life span is around 20 years which means that 3 million of them died each year. So over the years the dead bones gathered one would think. In fact over the three million years there would be 1651 cubic miles of bones. But since we don't have mountains of bones I guess the plains never really had any buffalo. Like I said evidence is a tricky thing.

:rofl:

I love it!

Calcium from the grass becomes buffalo bones, then back to grass. Not a bad recycling program.

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Their mounds are very obvious throughout the eastern portion of the United States. I've personally seen their mounds from Alabama to Ohio. ...

So given the evidence that does exist, it is unlikely that we could find all of the towns of a few hundred, while not finding any cities of one hundred thousand, unless those larger cities simply never existed.

Given the buffalo point, I wonder what metropolitan Los Angeles would look like in several thousand years, if it was formed by a culture living close to the land with no freeways and dwellings built of natural materials which would decompose.

Possibly mounds stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

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