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Earliest pre columbian writing system found


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The patterns covering the face of the rectangular block also represent a previously unknown ancient writing system
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I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of "Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas.

Awfully convenient, some might say, for those who favor a literal approach to the JSJr/LDS Church foundational claims.

Mighty cagey, old Joe (and/or his Illuminati Masters), knowing that about Native American Writing Systems!

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I think it's important to recognize that the discovery of ancient writing systems really does nothing for BoM apologetics unless that writing system is descended somehow from Hebrew or Egyptian. Any other semitic language would certainly help as well. Oh, heck, if it's descended from any conceivable Middle Eastern language that might have been around and in use by someone during Lehi's time, that would probably get some things moving a little bit.

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I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of "Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas.

Awfully convenient, some might say, for those who favor a literal approach to the JSJr/LDS Church foundational claims.

Mighty cagey, old Joe (and/or his Illuminati Masters), knowing that about Native American Writing Systems!

Either I'm misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding Uncle Dale, or both. But I think Uncle Dale is trying to point out that the ancient Olmec writing that was discovered has nothing (apparently) in common with any Old World writing systems, as one might expect if these people were in fact descending from the Old World relatively recently.

And if I understand you correctly, you're trying to score a few points by showing that Joseph Smith knew about ancient writing systems before they were actually discovered, and that implies some sort of either unlikely dumb luck or else some sort of prophetic gift. If this is what you're trying to say, I think you're missing a few points, which include A ) this writing system has no apparent connection whatsoever with the ancient writing system Joseph Smith attributed to the inhabitants of ancient America (neither Hebrew nor Reformed Egyptian) and would thus serve as poor evidence of divine inspiration, and B ) since Joseph Smith was personally familiar with a writing system, it's way more likely that his "prophetic" ramblings attributing writing to the ancients represent an anachronistic projection of his reality back onto the ancients, than that it represents evidence that God revealed Truth to him that he couldn't otherwise have known.

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I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of "Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas.

Awfully convenient, some might say, for those who favor a literal approach to the JSJr/LDS Church foundational claims.

Mighty cagey, old Joe (and/or his Illuminati Masters), knowing that about Native American Writing Systems!

Alas! Horatio -- you've misread your lines once again.

Act 4, scene 3, bottom of page:

Rabbi: "I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of

"Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas."

Horatio: "Ah, but thou forgettest, mine liege, that golden plates have already

been discovered, bearing just such characters -- and in far-flung Ontario, many upon

many leagues from Tehuantepec! Methinks 'widerspread' but a phantasm of thine

overwrought brain, perchance!"

(Horatio, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern exit, stage left)

(Rabbi's soliloquy couplet follows)...

Uncle "all the world's a stage" Dale

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The Olmec civilization existed long befor Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. It is concurrent with the Jaredite voyage to the Americas although there is no evidence that they were identical with each other. The Jaredites left the old world at the time of the Tower of Babel and may have had a writing system similar to the Babylonians rather than the Hebrews or Egyptians. Although this may not be true since the Babylonians wrote on clay tablets with wedges and the Olmecs wrote on stone tablets. I dont know of any Babylonian insciptions on stone that might be used for comparison but that may be because nobody has found any or recognized them as such if found.

Larry P

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Were any forms of Hebrew or Egyptian writing ever employed in the preColumbian Americas? So far as the archaeological record is concerned: no. That lack of evidence may one day be supplemented with reliable information to the contrary -- but I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of "Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas.

Uncle Dale

Hello Uncle!

I'm glad that you qualified your statement to make it an opinion only.

I have personally seen writings from Mesoamerica and the USA that appear to my untrained novice eye to contain some symbols that are quite similar to Egyptian characters. And in one case, I saw characters on an object said to have been taken from a cave in Utah, that someone told me are most likely "ancient Hebrew".

But yes, so far as the professional archaeologists are concerned, the record is clean of such annoying samples of unknown writings...

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I think it is very unlikely that examples of any widespread ancient use of "Old World" languages or writing systems will ever be discovered in the Americas.

Awfully convenient, some might say, for those who favor a literal approach to the JSJr/LDS Church foundational claims.

Mighty cagey, old Joe (and/or his Illuminati Masters), knowing that about Native American Writing Systems!

Either I'm misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding Uncle Dale, or both. But I think Uncle Dale is trying to point out that the ancient Olmec writing that was discovered has nothing (apparently) in common with any Old World writing systems, as one might expect if these people were in fact descending from the Old World relatively recently.

And if I understand you correctly, you're trying to score a few points by showing that Joseph Smith knew about ancient writing systems before they were actually discovered, and that implies some sort of either unlikely dumb luck or else some sort of prophetic gift.

If you have to explain the joke, there is no power in the universe by which the joke can remain a joke.

At most it is, at that point, a curiosity, which should be discarded and forgotten.

USU "Back to your regularly scheduled bat mitzvot" 78

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I think it's important to recognize that the discovery of ancient writing systems really does nothing for BoM apologetics unless that writing system is descended somehow from Hebrew or Egyptian. Any other semitic language would certainly help as well. Oh, heck, if it's descended from any conceivable Middle Eastern language that might have been around and in use by someone during Lehi's time, that would probably get some things moving a little bit.

Actually it does a little, since at one time one of the critics' accusations against Joseph Smith's claim was that there were no writing systems in the Americas at that time the BoM purportedly said there were.

But I think the more important point of the thread is that things are constantly being discovered in Mesoamerica, sometimes drastically changing scholars' views, and to LDS that opens the doors for even more discoveries that may lend support to the BoM.

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I think it's important to recognize that the discovery of ancient writing systems really does nothing for BoM apologetics unless that writing system is descended somehow from Hebrew or Egyptian.

My point is that the counter-mos want to claim everything about Mesoamerica has been discovered and completely rules out the possible existence of BoM civilization. This is a clear illustration of how much we don't know. Uncle Dale was saying the more advanced writing was always limited to the priestly/ruling class and in the BoM's case, it is likely that the specific language ("reformed Egyptian") was taught only as a method of preserving that specific record rather than as a method of communication for the masses.

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The following quote from the article in National Geographic News reflects the hesitency of archeologists to accept anything which does not fall within the accepted paradymes for their profession.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...-writing_2.html

Out of Place

But many archaeologists are hesitant about the find because of its uniqueness.

David Grove is an archaeologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who was not involved in the research.

At first glance, the tablet "looked like a fake to me because the symbols are laid out in horizontal rows," unlike the region's other writing systems, he said.

However others are apparently more open minded.

From the same source:

Archaeologist Mary Pohl of Florida State University in Tallahassee agrees.

The tablet is a "great discovery," she said. "I suspect there will be more coming."

Professor Stephen Housten, although to my knowledge, not a member of the LDS Church, served as a professor at BYU from 1994 to 2004. This may have served to give him a more open outlook on things Mesoamericn

Larry P

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The Olmec civilization existed long before Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. It is concurrent with the Jaredite voyage to the Americas although there is no evidence that they were identical with each other.

So, I take it you are more of a "local-flood" man when it comes to the scope of Noah's flood?

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However others are apparently more open minded.

Dunnnno...

May end up being important -- hopefully some more examples of the symbols will

be discovered. If something with an Olmec dating system on it can also be recovered,

that may provide some clues...

Olmec1.jpg

Uncle Dale

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The Olmec civilization existed long before Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. It is concurrent with the Jaredite voyage to the Americas although there is no evidence that they were identical with each other.

So, I take it you are more of a "local-flood" man when it comes to the scope of Noah's flood?

Cenepro

I dont favor either concept of the flood. Although the Bible places the flood concurrent with the time of the Tower of Babel, this may be a reflection of a much older myth or legend with a more recent event and was only used to explain the Lord's wrath and reason for confusing the languages. Flood, or destruction of the world by water and the need for a new creation exists in varius cultures including the precolumbian cultures of the Americas, so there may have been a universal flood at some time but my thought is that it did not occur in conjunction with the Tower of Babel even though they may have built the tower in a vain attempt to avoid destruction in the future.

Larry P

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Professor Stephen Housten, although to my knowledge, not a member of the LDS Church, served as a professor at BYU from 1994 to 2004. This may have served to give him a more open outlook on things Mesoamericn

You are correct that he is not LDS. Or atleast he wasnt last time i checked. (You never know when things like that changed.) I was unaware that he wasnt at BYU anymore. He was one of my favorate professors.

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Actually it does a little, since at one time one of the critics' accusations against Joseph Smith's claim was that there were no writing systems in the Americas at that time the BoM purportedly said there were.

Ok, so one of the critics' accusations is wrong, so that means the Book of Mormon is really true? I know you weren't going quite that far with this, but that's certainly the direction you're heading.

A muslim and a hindu are arguing about religion. The mormon notices that the hindu's arguments are wrong. Does that imply that the muslim is right?

But I think the more important point of the thread is that things are constantly being discovered in Mesoamerica, sometimes drastically changing scholars' views, and to LDS that opens the doors for even more discoveries that may lend support to the BoM.

In other words, a liberal dose of wishfull thinking. It's sorta like when you're at the school band concert and they're drawing the raffle tickets at halftime. They've drawn for most of the prizes already and you didn't win, but there's still two or three more things left on the table, so there's still hope.

Personally, I think the more they discover about pre-columbian writing systems that don't have anything to do with what one could reasonably expect Nephite or Lamanite writing systems to be like, the more damning it is for the Book of Mormon. Writing systems from peoples between 600 BC and 400 AD, that are in the areas where the BoM stuff should have taken place if it ever actually did, that show no relation nor influence to any Old World writing systems, make it far less likely in my view that the BoM story is in fact historical truth, and will be borne out as such.

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Joe Smith and his lucky guesses. It seems like he has done it again, with his super-ancient literate civilizations and all. <_<:unsure::Pcool.gif

Were any forms of Hebrew or Egyptian writing ever employed in the preColumbian
As a firm believer in BoM historicity, I dont expect archeology to find any. Why? Because the nephite codex alludes to the probability that it was not in wide spread use.

We have no idea how these languages developed in the new world, nor to what extent they were used.

Mosiah 1: 4

4 For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the alanguage of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time.

Alma 22: 12

12 And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, areading the scriptures unto the king

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My point is that the counter-mos want to claim everything about Mesoamerica has been discovered and completely rules out the possible existence of BoM civilization. This is a clear illustration of how much we don't know.

I understand the argument you're making. The problem is, right now BoM archealogy is a sort of "god of the gaps" beast, stuffed into the little undiscovered parts of mesoamerica. As more and more of these undiscovered and unresearched places are studied and researched, the gaps are getting smaller and smaller. The Book of Mormon story has a lot going on on a fairly grand scale. As the gaps get smaller and smaller, in my view it gets less and less likely that we'll all of a sudden discover this previously-unknown area of ruins and that'll be the Book of Mormon places.

That's the trouble with "god of the gaps" arguments. They only get weaker as the gaps are filled in.

Oh, and I simply do not buy the whole "we've already discovered Book of Mormon cities and artifacts, and they're currently labeled Mayan, or Olmec, or whatever" argument.

So there was an argument that the Book of Mormon was false because there were no writing systems around in Mesoamerica during the times of the Book of Mormon period. The big hope for the Book of Mormon was that such a gap could someday be filled with a Book of Mormon-related writing system. Now writing systems contemporaneous with the Book of Mormon have been found. But guess what? They're not related to the Book of Mormon. In my view that's more bad news for the Book of Mormon. That gap has now been filled, and it wasn't filled with evidence supporting the Book of Mormon.

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sethbag, Dr. John E. Clark who made the statement you just quoted without giving the source, is a well-respected anthropoogist, professor at BYU. Are your credentials equal to his that you can dimiss that statement in such an off hand manner?

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I understand the argument you're making. The problem is, right now BoM archealogy is a sort of "god of the gaps" beast, stuffed into the little undiscovered parts of mesoamerica. As more and more of these undiscovered and unresearched places are studied and researched, the gaps are getting smaller and smaller.

Oh, and I simply do not buy the whole "we've already discovered Book of Mormon cities and artifacts, and they're currently labeled Mayan, or Olmec, or whatever" argument.

I don't think anyone has mistaken me for one who buys into the current theories regarding BoM geography. I give everyone a fair shake though. If the evidence isn't there, it isn't there. But any grand sweeping dismissals are also unfounded.

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