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Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon


Olavarria

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Im of the opinion that the "final battle in NY" is a product of speculation and tradiation and not divine revelation.

The following are a list of convergences between the history of the BoM and Meso.

400px-Larger_Southern_Maya_area_v3.svg.png

First the Olmec...

OLMEC DATES(1)

2500-1500BC: The first farming villages in Mesoamerica appear. Settlers raise maize, chili peppers, squash and cotton.

1500-1200BC: Olmec build San Lorenzo. San Lorenzo was excavated by a Yale expedition between 1966 and 1969, "fully developed Olmec culture, represented typically by gigantic basalt sculptures fashioned in a distinctive style, proved to date back to 1400BC"(2).

1100BC: By this time, La Venta becomes a major Olmec site.

900BC: The Olmec site of San Lorenzo is destroyed. Olmec monuments are attacked, defaced and buried(3).

900BC: Olmec settlement spreads into areas east of Tehuantepec(4).

c. 400 BC: The Olmec site of La Venta is destroyed(5).

300 BC: In western Chiapas speakers of Tapachulteco, a Mixe-Zoquean language, establish Izapa, (6).

Sources

(1)Charles Phillips, Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec and Maya; Lorenz Books (June 25, 2007), pg 24

(2)Michael Coe, The Maya 7th Edition, pg 50.

(3)Charles Phillips, Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec and Maya; Lorenz Books (June 25, 2007), pg 29.

(4)John Clark has noted:"Given what little is known of Jaredite settlement, we need to be careful not to imagine that we know more than we do. Second, the text states that the land southward was opened up during the days of King Lib. It is worth pointing out that the explosion of Olmec influence east of Tehuantepec (Sorenson's land southward) occurred after 900 BC, with only spotty influence before. I think the text can be read as indicating that the south lands opened up at this time, with colonization being part of the package."http://farms.byu.edu/publications/review/?...um=2&id=545

(5)Charles Phillips, Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec and Maya; Lorenz Books (June 25, 2007), pg 292.

(6) Michael Coe, The Maya 7th Edition. pg. 64-69: "Crucial to the problem of how higher culture came about among the Maya is the Izapan civilization, for it occupies a middle ground in time and in space between the Middle PreClassic Olmecs and the Early Classic Maya. Its hallmark is an elaborate art style, found on monuments scattered over a wide zone from Tres Zapotes on the Veracruz coast, to the Pacific plain of Chiapas and Guatemala, and up into the Guatemala City Area".

Coe also says:"That Olmecs had onced intruded here is apparent from a large boulder located less than a mile from the main group of mounds, carved in relief with a bearded were-jaguar in the purest Olmec style". In regards to the "Mayan" calender, Coe says: "Some scholars are now willing to ascribe the earliest Long Count outside the Maya area proper to Mixe-Zoquean as well".

Loan words from other languages do appear in Mayan, testifying to early contacts and contributions. Those from the Mixe-Zoquean family of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec(locus of the very early Olmec civilization) include high-culture words such as *may, "to count or divine," and *pom, "copal incense," and it has been suggested that Mixe-Zoquean was the tongue of the Olmecs(Michael Coe, The Maya 7th Edition, pg 31).

Now the Jaredites....

To know the time of the Jaredites we must look at the latest Jaredites on record and then count backward, from Ether to Lib. Here are the generations of a Jaredite ruling lineage from Ether down to Lib as found in Ether 1:17-30.

Ether*

Coriantor

Moron

Ethem

Ahah

Seth

Shiblon

Com

Coriantum

Amnigaddah

Aaron*

Heth

Hearthom

Lib

Kish

Corom

Levi

Kim

Morianton*

Riplakish

Shez

Heth

Com

Coriantum

Emer

Omer

Shule

Kib

Orihah

Jared

Now, the trickier part, some Jaredite kings lived really long lives. Several kings are described as being "exceedingly old" and having children in their old age, with at least one king living past 100 years(Ether 7:7 and 9:23,24)! So, how many years were in 14 generations? We don't know; we will have to approximate about 65 years(3). Our safest bets are at the 14th generation mark because Morianton does not seem to be a son of Riplakish. He might have been a son, but he also might have been a grand son, or even great-grand son(4).

JAREDITE DATES(+/- 200 Years)

2350BC: Jaredites land in New World(5).

1310BC: King Lib builds a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land. Jaredites continue to avoid settlement south of the narrowneck of land, but now begin to enter sparodically in search of game(Ether 10:19-21).

855BC: There began to be wars and contentions in all the land, and also many famines and pestilences, insomuch that there was a great destruction, such an one as never had been known upon the face of the earth; and all this came to pass in the days of Shiblom(Ether 11:5-7). 400BC: End of the Jaredite ruling lineage. If the prophesy recorded in Ether 11:20?21 was declared before the arrival of Lehi's group then Coriantumr could not have lived no earlier than 600 B.C. If Coriantmr died just one day before Mosiah's group arrived then he could not have lived later than 200bc.

200BC: Some how, Jaredite names(Coriantmr,Morianton,Corianton) and a word for grain(sheum) are presevered among the Nephites.

Sources

(1)Ether 11: 23, "And it came to pass that Coriantor begat Ether, and he died, having dwelt in captivity all his days."

(2)Ether 10:29-31, "And he begat Heth, and Heth lived in captivity all his days. And Heth begat Aaron, and Aaron dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Amnigaddah, and Amnigaddah also dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Coriantum, and Coriantum dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Com."

(3)Sidney B. Sperry, Book of Mormon Chronology (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970). These dates follow Sperry's earliest estimate of 65 years per generation in the Jaredite king list, which is more in line with an early date for Babel and the confusion of tongues. Possible time gaps in the king list have been questioned where "descendant" replaces "son." Sperry (p. 24) points out that "descendant" implies the meaning of "son," rather than indicating a generation gap. For example, the king list says, "Shez was the son of Heth" (Ether 1:25), but the text says Shez was a "descendant" of Heth (Ether 10:1). Sperry places the Jaredite destruction at about 550 BC in one estimate, but recognizes the Jaredites may have continued contemporary with the Mulekites for well over a century (pp. 23,25).http://www.ancientamerica.org/library/medi...F%20LIB.htm?n=0

(4)Ether 10:8-9, "And when he had reigned for the space of forty and two years the people did rise up in rebellion against him; and there began to be war again in the land, insomuch that Riplakish was killed, and his descendants were driven out of the land. And it came to pass after the space of many years, Morianton, (he being a descendant of Riplakish) gathered together an army of outcasts, and went forth and gave battle unto the people; and he gained power over many cities; and the war became exceedingly sore, and did last for the space of many years; and he did gain power over all the land, and did establish himself king over all the land."

(5)We have a minimum of 23 Jaredite kings, maybe more.

Then the southern cultures....

To archeologists, it once seemed a very long step from the village cultures that we have thus far been considering to the awe-inspiring achievements of the Classic Maya, but we now realize that that 'great leap forward' was taken in what we know of as the Late Preclassic. The more we know about that period, which lasted from 400 or 300 BC to AD 250, the more complex and developed it seems. From the point of view of social cultural evolution, the Late Preclassic really is a kind of 'proto-Classic,' in which are present all of the traits usually ascribed to the Classic Maya, with the exception of vaulted stone architecture and a high elaboration of calendar and script on stone monuments"(1).

"As the Olmec civilization went into a steep decline c. 400BC, rapid changes took place in the Maya area. As populations rose, the southern lowlands of the peninsula became the new 'hot spot' for complexity in Mesoamerica, resulting in the building of immense cities, particularly in the Peten's Mirador Basin"(2).

"Concurrently, we see in this epoch the beginnings of Maya hieroglyphic writing and the calendar, perhaps to record the doings of kings and dynasties -a problematic topic, since we still cannot read the very earliest Maya inscriptions beyond dates"(3).

Notes

(1,2,3)Michael Coe, The Maya 7th Edition. pg. 59.

The Nephites....

Just read what the Book of Jarom says for the exact same time period

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jarom/1

The Volcanism...

The following video is Pliny the Younger's account of the destruction of Pompeii. http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/pompeii/pliny/video.html

The following is an audio link to 3 Nephi, Chapter 8. It concerns the destructions that occured in the Americas, at the time of The Savior's death.http://scriptures.lds.org/en/scriptures/listen?title=3+Nephi+8&audiourl=http://broadcast.lds.org/scriptures/BookOfMormon/BM_191_3_Nephi_8_eng.mp3

Enjoy : )

The description of the cataclysmic destruction in 3 Nephi corresponds to the kind of destruction caused by volcanic activity. This destruction was given to the Nephites as a sign that Christ had died. However, we also have record of several volcanic eruptions and social displacements, around the time of Christ. This converges with the destruction in the Book of Mormon at around 34AD.

"On the frounds of the associated ceramics and figurines quantities of which are found beneath the Pedregal, Cuicuilco is clearly Late preclassic, as confirmed by radiocarbon dates. The doom of Cuicuilco was set some time around AD100, an end which must have been spectacular. The young Xictli first sent out dust and ashes that fell in quantity on the site, then great eruptions themselves began, molten lava pouring out over the southwestern margin of the Valley."

"In lieu of extensive excavations underneath the lava, it is difficult to be precise about the size and function of a regional center like Cuicuilco. On the basis of his unrivaled knowledge of the Valley of Mexico, however, William Sanders ascribes to it a population of 20,000, the chief center of a total Valley population of perhaps 140,000 souls"(1).

"Thanks to another volcanic event, we have a spectacularly preserved late Preclassic village at Tetimpa, Puebla, on the northeastern bank of the Popocatepetl volcano. Unlike Cuicuilco, which was buried under a lava flow, Tetimpa was encased in ash falls, preserving much of what the villagers left in haste as Popocatepetl erupted in AD 100"(1).

So while we may never be able to pinpoint "X volcano destroying Y Nephite city", we can say that during the 1st century AD, Mexico experienced a series of volcanic eruptions and social displacements.

Sources

(1) Michael Coe and Rex Koontz, Mexico:From the Olmec to the Aztecs. pg 54-55.

Teotihuacan and the Gadiantons....

Mormon takes the time and effort to describe a migration to what would eventually become Teotihuacan, because Teotihuacan was very much on his mind. The Teotihuacanos of Mormon's day were doing what the Gadianton Robbers of Helaman's day were doing; that is: they were usurping power and disrupting the social order.

Gadianton Robber Dates and Influence

At about 245AD, "the wicked part of the people began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton"(4 Nephi 1:42).

"And it came to pass that the robbers of Gadianton did spread over all the face of the land; and there were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus. And gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance, and did traffic in all manner of traffic"(4 Nephi 1:46).

By about 326AD, the Gadianton Robbers are among the Lamanites and "infest the land"(Mormon 1:18).

By about 350AD, the Gadianton Robbers and the Lamanites are united in war against the Nephites. Nephites forced to enter a "treaty with the Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, in which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided"(Mormon 2:26,27).

By 400AD, Moroni writes in Mormon 8:8-9:" :P And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war. 9)And now, behold, I say no more concerning them, for there are none save it be the Lamanites and robbers that do exist upon the face of the land.

Teotihuacan Dates and Influence

"Where these intruders warriors or traders? They may well have been both. By Aztec times in central Mexico there was a special caste of armed merchants called pochteca, who journeyed into distant countries in search of rare manufactures and raw materials not available in the homeland, all of which were destined for the king. From representations of the pochteca god at Teotihuacan, we know that the institution is at least as old as the Early Classic. Thus, Kaminaljuyu may have been a southeasterly outpost of long-distance traders from that great city, established for the purpose of exporting Maya riches for the Teotihuacan throne"(2).

"This was the mighty city that held dominion over large parts of Mexico in the Early Classic, as the center of a military and commercial empire that may have been greater than that of the much later Aztec?(2). ?Shortly after AD 400, the highlands fell under Teotihuacan domination. An intrusive group of central Mexicans from that city might have seized Kaminaljuyu, where they built for themselves a miniature version of their capital. An elite class consisting both of Central Mexican foreigners and of a local nobility with whom they had marriage ties could have ruled over a captive population of largely Mayan descent(2)?.

"Mesoamerican "empires" such as Teotihuacan's were probably not organized along Roman lines, with total replacement of local administrations by imperial power; rather, they were "hegemonic," in the sense that conquered bureaucracies were pretty much left in place, but controlled through the constant threat of overwhelming military force which could have been unleashed against them at any time. Thus, we can expect a good deal of local cultural continuity even in those regions taken over by the great city; but in the case of the lowland Maya, we shall also see outright interference in dynastic matters, with profound implications for the course of Maya history"(2).

Sources

(1)The Gadianton Robbers in Mormon's Theological History:Their Structural Role and Plausible Identification, by Brant Gardner

(2)The Maya 7th Edition,by Michael Coe. Pg 90-92.

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Nah, polygamy is old news. :P

Book of Mormon geography no matter what theory you subscribe to is much more fun. I like the convergence of the dates something the other theories cannot match. I also see much in the volcano activity again something the other theories cannot match. I give the Hopewell culture some points but they are weak considering the population with any of the Hopewell cultures are small and cannot be supported if you compare them to the Book of Mormon. Perhaps they (Hopewell peoples)were a remnant of Hagoth. I also like how the Olmecs and Mayan wrote on stone which is very supportable with the BoM.

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Hey, I have an idea;lets scrap talking about LGT and focus on whether or not we'll be polygamists in the eternities.

That seems to get more of a respose out of folks lately crazy.gif .

If you want to spice it up, you have to put in some illicit sex (without the wifey's knowledge) coupled with the promise of eternal, neverending sex. There, now you have a very interesting thread.

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Nah, polygamy is old news. :P

Book of Mormon geography no matter what theory you subscribe to is much more fun. I like the convergence of the dates something the other theories cannot match. I also see much in the volcano activity again something the other theories cannot match. I give the Hopewell culture some points but they are weak considering the population with any of the Hopewell cultures are small and cannot be supported if you compare them to the Book of Mormon. Perhaps they (Hopewell peoples)were a remnant of Hagoth. I also like how the Olmecs and Mayan wrote on stone which is very supportable with the BoM.

Its that whole convergance thing. The Olmec/Jaredite plus Lehite/Mayan plus the volcanism at just the right time and the possiblity of Gadianton Teotihuacanos. It all just fits too well, IMHO. I donk think theres anything else like it in all the americas.

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In reading the Book of Mormon, I'm more certain than ever of the limited geography model. On the other hand, I'm not sure I completely buy into the notion that when the Lehites got here, that there were flourishing civilizations of which the Nephites were only a small part. Lehi states: "...we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord, wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring."

What is this telling us? First, Lehi says the land had been given to him and his seed forever. But then he adds, "and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord." Mulek and his people came, so they, too, must have been brought here by the hand of the Lord. But who else? From what Lehi says, it seems that his seed be the predominant people inhabiting this land. According to the blessing of Jacob to Joseph, Joseph would inherit a land unto the "utmost bound of the everlasting hills."

It raises the question of who else might have been here. Remnants of the Jaredite civilization? While we can't assume Lehi's seed were the only ones here, isn't it reasonable that they would be the predominant peoples several hundred years later? By that time it seems to me that the Nephites, Lamanites, Zoramites, Mulekites and other remnants had built themselves up into the Lamanites and the Nephites, and that they dominated the region. I also believe the Lehites migrated far north and that their seed worked their way up through the Rocky Mountains and eastwards.

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It raises the question of who else might have been here. Remnants of the Jaredite civilization? While we can't assume Lehi's seed were the only ones here, isn't it reasonable that they would be the predominant peoples several hundred years later? By that time it seems to me that the Nephites, Lamanites, Zoramites, Mulekites and other remnants had built themselves up into the Lamanites and the Nephites, and that they dominated the region. I also believe the Lehites migrated far north and that their seed worked their way up through the Rocky Mountains and eastwards.

Jared and his brother brought others with them. The Book of Ether only tells us about Jared and his Brother's descendents. It tells us about a rather limited geographic area where these decendents lived. We know little or nothing about the other families. Did they meld in with Jared and his brother's family or did they go their seperate ways? There was lots of territory to spread into and 2000 years could result in a lot of spreading.

Larry P

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Jared and his brother brought others with them. The Book of Ether only tells us about Jared and his Brother's descendents. It tells us about a rather limited geographic area where these decendents lived. We know little or nothing about the other families. Did they meld in with Jared and his brother's family or did they go their seperate ways? There was lots of territory to spread into and 2000 years could result in a lot of spreading.

Larry P

Hey Paul.

Given the funkyness of Jaredite names, I suspect that they were a language isolate in mespotamia, cought within a sea of Akkadian. The BoM gives a description of the destruction of the ruling lineage. But what about the peasants? I wonder what stock Jared and his people were: semetic,indoeuropean,asiatic?

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Hey Paul.

Given the funkyness of Jaredite names, I suspect that they were a language isolate in mespotamia, cought within a sea of Akkadian. The BoM gives a description of the destruction of the ruling lineage. But what about the peasants? I wonder what stock Jared and his people were: semetic,indoeuropean,asiatic?

The very fact that we have Jaredite names and the cult of Nehor surviving into Nephite times requires the survival of at least some Jaredites. They came over at the time of the Tower of Babel. We have no idea what races were present in the fertile crescent at that time. I would like to think some of them were related to the orientals and thus the confusion with blood groups and origen of modern indigens.

Larry P

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