Thursday, November 22, 2012

What is the Basis for the Land of Promise? Part II

Continuing from the last post, where the first eight points that have to be the basis of locating the current location of the Book of Mormon Land of Promise were listed, we continue here with the ninth and further topics:
9) Abundance of precious metals (2 Nephi 5:15; Jacob 2:12; Helaman 6:9) with copper, gold and silver found in single ore (1 Nephi 18:25). Any Land of Promise site would have to have large deposits of precious metals—specifically gold, silver and copper, and even more specifically, all three found in single ore. While such combination of all three is not rare, it is uncommon. Today copper is mainly extracted form ores, such as cuprite (CuO2), tenorite (CuO), malachite (CuO3·Cu(OH)2), chalcocite (Cu2S), covelite (CuS) and bornite (Cu6FeS4). Combined with silver, such copper ore is more common, at least in primary “red-bed type” copper depositing environments, which is by far and away the largest concentration of native copper; however, gold is rarely present in red-bed type copper systems because its ransport (conveying) chemistry is different. In fact, such combination is not found in the United States, though copper and molybdenum (such as in the Bingham Copper Mine in Salt Lake), or copper, nickel and platinum, or copper and manganese, but copper, silver and gold are rarely found in North or Central America according to the List of Copper Mines and Mine Production Reports.
Copper mine production in the United States. Though copper has been found in the New England states of Connecticut, Maine and Vermont; as well as in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and in Micigan, the Great Lakes, Eastern U.S. and the Heartland regions are not significant copper locations as shown by a current map location, which accounts for 99% of U.S. copper production in 2005 (Minerals Yearbook: Copper, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, March 2007)
Yet, in the Andean mountains of Chile and Peru, Copper (Cu) is found as cavities in basaltic lava rocks, and almost always with some amounts of Gold (Au) and Silver (Ag) combined. In fact, silver is normally found unintentionally as a “plus” while mining for copper in the Andean mountains. Often the ore runs 23% copper, with silver and gold as byproducts. Peru and Chile are the world’s leading producers of copper, with Michigan, New York and Connecticut early producers in the U.S., with most of North America’s copper, gold, and or silver found in Montana, Utah, Nevada and Arizona; however, globally, the dominant areas are Peru, Chile and Mexico in the Western Hemisphere.
Gold, Silver and Copper in single ore. Gold is typically a by-product of copper and silver mining—it is so valuable that it is worth the effort to recover even minute amounts from the copper. Silver occurs frequently in nature with lead and/or zinc, gold or copper ore; in fact, more than 80% of the silver found in the southwestern U.S. was a byproduct of copper mining
10) Zarahemla was north of the Land of Nephi and at a much lower elevation (Omni 1:12-13; Alma 17:7-9; 56:24-25). This inarguable fact is found in Peru, with Cuzco (City of Nephi), situated in a high mountain valley in the Peruvian Andes at over 10,000 feet, it is high above the valley to the north and west, which includes Pachacamac (City of Zarahemla) situated at less than 300 feet, and Lima as high as 5,000 feet.
11) A north flowing river that reached the sea (Alma 2:15; 16:6; 22;27,29; 43:22; 44:22; 50:8,11). The Mississippi River in the U.S. flows from north to south, as basically do all the rivers in the Great Lakes watershed, which should discount the Eastern U.S. as a Land of Promise site. In the Andean area of South America, on the other hand, the Urubamba River (Rio Urubamba), a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River, rises in the Andes to the southeast of Cuzco near the Puno Region border, where it is called the Vilcanota River (Rio Vilcanota). In the Sacred Valley, between Pisac and Ollantaytambo, it is also called the Wilcamayu (Sacred River). It flows north-west for 450 miles before coalescing with the lower Apurimac River to form the Ucayali River. In Book of Mormon times, it would have flowed into the sea.
12) Cities buried in the Sea (3 Nephi 9:4,7). Another inarguable fact. It should be kept in mind that no cities buried in any seas, lakes or waterways have ever been found in North America, specifically in the Great Lakes, Eastern U.S. or the heartland. Nor have there been any cities discovered in the few waterways of Mesoamerica. However, in Peru, at least one city has been found submerged in Lake Titicaca, which would have been at sea level and along the coast of the East Sea in Book of Mormon times.
The ruins of an ancient temple have been found by a 30-member team of international scientists and archaeologists about 65 feet beneath Lake Titicaca. After more than 200 dives, the team found a 650-foot-long, 165-feet-wide holy temple, a terrace for crops, a pre-Incan road and a 2600-foot-long containing wall  
13) A land to the north where Hagoth’s ships would have taken thousands of Nephi emigrants around 55 B.C. that shows similar Nephite construction techniques and existence (Alma 63:4-8). Alma tells us that five thousand and four hundred men, with their wives and their children, departed out of the land of Zarahemla into the “land which was northward.” First of all, 5400 men, plus wives, would be about 10,800 people. Then add two children to each couple, and there would be a total of about 21,200 souls. If there were some families with three children, etc., the numbers could reach close to 25,000 people. That makes a very large emigrant population, and since Mormon, some 350 years later, said: “they were never heard of more,” they obviously did not travel into the Land Northward. In addition, the term “Land which was northward,” is a term used nowhere else in the record, suggesting a land different than the Land Northward, or the Land of Promise itself. The only location in the Western Hemisphere that has a very similar ancient civilization recorded to the north of a parent civilization, would be in the Mesoamerican area of Central America. Like the Andean area of South America, the ruins of both sites are extensive, with highways, temples, large cities, and a high level of culture as evidenced by the Spanish conquerors. In addition, the archaeological record shows that the ruins in Peru and the Andes are much older than those in Mesoamerica, and that the ruins in Central America date from about the first century B.C.
(See the next post, “What is the Basis for the Land of Promise? Part III,” for more of the basis to determine the present location of the Book of Mormon Land of Promise based first, on the scriptural record)

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your wonderful insights. Just a note though. The phrase “land which was northward” is also used in Alma 50:11, in reference to the land north of Bountiful, and in Alma 50:29 referring to the Land Northward to which Morianton fled. Alma 63:4 talks about the large company of men (you mention above) that go into the land northward and in verse 5 it says Hagoth built a ship. It seems to me those are 2 separate stories and highly unlikely that those 20,000 or so people went by ship. That was in the 37th year. In the 38th year, the first ship returns (also suggesting that Hagoth had only built one ship that 20,000 people must have walked to the land northward.) Verses 7-8 say the first ship then set out with provisions and were never heard of again. The people who were lost were those on this first ship (and possibly other ships with them) not the original 20,000 that went into the land northward.