Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stages and Periods in Archaeology-Part I

One of the major problems any of us face in writing about the Land of Promise, is that we are trying to fit the Lord’s time frame within an erroneous man’s view of the ages. This is compounded because the idea that this Earth is 4.55 billion years old is so deeply ingrained within the public conscience, and the tens of thousands, or hundreds of millions of years many science disciplines use to measure their studies and findings, make it difficult for the reader to follow two separate lines of aging that reasonably should be expected to appear the same. 
An archaeological team uncovering the remains of an actual city and the artifacts found there
    Take the idea of archaeological dating of events that start out supposedly dating actual artifacts, development sites, etc., then switch in mid stream to diffusion and cultural change ideas. Consequently, we find reports switching from a radiocarbon dating age of, say, 500 B.C., to another date of, say, 10000 B.C., the first based upon dating of an actual artifact, the latter based on the cultural stages and periods of archaeology belief.
    One of the problems created by this type of thinking, is that one date is factual (physical evidence exists for the radiocarbon-dated time), though it may well be in error (Carbon-14 based atmospheric dates); however, the other is totally based on a claim of diffusion (before the Ceramic Age, their was a Pre-Ceramic Age, and before that a Stone Age, etc.) as though all discoveries and settlements had to pass through those stages. While this may be defendable in European development, it certainly would not be in the Americas when three groups of people (Jaredites, Mulekites, Nephites) all first settled in the Americas having come from an already established cultural development that saw the building of great ziggurats (pyramids) with the Jaredites, and huge stone buildings and temples for the Muekites and Nephites.
The Jaredite era had built giant ziggurats (tower of Babel); Lehi and Nephi came from Jerusalem, a city built of stone and Solomon’s temple
    These three groups did not first settle in the Americas in the Stone Age cultural development stage where they did not know or understand the making of ceramics—they were already far advanced as a people. As Nephite wrote:
    And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands” (2 Nephi 5:15-17).
    However, archaeologists insist on measuring every find, artifact, settlement, building, etc., against this belief in an existing dogma—the Method and Theory in American Archaeology, to create a standard cultural stage setting for the Americas of stages and periods, no matter what they find in the ground.
Pre-Columbian Time Periods, meaning before Columbus (pre 1492 AD), but it is used to refer to time periods in the history of the Americas before any European influence
1. Lithic Stage (before 8000 B.C.)—People migrated to and spread throughout the Americas anywhere between 50,000 to 17,000 years ago, referred to as Mastodon and Bison antiquus (pre-Clovis human activity);                                  
2. Archaeic Stage (8000-1000 B.C.)—Small tool tradition (Chan-Chan culture), development of agriculture, organized societies;
3. Formative Stage (1000 B.C. to 500 A.D.)—Development of villages, ceremonial centers, monumental earthworks;
4. Classic Stage (500 to 1200 A.D.)—Great civilizations, beginning of urbanism, craft specialization and beginning of metallurgy;
5. Post-Classic Stage (1200 A.D. to contact with Europeans)—Complex urbanism, militarism, secularization of society.
The so-called Beringia Land Bridge, to which there is no physical evidence of its existence—one can only wonder why people in a very unpopulated time and area would choose to leave warm climes to travel into the snow and ice of the Alpine Glaciation regions (which extended into Colorado) in search of…what? Another warm clime?
    This includes the study of pre-historic/Pre-Columbian and historic indigenous American peoples, as well as historical archaeology of more recent eras. It is based on standard archaeological thinking and dogmas, such as:
A. The “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” is the movement of people across the Beringia Land Bridge from Siberia to Alaska for the settlement of North, Central and South America (that Alpine glaciation, i.e., glaciers that move down from high valleys into lowland areas, blocked the path seem not to bother the scientists—without any scientific basis, they simply create a so-called open path or corridor along this route because they need one);
B. The “pre-Columbian era” incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents (Of course, there is absolutely no evidence of any movement of people, settlements, or human activity in this area above or below the oceans);
C. Spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period (50,000 to 10,000 years ago) to the time of European colonization during the Early Modern period (even in written histories, verbal legends, or mythical traditions of any society can be found evidence of such a movement).
Alpine glaciation, which the scientists claim lay between Asia and the Americas at the time, would have presented a very formidable barrier to people who, at the time, would not have had any way of knowing what was on the other side of the thousands of miles separating the two warm climes
    As can be seen, archaeology assumes without question that there was a settlement in the Americas before 8000 B.C. (Upper Paleolithic period), which would make this at a minimum of 2000 years before Adam left the Garden of Eden, and a maximum of more than 40,000 years before the Earth was created (organized). It should not take much to see why there is confusion—archaeologists say a people settled in an area in 2200 B.C. and we call them Nephites, who would not have been in the area before 600 B.C.
    So why the difference? Because they use Carbon-14 dating based on a 4.55 billion year old world, and we use the scriptural record. To the scientist, these two lines of reasoning are incompatible, but to the Lord, both, when evaluated correctly, are the same.
    To further understand this approach, we need to know more about how the stages and periods science (archaeology) uses actually work within their reasoning:
    According to John Howland Rowe, (Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol 18, No 1, Spring, 1962, pp40-54), "the stages and periods in archaeological interpretation are different kinds of units used to organize archaeological evidence so that it can be interpreted in terms of cultural change."
    From the viewpoint of the archaeologist, it is understandable for it gives them a field upon which to communicate and place and arrange their findings; however, to the layman, it is completely misleading and disingenuous, creating beliefs and understandings that leads a person away from factual truth and the higher level of understanding their world and its history.
(See the next post, “Stages and Periods in Archaeology-Part II,” for more information on how the concept of archaeological stages and periods create an entirely different view of both our world, and its past, and lead us away from the truth of our heritage)

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