Monday, February 20, 2017

Answering a Reader’s Eastern U.S.Land of Promise – Part XV

Continuing with David McKane’s comments on our blog and his maps and claimed area for the Land of Promise in the Great Lakes area. Over the past few weeks Mckane has tried to dominate our blog with his comments, most of which are both erroneous and clear misunderstandings of the scriptural record, and the events that have and are taking place in South America as well as in his model area of the United States.  
    Mckane writes: “North America has a civilization that made metal breastplates during the time of the BOM south America nope.”
 This is labeled a Hopewell copper breast plate. Note how thin this plate is—it is doubtful it would have provide any protection—looks more like a ceremonial or decorative thing to wear. The labeling, by the way, is of an LDS site, Book of Mormon Archaeology run by David Brosnahan, a Eastern U.S. LOP theorist, and posted and labeled by Brian Bender, a medical student in Georgia, not a professional archaeologist

    Response: McKane states numerous things that he says existed in North America and not in South America, but clearly he knows neither point. According to Wayne W. Van Horne, in a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society, Beloit, Wisconsin, March 20, 1993, entitled “Warclubs and Falcon Warriors: Martial Arts, Status, and the Belief System in Southeastern Mississippian Chiefdoms,” the weapons were basically of wood. He states: “During the Mississippian and early historic periods Southeastern warriors used the warclub as their primary weapon…types [were] a stick that is one to two feet in length with an inset projection at the striking end made from a flint blade, animal tooth, or bone or antler fragment.
Top Left: An Atassa warclub; Top Right: A globe-headed warclub; Bottom: Falcon Warrior Club. While these are all deadly weapons, they are not made of metal like the weapons of the Nephites

    The second type is a globe-headed warclub one to two feet in length with a thin handle and a ball shaped head that sometimes has an inset projection on the striking surface. The third type is the atassa, a wooden broadsword that is one to three feet in length and is shaped like a European broadsword, or falchion, without a hilt. The atassa was the most prevalent form of warclub in use in the protohistoric period” – and it was of wood!
    As verification, the New Georgia Encyclopedia has an article about the archaeology of the ancient Indians in the Georgia area entitled “Indian Warfare,” which discusses weapons and describes "the atassa, which was actually a wooden sword shaped like a pirate's cutlass."
    Nobody is going to have a metal breastplate and a wooden sword! Since we have verification of the wooden swords, and not of the breastplate, then the latter idea being of metal is in question!
    Christopher Columbus recorded of the weapons used by native Americans: “The Admiral ordered such things to be taken as he judged most handsome and valuable, such as . . . long wooden swords with a groove on each side where the edge should be, in which the cutting edges of flint were fixed with thread and bitumen (these swords cut naked men as if they were of steel)” (Samuel E. Morison, Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, Heritage Press, New York, 1963, p327).
    In Mesoamerica, there were both wood-bladed swords, and stone-bladed swords (Kurt Ross, ed., Codex Mendoza: Aztec Manuscript, Miller Graphics, Barcelona, Spain, 1978, pp97-8; Antonio de Solis, The History of the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, trans. Thomas Townsend, Woodward, London, 1724, book V, chap. 9).
It should also be noted that metallurgy experts have long known that metallurgy began in the Western Hemisphere in Andean Peru long before elsewhere, and where gold, silver and copper were in great amounts, unlike the United States east of the Rockies, and especially east of the Mississippi. It should be noted that Chile and Peru, who are world leaders in all three ores, gold, silver and copper, is a huge center for these ores where the Eastern U.S. is not.
    On the other hand, in the scriptural record's seven mentions of breastplates, six of them (4 in Alma, 1 in Helaman, 1 in 3 Nephi) are not associated with the words “metal, copper, brass” or any kind of “ore” in any way. These breastplates could have been made out of wood or heavy material. As an example: “And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing” (Alma 43:21). However, in Mosiah, Limhi’s 42-man expedition into the Land Northward, came back with “breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound” (Mosiah 8:10). The so-called Hopewell breastplates, though copper, do not fit this description at all.
    So we know that the Jaredites had copper and brass breastplates, but we have no suggestion the Nephites did, though it could be assumed they did even though not specifically mentioned.
    McKane writes: There is a current that travels south around the east side of Africa and a north current around the west side of Africa. But it really doesn't matter the direction of currents because both the Nephite and Jaredite boats were driven by wind.
    Response: Every once in a while, McKane says something that is so unbelievable it strikes at something a very, very young person with limited knowledge would blurt out. As an example: “But it really doesn't matter the direction of currents because both the Nephite and Jaredite boats were driven by wind.”
    My friend, wind is the driving factor, along with gravitation, earth spin, etc., that drives ocean currents. To paraphrase a child diddy: “Where the wind goes, the current is sure to follow.” He needs to understand ocean current, winds, the Coriolis effect, the gravitational spin and its effect on northern and southern Hemisphere currents, etc., before he starts discussing them. Where currents move is where any ship or barge, “driven forth before the wind” drives it. Until diesel engines were invented and placed on ocean-going vessels, the currents of the ocean were the most important thing a mariner had to know. McKane's lack of knowledge in this is just another reason why he makes so many mistakes about placing his Land of Promise where he does.
Mocambique and Benguela Currents. This map, by the way, is drawn by Oceanographers who study this area, there are other more detailed ones available, but this is simple enough it takes no descriptions

    As for the currents around Africa, these two currents McKane mentions do not curve around the cape, but are struck there by currents coming up from the south, and the one from the Indian Ocean side is driven back to the southeast, as we have written about numerous times. This is not rocket science, but simple Oceanography 101—McKane might want to look into things before he comments about them. Nothing in the scientific area of this world is simple—everything is interconnected and everything has a cause and an effect, etc.
    McKane writes: “The Nephites building structure was wood so in that case there would be little remains.”
    Response: This is a favorite mantra of theorists of the Heartland, Great Lakes and Eastern U.S., since there simply are no remains of large cities, buildings, temples like Solomon’s, etc.
However, and we have written about this scores of times over the years and shown pictures of Hebrew/Jewish building tendencies, accomplishments, and why they built with stone.
But Mormon even tells us that the Nephites used stone: "Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
    McKane writes: “Using mounds was a everyday thing for a Nephite. Earthen Mounds were around EVERY major Nephite city.”
    Response: This is a misleading comment. From 600 B.C. until 72 B.C., a period of 528 years, there is no mention of any such thing as mounds, heaps of earth, etc. In 72 B.C. Moroni “had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8, emphasis added). In that same year, we find that Moroni “did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites” (Alma 50:1, emphasis added).
Stone walls that were meant for defensive purposes would not be stacked stones, as found in a few places in the U.S., but walls that would withstand an attacking army bent on destruction, like the Lamanites. Such walls are all over Andean Peru, surround every ancient city, and several important and strategic places across the land

    From these two scriptural references, we find that 1) Alma built up heaps of earth to protect his armies, and 2) built “walls of stone around all the cities and the borders of the land, in fact all around the land”; then 3) he dug up heaps of earth around all the cities. So Moroni protected his cities with stone walls and heaps of earth. Now, with the time elapsed, 2000 years, these heaps of earth around cities are not seen in many places, but the stone walls are in South America (none in the eastern U.S. around cities or city-type areas. And most of the “mounds” in the eastern U.S. were not defensive, but were burial mounds or some type of decoration.
(See the next post, ”Answering a Reader – Part XVI,” for more information on David McKane’s model around the Great Lakes of his Land of Promise and our responses to his comments on our blog)

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