Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Jaredites and the Valdivia – Part II

Continued from the previous post, regarding the connection between the Jaredite kingdom and that of the Valdivia Culture of South America.
Jared and his  brother were righteous men who lived in the area of Babylon, perhaps in the vicinity of Ur, in Mesopotamia

As shown in the previous post, it is obvious that the roles of Jared and his brother denote an obvious separation of responsibilities:
1) Jared the (political or ruling) leader of the entire group, and
2) The Brother of Jared, the spiritual leader of the group.
    Therefore, in Jared we see from the beginning that his role was one of leadership in instructing his younger brother to inquire of the Lord for them and their friends (other families within Shem’s lineage [Genesis 11:11,17] not connected to the rebellion of the Tower). While it was the brother of Jared who spoke out against their descendants naming a king (Ether 6:23), it was Jared who, as the leader of the group, made the decision for the people to choose a king (Ether 6:24).
    Along this seashore, after the barges were readied, the Jaredites “got aboard…and set forth into the sea” (Ether 6:4). After 344 days being “tossed on the waves of the sea by the wind” (Ether 6:5), the barges, sometimes on the surface, sometimes being “buried in the depths of the sea” (Ether 6:6), finally landed. Since the facts of the scriptural record, and the winds and currents of the oceans, suggest that this route was the same that Lehi would later take in a sailing ship, the Jaredites would have landed along the Santa Elena Peninsula, the western most jutting of land along the west coast of South America, an area that is known for floating flotsam washing ashore, as the Jaredite barges would have done. This sixty-mile stretch of seashore—from the big, crashing waves coming ashore at Santa Elena Point, just beyond Salinas near the western most land, to the quiet waters of Varadero, just west of Arenas Point to the east, is where the waves, wind and currents would have brought the barges safely to land and where the Jaredites came ashore (Ether 6:12).
    Santa Elena (e‘lena), originally called Sumpa, is referred to as “The origin of Ecuadorian Culture,” and is where the most important and best documented archaeological site in the country was found. This so-called “pre-ceramic” site was first excavated in 1977 when Olaf Holm the Director of the Anthropology Museum of Ecuador asked investigative anthropologist Karen E. Stothert to explore the site. She found evidence of the first Ecuadorian culture, including numerous artifacts, remains of homes, a garbage dump, and a cemetery of about 200 people. She named this culture “Las Vegas,” and because they found no ceramics at the site, archaeologists claimed this was a forerunner culture of the Valdivia, which were a ceramic culture, though other than not finding ceramics, he two cultures appear very similar.
Emillo Estrada discovered the Valdivia culture site in 1956, where Archaeologists unearthed ceramics, tools, shells, bones and two burials sites near the city of Manta, Ecuador

The Valdivia, discovered twenty-one years earlier than the Las Vegas Culture, was uncovered by archaeologist Emilio Estrasda, which he believed directly followed the Las Vegas and were one of the oldest cultures that could be found across the Americas. He believed the Valdivia derived from the Las Vegas as a result of pottery and various other items discovered, which pottery was dated to 2700 BC, and unique to the Valdivia, which was at first made for practicality and therefore very rough; however, became splendid as artisans gained experience, creating mortars and bowls, using animals as their inspiration for their designs. It might be of interest to know that eventually, an earlier pottery was found buried deeper beneath the earlier ceramics found, referred to as the “San Pedro” pottery, and was more primitive.
    It is important to note two things about anthropology and archaeology:
1) they always believe that there was a forerunner of whatever discovery they find and are working on, i.e., the Valdivia are “one of the oldest cultures of the Americas,” and not stated as the oldest because there had to be someone before them—so they find evidence of a site without finding ceramics, and consider them a separate culture than the Valdivia and the precursor to the Valdivia, though they occupied the same exact area; and
2) the radiocarbon dating archaeology uses, referred to as the Carbon-14, or 14C, which was created by Willard F. Libby, a physical chemist, in order to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples. It should also be noted that Libby, in his autobiography, admitted that his original findings showed the earth was less than 20,000 years old, but that he knew that such a result must be wrong. Consequently, he changed his findings to an equilibrium model, which changed the dating process to millions of years, instead of thousands, because “everyone knew the Earth was much older.”
    It is also important to note that anthropologists claim: “what became of the Valdivia culture remains a mystery today, as there is no sign or record of the culture migrating, nor was a definite end to their existence ever found—they were just lost to history.”
    Obviously, the same thing can be said of the Jaredites, that is, after their final battles of the Jaredite civil war, and Coriantumr killed Shiz, the Jaredite kingdom disappeared, becoming lost to history.
    However, there are certain aspects of each of these civilizations that are noteworthy and seemingly connected:
1. First Settled:
Jaredites: They were the first occupants of the Western Hemisphere after the Flood of which we know; they settled in America around 2100 BC.
Valdivian: When the Valdivia first appeared is unknown, though it is believed they first appeared between 3500 and 1800 BC; they are considered to be the oldest culture that can be found across the Americas.
2. Landing: 
Jaredite: They landed on the west coast of the Land of Promise, and their first settlements were along the west shore.
Moving up the (solid blue arrow) Humboldt Current, where it flows outward in the east arm of the South Pacific Gyre and starts back toward the west across the Pacific in its circuitous route around the southern Hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean, the (dotted blue arrows) drift currents continue northward and flow into the Santa Elena Peninsula between the western tip and the Guayaquil Gulf, forcing the Jaredite drift barges into shore along the calm waters of Santa Elena beaches—the yellow circles show original Valdivian occupation sites; red circle shows the Guayas River Estuary where they also settled, as they expanded inland and to the north

Valdivian: Their initial settlements and beginning took place along the west coast of present day Ecuador. If they arrived by ship, it would have been from the sea to the west, or the Pacific Ocean—otherwise there is not speculation as to how they showed up in Santa Elena.
3. Time span:
Jaredites: About 1500-1600 year history. 
Valdivian: About 1700 year history. 
4. Knowledge of their Culture:
Jaredites: Other than what is found in the Book of Ether of the Book of Mormon, the Jaredite civilization remains a mystery. Who was Jared? Who was his brother? What was the makeup of the 22 families that were their friends? Were they of the same generation of Jared and his brother? Were they the grandchildren of Eber? 
Valdivian: Little is known of the Valdivian civilization. Their pottery was considered to represent the earliest pottery in the New World and was unique to the Valdivia culture. At first it was made for practicality and therefore very rough and formed from gray and red clay, but as the years went on, pottery became a more refined skill. Ceramic works became art pieces with the attention to detail becoming more noticeable, with artisans becoming more artistic.
(See the next post, “The Jaredites and the Valdivia – Part III,” for more on the connection between the Jaredite kingdom and that of the Valdivia Culture of South America, and the continuation of this list of comparisons)


  1. It would be interesting to see if any dna tests have been conducted on Valdivia culture burials.

    We need someone like Brien Foerster to be in that area investigating Book of Mormon evidences.

    Brien on Youtube

    1. Brien is very good at recognizing the differences between the original "megalithic" builders and the later Incas. He also recognizes the cataclysm that happened between those two cultures. But his assumed dating of the original builders is about 10,000 years off.

      But if you cut him some slack on the dating (he doesn't know the extent of the cataclysm) there is no better way to feel like you're actually walking through those ancient sites than watching his videos. He's done a fantastic service to those of us who can't get there ourselves. I don't know if he'd ever consider the Book of Mormon connection.

    2. A while back Brien came out with his theory that the Paracas people -- who had elongated skulls, red hair, and very different dna from others in South America, and that were in Peru until the Nazca people destroyed them around 100 BC-- originally came from around the black sea area. He based this on the dna studies that had just been done of Paracas people remains and how they compared to dna of groups around the world. Only a few institutions around the world work with ancient dna.

      I sent him an email and explained some of Del's model of the Jaredites coming from Mesopotamia to the same coastal area where the Paracas lived, and gave him links to this site. The wife of Brien responded and thanked me.

    3. Awesome! Paracas / Nazca are far south of the proposed Jaredite landing (about 1200 miles south). They are in the land Southward, but I did think about Jaredite origins when I watched his little video on the DNA tests and he mentioned the Black Sea.