Friday, September 7, 2018

Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part IX “Predating the Iroquios”

Continuing from the previous post regarding the method of finding ancient arrowheads and artifacts and the lack of such in the area of the hill Cumorah in New York. `
     It is interesting that many of these North American theorists, with nothing to actually show for factual evidence of a Jaredite or Nephite existence, often fall back on the old argument that everything the Jaredites and Nephites built was of wood, and since wood deteriorates, all evidence would have, and has, disappeared, in an attempt to give reason why no such building of huge cities has been found in North America.
Murphy’s Inn ruins, now just an outline and depression of the original foundation area, at Murphy’s Landing, Shakopee, along the Minnesota River. When I was there, this area was overgrown with grass, but the outline was clearly evident

In an area southwest of downtown Minneapolis, now known as River Heritage Park is the colonial settlement of the 88-acre Murphy’s Landing along the Minnesota River, in Shakopee, a town or settlement first named after the Mdewankanton (“dwellers at the spirit waters”) Dakota chief, Ŝakpe II.
    At the time of the first European settlers, Dakota Indians inhabited the valley. Chief Ŝakpe I settled his tribe along the river banks in the 1700s; his village was called Tintonwan, “village of the prairies,” and located east of Shakopee’s present downtown. At one time the Landing boasted a tavern called Murphy’s Inn, a colonial period tavern home of Colonel Murphy. The site’s foundation, which can still be seen as a depression area where the original tavern stood, which is more noticeable even during the spring when it is overgrown with grass and vegetation, lies between the Red Barn Farm, which is about 600 feet to the east, and the actual old town area, about 300-feet to the west, a couple hundred feet south of the old landing on the river and near the old Prairie des Français, the Faribault Trading Post, built in 1844.
    This was the site of the last battle between the Chippewa and the local Sioux of the Mdewakanton Dakota people in the summer of 1868, led by chief Thaóyate Dúta, or Little Crow, though his name translates as “Little Red Nation,” and his father’s name as ”Hawk That Chases or Hunts Walking.” At the time of the outbreak, there were about 600 Mdewankanton Dakota men, women and children living in the village of Tiŋta-otoŋwe, what is now east Shakopee, an area it is believed they occupied for the past 2000 years.
    The point being that in this area of Murphy’s Landing, a complete wood two-story building (house, tavern and trading post) are no longer extant, though its footprint outline is easily discerned. Thus, experts consider the deterioration of a wood building leaving no clue as it its former existence, a poor argument as to why nothing has been found as the North American theorists claim.
    Obviously, wood buildings leave very noticeable evidence, even though the wood is gone, there are still the footprints of buildings, i.e., cleared areas, obvious lines or markings of floor plans etched in the ground, and postholes of ancient structures, all bespeak of such ancient construction. Of course, evidence of chipped stone, pottery shards, and refuse pits are credible signs of past occupation.
Top: The shape of a long gone mansion in an English countryside still evident on the grounds; Middle: Marks carved into the clay caused by buried archaeological remains of tracks leading to ditched enclosures and circular houses, in an Iron Age Roman settlement; Bottom:
Remaining evidence of an ancient civilization in Asia dated to 2500 to 1500 BC

It cannot be overstressed that the North American theorists who claim that no such artifacts and ancient ruins have been found in western New York (or North America for that matter), is due to the Jaredites and Nephites building out of wood, is completely false, disingenuous and totally misleading. The fact that no such building has been found in western New York, where it is claimed hundreds of thousands of Nephites lived for approximately 1000 years, especially sizable finds of artifacts, arrowheads and weapons around the hill Cumorah in western New York, is because the Jaredites and Nephites built of wood that disappeared over time, is totally unwarranted.
    It should be remembered that the largest Nephite cities and towns of the Book of Mormon were of considerable size, some housing tens of thousands of people, such as the city of Nephi and the city of Zarahemla, along with Bountiful in the Nephite Era, and the cities of Moron and Nehor in the Jaredite Era. Yet no such ruins, or even evidence of such ruins, have yet been uncovered that can be dated to either Era. That anthropologists and archaeologists have made claim of people living in North America many thousands of years ago, such evidence, outside the typical scientific tendency to build cities where a pottery shard is found, simply does not exist.
    As a result, such theorists quote a great deal from the dark and sometimes opaque history of the Aquinushioni, who the French called the Iroquois, which is more or less known from the early 1600s, after the French entered the picture and dependable records became available.
Hiawatha, first known Chief of the Aquinushioni or Iroquois

Before that time there was Hiawatha, who was thought to be born in 1525 (some claim 1450, others in the 1300s) and died in 1595, believed to be the co-founder of the Iroquois Confederacy—a fact much recounted in poetry, legend and myth, growing out of the history created in the late nineteenth century, when the Iroquois Six Nations Council asked their six hereditary Chiefs to write in English for the first time the traditional oral history of the formation of the League of Five nations.
    However, this history is so conflicting and ambiguous, filled with disagreements about dates and time frames, that it is hard to accept. Either the Iroquois began in 1390 as some legends claim, in 1450 as others denote, or in the late 1500s, supposedly when Hiawatha is said to have existed. But little credible history is truly known.
    As an example, we have little authentic knowledge until the French and Iroquois Wars (also called the Iroquois Wars or the Beaver Wars), which were an intermittent series of conflicts fought in the late 17th century in eastern North America, in which the Iroquois sought to expand their territory and take control of the role of middleman in the fur trade between the French and the tribes of the west.
    The war began in the early 1640s with Iroquois attacks on Huron villages along the St. Lawrence, with the intent of disrupting the Huron trade with the French. By 1649, the Iroquois had driven the Huron from the lower St. Lawrence into regions farther north, leaving the Ottawa to fill the vacuum in the fur trade with the French.
    This war, and the many that followed over the next three hundred years has led to the existence of fort remains, earth-outlines, and other evidence of defensive positions since the Iroquois themselves built and occupied forts, as well as the French and later British, that no wonder so many exist and so much unreliable facts about their existence and date of construction exists.
    However, what we do not know is what took place before that time, and who, if known, antedated the Iroquois (and Senecas, Onondagas, Tuscaroras, Oneidas, Cayugas, and Mohawks). In fact, Schoolcraft states that this early period “historical mystery which shroud the Indian period, prior to 1492” (Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, American History, Antiquities, and General Ethnology, Erastus H. Pease & Co, Albany, New York, 1847, pvi).
The treaties that continually shrunk the Indian lands, especially those of the Iroquois and the Cherokee. These lands being ceded to the U.S., were at a time when records were kept and there is no indication of any ancient ruins found in the expanding American lands just before and directly after the Revolutionary War

The Treaty of Fort Stanwix in October 1784 was a significant blow to the Iroquois League. The Revolutionary War had significantly weakened the strength of the confederacy, and the negotiations at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix served to further divide them. After the war, the Iroquois never returned to their former influential status
    Schoolcraft also stated (p3) “In the archaeological mystery which enveloped the area…it is believed that the Iroquois displaced an earlier civilization west of the Deowainsta or Stanwix Summit in Western New York, where it is claimed that a higher degree of civilization than any of these tribes possessed, had, at a remote period, begun to develop itself in that quarter.” If that isn’t ambiguous enough, consider his statement regarding the filling in of historical blanks and to build a modern understanding of this opaque and mysterious past, (p4)  “notes and sketches were taken down from the lips of both white and red men, wherever the matter itself and the trust-worthiness of the individual appeared to justify them. Many of the ancient forts, barrows and general places of ancient sepulcher were visited, and of some of them, accurate plans, diagrams or sketches made on the spot, or obtained from other hands.”
    It should be noted that all of this is in regard to those forts, people and circumstances dated before Schoolcraft’s time, but nothing authentically before the 1600s. Arthur C. Parker, in American Anthropologist, provides a more generous dating of about 1400 AD when he writes: “At most, let us say tentatively, that within the well-recognized areas, objects recognized as Iroquoian seem only to indicate a period of cultural fixedness of less than six hundred years” (Arthur C. Parker, The Origin of the Iroquois as Suggested by Their Archaeology, American Anthropologist, New Series Vol18, No.4, Oct-Dec 1916, pp479-507).
    Along this line, David R. Boyle, Canada’s pre-eminent archaeologist, as well as being a blacksmith, teacher and museum curator, lived among the Iroquois in the late 1800s, where he was given the name of Ra’riwahkanoh’nis, in 1892 by the Mohawks who had adopted him into their tribe. The name meant “ambassador” or “one who is sent to do business between the two peoples.” He was provided a pre-history of the Iroquois, which he wrote down, in order to preserve their material heritage. The 150-page manuscript “Conservatism Among the Iroquois of the Six Nations Reserve,” was published in the Annual Archaeological Report for 1898. It is interesting that even though he lived in one Iroquoian cultural center, and was given their pre-history, the actual origin of the Iroquois was a mystery to him.
    Consequently, what is known of this area of New York, and the native American Indians who occupied the areas, especially the Iroquois in and around the Onondaga lands of western New York, is so unknown with “mysterious” beginnings that date to the 1600s, and quite murky and opaque before that time possibly to the 1400s, is unknown in antiquity, and certainly cannot be cited as a source to determine Jaredite or Nephite.
(See the next post, “Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part X,” for more information on the results of the numerous Indian wars fought in and around the area of the Great Lakes and its effect on artifacts found there today)

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