Saturday, September 8, 2018

Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part X “The Mesoamerican Hill Vigia”

Continuing from the previous post regarding artifacts and forts in the ancient Iroquois and Onondaga lands of western New York and the surrounding region, and how the history of all this area is extremely well known back through the early Indian period from at least 1600 forward, and a more murky knowledge from 1400 to 1600s. In this it has been shown that no Nephite or Jaredites period buildings, forts, or other structures have ever been found, identified, or even considered. Nor has there ever been compelling evidence found to substantiate the existence of the New York hill Cumorah area, Indian involvement, or major battles around that hill, either in oral legend or knowledge, nor in written form, nor in artifacts found in quantity to warrant a battle area where some 300,000 were killed in 400 AD, or a million in approximately 600 BC.
    It should be noted that the method of finding ancient arrowheads and artifacts and the lack of such to warrant two wars of annihilation in the area of the hill Cumorah in New York, is both significant and, among numerous other factors, an eliminator of this area being considered as the Land of Promise of the Book of Mormon.
    So if not in New York, then where?
Mt. Vigia in Veracruz, Mexico, as the Mesoamerican hill Cumorah. Note its distance from the area of the Land of Many Waters as suggested by John L. Sorenson

First of all, for items pertaining to the Book of Mormon in regard to ancient arrowheads, artifacts and weapons of war found, specifically around the modern knowledge of a hill Cumorah, it would be important to consider the time frame involved when trying to identify a current location based upon such artifacts. Of course, that would be the period from, 600 BC to 400 AD, and earlier than that for the Jaredites. As for western New York, or Mesoamerica, or Andean Peru (Ecuador), in the area of the claimed hill Cumorah, it would also be of importance to know the area under consideration and its ancient background., as well as the archaeological record of the area under consideration contains a lot of evidence for wooden or stone structures.
    As has been demonstrated in the searching for such ruins, the serious searcher, when evidence is not obviously upon the surface, like in Mesoamerica and Andean Per, uses a systematic survey method to find artifacts, inspecting areas by walking straight lines called transects. They examine the ground surface and dig small holes called shovel test pits at regular intervals along each transect, usually every 100 feet, looking for stone tools, pottery, metal objects such as weapons, and items of personal adornment. In addition, natural objects, such as fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food make up ecofacts, and along with artifacts, make up what should be found around the hill Cumorah where as many as 300,000 Nephites spent up to four years as they gathered in their armies to Cumorah for a final battle. At that time they would have been making weapons, such as arrows (arrowheads), stone or perhaps metal blades for striking (axes, tomahawk, clubs) or thrusting (knives, swords, spears), as well as cooking thousands of fires, eating thousands of meals, and leaving strong evidence of their existence. Obviously, some of these items used in a battle of hundreds of thousands combatants would have left large quantities of not just arrowheads, but other weapons.
    So are there any factual evidences of such being found?
    In addition, it is probably safe to assume that the inland Nephite cities were often located in low plains or high mountain valleys, as well as those of the Jaredites, generally in areas with good agricultural land and close to water. In fact, some areas were occupied over centuries, experiencing periodic building destruction and rebuilding. Some areas left behind evidence of public buildings, palaces, temples and other significant structures. There would also be evidence of gates, walls, and dwellings.
Ancient sites can be found in most countries and on all continents other than Antarctica. Some are noticeable on the surface, others take more investigation—but they are there and tell their story

While some sites might have been small and remained so, others would be quite large, covering hundreds of hectares, with significant stratigraphy—that is, layers or strata in the ground covering time over which artifacts and evidences should abound beneath the ground. Thus, over time both natural processes like the decay of organic matter, and cultural (human) processes, create soil layers. In cross section these soil layers resemble a layer cake, with the oldest layers on the bottom and the most recent layers on the top. This is called the Law of Superposition and is one of the most important principles in archaeology. Stratigraphy is the study of geological or soil layers that is used to determine the relative age of each layer.
    There is also the stratigraphy or layers of refuse pits, which often makes up the bulk of what is found at an ancient site and provides the best explanation of the sites significance. All of this, of course, makes up the bulk of and have the highest potential for visibility and the greatest probability of being located and consistently reported.
    The important point is that it would not be expected for such evidence of this size to be wiped out, even over time, even after several centuries of plowing. In fact, continual plowing, digging, building, and construction would make such past artifacts and evidences easier to find. Thus we find that such sites were reported or recorded by early settlers as they described their land and working it. Consequently, claiming a 2500-year -old site in the populous western New York, or a 4000-year-old site north of there, would be so unique and unexpected that it would be reported quickly in all scientific journals and writings, especially over the internet.
    Consequently, the claim that ancient forts in North America, specifically in western New York, pre-dating the Iroquois Six Nations and their forebears, if any existed would not be hidden away in some unknown and rarely read work, but would be splashed over a wide range of journals and publications.
    Thus, it can be said, as archaeologists have shown, the archaeological record lacks evidence for cities, sedentism, corn agriculture, fortifications, and dense populations during Archaic, Early Woodland, and Middle Woodland times in and around the hill Cumorah. Archaeologically speaking, Cumorah is a clean hill. No artifacts, no walls, no trenches, no arrowheads. The area immediately surrounding the hill is similarly clean. Pre-Columbian people did not settle or build here, and could not be the place of Mormon’s last stand.
    One must look elsewhere for that hill mentioned and described in the scriptural record.
    That brings us to Mesoamerica and the suggested hill or mountain Vigia near Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico. On the DeLange Home Page website, an article “Hill Cumorah and hill Shim Near Santiago Tuxtla,” by George and Eve DeLange appears. They describe the Hill Cumorah of their Mesoamerican model being near another hill, located on the shores of Lake Catemaco in the Tuxtla Mountains, about 35 miles east southeast from Cerro El Vigia called Cintepec (corn) hill in Aztec for many years. It was called Xi'im, meaning Corn In (Yucatec) Mayan. Pronounced Shim In English! It has had that name for centuries! Dating clear back into the time line of the Book Of Mormon! Of course it would be interesting to see how this was arrived, since there are no written records of such areas prior to the Spanish priests teaching locals of the conquered Central America to read and write Spanish, and then write down their histories—which had been strictly oral, mixred with legends and myths, before that time.
The hill El Vigia appears to have little cover, and certainly not a mount that would hide 24 survivors from a crazed, blood-thirsty enemy sworn to kill every Nephite found

Around this area has been found Spanish armor artifacts from the occupation of Mexico in the 1500s, as well as much earlier Olmec artifacts, but little that can be attributed to a vast war in the area of the Nephite or Jaredite era.
    However, we can look at their proposal:
Hill Ramah (present day Vigia) and the hill Shim (hill Catemaco), as well as two other prominent mounts in the (light green) Tuxla Mountain Range of Veracruz, Mexico, claimed to be the Land of Cumorah by Mesoamericanists. Note that to get to the Hill Ramah, Omer would have had to turn (red dotted arrow) west after passing the hill Shim, not east as Moroni states

However, does the scriptural record agree with the location of Vigia?” And what knowledge do we have of the location of the hills Shim and Cumorah, and the place called Ablom?
(See the next post, “Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part XI,” 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, and the location of the scriptural hill Cumorah, hill Shim, and the place called Ablom)

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