Monday, December 17, 2018

Comparing Mesoamerican, Heartland, and Andean South American Lands of Promise-Part III

Continued from the previous post regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the Mesoamerican and Heartland models of the Land of Promise listed by Michael De Groote, as appeared in the Deseret News.
    Items 4 through 5 were listed in the previous post, and continuing with #5 “People” below:
Heartland. Cultures on the Plains began experimenting with pottery and more sedentary villages about 2,000 years ago (first century AD, the late Nephite period). In fact, the central or heartland of what is now the United States, is resplendent with factual native-American histories that have been handed down from generation to generation. As an example, the groups that came to be known as Apaches, separated from people in the Northern Plains as early as 600 AD. They moved south, sojourning in Nebraska before moving into the Southern Plains between 1450 and 1525.
    By the late 1600s they and their Kiowa allies had staked out a territory ranging from northwestern Texas to Wyoming and the Black Hills. At the same time, Shoshones moved east from the Great Basin to eastern Montana. Separating from the Hidatsas and Missouri River horticulture; the Crows migrated west to the Montana-Dakota area. In all of the known histories of all of the early native-American tribes, there is no record of a high culture living along the Mississippi River or the valleys surrounding it, let alone any solid type construction, nor are there any histories of major settlement areas—rather, the opposite is true, the entire Plains and Heartland area were settled by small groups or tribes that kept to themselves and lived very simple and uninvolved lives, hunting, riding, battling, and seeking food sources. Hardly a Nephite-type lifestyle.
The cliff-sided dwelling of the White House Ruins of the Anasazi or early Puebloans in the Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
As for the American southwest, far beyond the area claimed to be Nephite or Lamanite lands, were the Anasazi, meaning “Enemy Ancestors,” though later became “Ancient Ones, or People,” lived in groups of houses the Spanish later called pueblos, which were originally in cliff dwellings. Their time period is thought to be around 100 BC or 200 AD to 1300 AD, in what is now the Four-Corners area (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona). They were followed by the Navajo, who moved into the Anasazi area and dwellings, and it is claimed the Anasazi developed from the Picosa culture dating back through the Oshara Tradition to the Archaic Period—showing no possible Nephite culture along the line.
An area called America’s Stonehenge in New England, claimed to be built by Celts in ancient history, one of many such claimed artefactual works of antiquity
New England: While pre-Columbian rock tunnels, underground stone chambers, general stonework, walls and other artifactual materials have been claimed to exist in New England, none have ever been found in all of New England according to archaeologists that are actual works of ancient cultures. In fact, Archaeologist Professor Clive Runnels stated, "No Bronze Age artifacts have been found there, in fact, no one has found a single artifact of European origin from that period anywhere in the New World” (Brian Fitzgerald, “Archaeology professor debunks claim for ancient rock structures as pseudoscientific fallacy,” B.U. Bridge Weekly Newspaper, vol.V, No.21, Boston University, February 1, 2002).
    In fact, according to Archaeologist Kenny Feder, a professor at Central Connecticut State University, “the 7,000 Native American and Colonial artifacts that fit nicely into the typical New Hampshire pattern [and] were assembled for various non-bizarre reasons by 18th- or 19th-century farmers” (David Brooks, “Professor at Central Connecticut State University Views Site’s History, Nashua News, New Hampshire Nov 1999).
Great Lakes: Despite a lot of speculation to the contrary, archaeologists have found no evidence of ancient stonework, artifacts, or anything to suggest there were structures or even remnants of cultures of antiquity in the entire area.
South America: Structural evidences of buildings and advanced cultures date back well into BC times, and covering all of the Nephite period. While anthropologists claim there were different cultures over succeeding periods of time, there is no reason not to believe most of these cultures were contiguous, connected down through time form one period of development to another, or what we call “progress” today. In addition, there is evidence all over the Peruvian, western Bolivia, and Ecuadorian areas of fortresses built to guard against southern invasions into their northern lands, as has been well documented in numerous articles on this blog.
The Valdivian Culture expanded from their beginning on Santa Elena Peninsula and extended throughout most of Ecuador, to whom Archaeologists have given numerous names as shown in the map

In addition, there is also strong evidence of a people landing in the north (Santa Elena Peninsula) and spreading out through the area of today’s Ecuador, beginning with what archaeologists call the Valdivian culture, which dates back into Jaredite times. And a much later culture in the south (Peru) which dates to Nephi times. Thus, Sorenson’s statement about the Land of Promise: "There would have to be some remains of Jaredites, of a particular era and scope. There would have to be Nephites distinct from, separate from and opposed to Lamanites. There would have to be Mulekites. And there are, as a matter of fact, evidence for all of these—for such groups, for multiple groups, in Mesoamerica." Actually fits Andean South America far better than it does Mesoamerica.
    Claimed Mesoamerican weaknesses:
1. Metals
Although Sorenson said he has several hundred specimens of smelted metal from Book of Mormon time periods, he acknowledged that most archaeologists would dismiss them. Linguistic evidence, however, finds words for metal that go back to 1,000 B.C. "I see that as a problem for archaeology," Sorenson said.

Response: The fact of the matter is, metallurgy in the Americas dates to its first appearance in South America. According to Mark Aldenderfer, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, “Indigenous Americans have been using native metals from ancient times, with recent finds of gold artifacts in the Andean region dated to 2155–1936 BC” (Aldenerfer, Craig, Speakman, Popelka-Filcoff, “Four-thousand-year-old gold artifacts from the Lake Titicaca basin, southern Peru,” PNAS, vol.105, no.13, 2008, pp5002-5005).
Mesoamerica: However, no evidence of metallurgy has ever been found and authenticated by archaeologists in all of Mesoamerica. According to Dorothy Hosler, Professor of Archaeology and Ancient Technology, who specializes in Mesoamerican archaeology, states thatMetallurgy first appeared in Mesoamerica at about A.D. 800, introduced via a maritime route from Central and South America into West Mexico. During the initial period of the establishment of the technology (approximately A.D. 800 to between A.D. 1200 and 1300) technical links were closest with the metallurgies of Ecuador, Colombia, and lower Central America” (D. Hosler, "Ancient West Mexican Metallurgy: South and Central American Origins and West Mexican Transformations," American Anthropologist, vol.90, no.4, 2003, pp832–855). She also stated of her work in West Mexico: “Initial dates from both the smelting area and from the mounds suggest occupation around 1200–1300AD.”
(See the next post, “Comparing Mesoamerican, Heartland, and Andean South American Lands of Promise-Part IV,” for more regarding the Deseret News article about the pros and cons of Mesoamerican as opposed to the Heartland models)

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