Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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

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.
The comments dealing with Mesoamerican strengths were listed in the previous posts; continuing below with the Mesoamerican weaknesses and that of the Heartland:
United States production of gold, silver and copper, as well as other major minerals; Green Circle: Heartland model location; Blue Circle: Great Lakes model location

Heartland: First of all, gold and silver in what is now the United States, was found in the West, and especially the Southwest. As an example, Nevada, Arizona and Texas (4 to 8 billion, totaling 18 billion from 3 states of the overall 74½ billion for the entire country) are the largest producing states of precious metals; Alaska, Wyoming, California, Utah, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Florida (2 to 4 billion, totally 25 billion for 8 states), follow; and Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, George and Alabama bring up the rear (1 to 2 billion, totaling 19 billion for 13 states), with the rest of the states basically non-producers. Thus, very little, minerals are found in the central and eastern states. This means that the western 7 states produce 48 billion, while those states in the Heartland and the Great Lakes model areas, produce 11 billion.
    Second, the Mississippi Culture, which dates from 800 to 1600 AD, with the largest settlement being Cahokoa, flourishing from the southern shores of the Great Lakes and extending south-southwest into the lower Mississippi Valley and to the southern foot of the Appalachians into what is now the southeastern U.S. (Adam King, “Mississippi Period: Overview,” New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2002). The culture also extended westward through trade to the Rocky Mountains. The only metal of any significance in this entire area was copper (Matthew L. Chastaina, et al., “Metallurgical analysis of copper artifacts from Cahokia,” Journal of Archaeological Science, vol.38, no.7, 2011, pp1727-1736).
Great Lakes: This area within the Great Lakes, extending to northern Michigan, Wisconsin and southern Canada was always rich in copper, and much metallurgy of copper dates to well before the Nephite period. However, this area was bereft of gold and silver, while the Book of Mormon states these precious metals were abundant in the land of Promise.
Gold and silver mining in the U.S. in the early 1900s. Note the predominant of mines in the west, and not a single silver mine in the east and only a few gold mines, and none in the Heartland or Great Lakes model areas

South America: As has been reported in this blog on numerous occasions, gold, silver and copper deposits in Andean South America are among the most extensive in the world. To put this into clarity, gold makes up 0.003 parts per million of the earth’s crust, and it one of the rarest elements on the planet. Consequently, Peru (about ¾ the size the state of Alaska), is the sixth largest gold producing country in the world. Peru is also the 3rd largest silver producer in the world; and Peru is the 2nd largest producer of copper in the world, with Chile the largest producer—combined they produce 6 times the production of the next largest, or 3rd largest producer, China.
2. Directions
The East Sea in the Mesoamerican model is more northeast, and the West Sea (Pacific Ocean) is southward.

Response: As stated earlier, the two seas in the Mesoamerican model are not northeast, but due north (Gulf of Mexico); northeast is the Caribbean Sea, which Sorenson does not name. The other sea is due south (Pacific Ocean). In addition, there are no four seas in Mesoamerica, which the scriptural record clearly states (Helaman 3:8), nor is Mesoamerica an island as Jacob clearly states (2 Nephi 10:20). Further, there is no truly narrow neck of land, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec barely noticeable from a land view in 600 BC, at 135to 144 miles across.
    Moreover, the main problem with Mesoamerican directions, and a total disqualifier for this model is the directions of the land itself. Mormon, with his insert on directions, makes it clear that the layout of the Land of Promise is along a northward-southward plane (Alma 22:27-34). In this layout, Mormon states that the Land Southward begins with the Land of First Inheritance, Land of Nephi, Narrow Strip of Wilderness, Land of Zarahemla, Unnamed Land (3 Nephi 3:23), Land of Bountiful, Narrow Neck of Land, Land of Desolation, Land of Many Waters/Land of Cumorah, and the Waters of Ripliancum. All of these lands were along a northward-southward plane as Mormon clearly states. Mesoamerican, on the other hand, is along an east-west plane, to which Sorenson tries to explain away but cannot, as any map clearly shows.
John L. Sorenson’s map of Mesoamerica as his Land of Promise; this map is used by most Mesoamericanists. Note the directional indicator in the red circle to the right, showing the direction of north

Heartland: Most Heartland and Great Lake maps of the Land of Promise place these lands out of order. As an example, Rod Meldrum, in his Heartland Model, places the Land of Bountiful bordering the Land of Nephi, with the Land of Zarahemla to the east of Bountiful, an area called Lamanite Lands to the east of the Zarahemla, and the Sea South to the east of Bountiful, and far to the north of the Land of Nephite and the Land of First Inheritance.
    Great Lakes: Phyllis Carol Olive’s model of the Great Lakes, has a Narrow Neck of Land as a mere moraine footpath over a marshy, shallow waterway that could be crossed in minutes from one side to the other. In addition, her West Sea South, which is where Lehi landed, and described by Mormon as “on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 22:28).
Top: Phyllis Carol Olive’s map of her West Sea (Lake Erie), and her “West Sea South,” and lands of Zarahemla and Nephi Bottom: Showing the land-locked Lake Erie, except for the Niagara River which flows into Lake Ontario. No ship could have reached Lake Erie under and circumstances until numerous locks were built in the 1800s, allowing access to it –yet this is where Lehi is supposed to have landed
As can be seen, Olive has placed her West Sea in the location of Lake Erie, a land-locked lake far inland from any sea, and connected to Lake Ontario by the narrow and shallow Niagara River, causing the lake to have no access to the sea since it was not possible to sail between the two lakes until the Welland Canal with eight locks was built in 1829 to raise ships another 326-feet from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, taking about 7 hours to transit the 27-mile canal. In addition, Lake Ontario is not only 243 feet below Lake Erie, but 326 feet above the St. Lawrence River, requiring seven locks to raise vessels from the river to the lake.
    Thus, in 600 BC, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario had no access to the sea and no ship could have possibly sailed from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, as theorists would have us believe. However, facts show that this would have been impossible under any conditions or circumstances. Consequently, Lehi could not have reached Lake Erie by ship, though we are told in the scriptural record that Lehi landed on the sea to the west and south of the Land of Nephi.
South America: As has been reported here many times, it follows completely the north-south orientation of the Land of Promise, from landing along the coast of central Chile, to Nephi’s trek northward to Cuzco, and Mosiah’s further journey northward to Zarahemla; then northward to the Land of Bountiful, the narrow neck at the Gulf of Guayaquil, and all of Ecuador as the Land Northward. In addition, it was once an island, as Jacob mentions and surrounded by seas to the north, south, east and west.
(See the next post, “Comparing Mesoamerican, Heartland, and Andean South American Lands of Promise-Part V,” for more regarding the Deseret News article about the pros and cons of Mesoamerican as opposed to the Heartland models and South America)

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