Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lehi’s Landing Site

While Jacob speaks of the Nephites being on an isle of the sea (2 Nephi 10:20), and Mormon saying that Lehi landed along the West Sea in the south of the Land of Nephi (Alma 22:28), it is amazing that so many theorists completely ignore such clear and concise scriptural description and willfully claim and express their own erroneous opinions about where Lehi landed in order to justify their own ideas of where the Land of Promise was located.
    Mormon was not ambiguous nor concealing information of this landing when he openly stated: “and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and 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, emphasis added).
    Despite this authoritative and dependable statement, Heartland enthusiast and North America theorist Jonathan Neville, states in a lengthy article entitled “Why Apalachicola, Florida, is plausible for the land of Lehi’s landing,” then gives the reference (1 Nephi 18:23-25), which has nothing to do with location but of what Nephi found on the land initially seen and settled. Interesting that he ignores the more defining statement in Alma 22:28.
Jonathan Neville states that Lehi landed at Apalachicola along the south coast of the Florida panhandle

Now, Apalachicola is a small area on the point of land that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico, along the Apalachicola River, which flows into the Gulf. In his article, Neville states that: “Archaeology, Bees, Honey, Climate, Latitude, Wind Currents, Promised Land (USA), Abundance of Food, Scripture Text, Seeds, No large number of indigenous peoples, and ‘It Just Makes Sense.’”
     It certainly would not have made sense to Mormon.
Traveling north by river 385 miles to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it is claimed Nephi founded the city of Nephi

In addition, Neville states: “The Lehi Landing or the Land of First Inheritance was possibly near Tallahassee Florida. Nephi could then travel up the Chattahoochee River to its source at Unicoi Gap, Georgia. The source of the Hiwassee River could then take the Nephites where the first temple may have been built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”
    First of all, Tallahassee is 22 miles from the Gulf (south), 168 miles to the Atlantic Ocean (east), and with no sea to the west until the Pacific Ocean (2200 miles away). Consequently, how could Tallahassee be the Land of First Inheritance since it is not located anywhere near a seashore.
    In another misuse of scriptural description, Neville states: “The Land in Tennessee is higher in elevation than Zarahemla (Montrose, Iowa) and that is why in the scriptures you will always hear of Nephites traveling “up to” the Land of Nephi and “down to” Zarahemla, as it is a reference to elevation not direction.
City of Nephi to the City of Zarahemla

In order to make this journey, the distance is 625 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee (claimed City of Nephi) to Montrose, Iowa, (claimed City of Zarahemla), with Chattanooga being at 676-feet, with Montrose, Iowa, at an elevation of 531-feet, or a difference of 135 feet, which is about the height of a 13-story building. Now, extrapolating this height difference over the 625 miles horizontal distance, we are talking about 4.75 feet drop per one mile traveled. For comparison, that is about one half the incline of that which separates Salt Lake City from Provo.
     Hardly something that would be singled out when such a difference would be hard to detect at all.
    On the other hand, the distance between Salt Lake City and Park City, is 92.4 feet per mile. Now that is an elevation difference that would be recognized.
    Another example would be that between Cuzco (city of Nephi) and Pachacamac (city of Zarahemla) is 10.6 feet per mile. Thus, we can see that the idea of someone traveling from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Montrose, Iowa, would hardly be described as “going up to” or “going down to,” etc.
    The original people who settled the Apalachicolan area, lived in wigwams, or cabins built of bark which are made round, like an oven, to prevent any damage by hard gales of wind. They make the fire in the middle of the house and have a hole at the top of the roof right above the fire, to let out the smoke. These dwellings are as hot as stoves, where the Indians sleep and sweat all night (John R. Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States, Bulletin 137, Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office, Smithsonian Institution, 1946
Chattanooga, Tennessee, a flat land on limestone, sandstone, and shales on a parallel line with older rocks along a level, flat plain. Lookout Mountain can be seen in the distance

Chattanooga rests on a peneplain that is notable for its extent and degree of perfection on a more or less level land surface produced by erosion over a long period, undisturbed by crustal movement. The onlap of this area of successively wedge-shaped younger rock strata extending progressively further across an erosion surface cut in older rocks. It is generally associated with a marine transgression in which the younger beds overlap onto successively older beds along a flat plain, which was reduced anciently to an almost featureless plain barely above sea level (John B. Reeside, Jr. and William A. Cobban, Studies of the Mowry Shale Contemporary Formations in the U.S., United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington FC, 1960, pp12-13).
    Long before the Cherokee and Creek Indians or early settlers inhabited the Chattanooga area along the bend of the Tennessee River, it was home to an ancient people, called the Mound builders. Since destroyed, at least four distinct mounds filled the valley which now is home to the city of Chattanooga.
Both the city of Chattanooga and all the surrounding land around it for miles and miles, is part of the flat Cumberland Plateau 

The ridge to the southwest of the city called Lookout mountain is at 1850 feet elevation, but only 1174 feet above Chattanooga—the highest point in the area is High Point in Georgia at 2392 feet and 1582 feet above the surrounding land. It should be noted that none of these “high” points are in Chattanooga or between it and Montrose, Iowa. As for the city itderlf, it is on a flat plateau running north, west and south.
    Thus, there is no chance one could “go up” to Chattanooga from Montrose (claimed City of Nephi to Zarahemla). In fact the name Lookout Mountain was given this ridge because one can see from the Rock City Point (Point Lookout) into seven states over the extremely flat ground of the Cumberland plateau that surrounds the city (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina,s South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama).
    Archaeologists have found no evidence that anyone no one anciently had ever lived on or occupied this ridge, and the rest of the area is flat lands, having no place where Ammon could  have come upon a hill and looked down on the Land of Shilom and the City of Nephi.

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