Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Mulekites and Jaredites Did Not Sail West to the Americas – Part III

Continuing from the previous post with the reasons why the Mulekites did not sail west from the eastern Mediterranean coast and why sailing westward against winds was both a tricky and difficult.

Ultimately, however, the Phoenician network began to wane during the sixth century BC allowing other powers such as the Greeks, Romans, and Carthaginians, to replace them in the eastern Mediterranean as the dominant merchants. However, Carthage still controlled the Central and Western Mediterranean.

Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the north and the south. Built between Sicily and Tunisia, all ships crossing the sea had to pass between them, affording Carthage great power and influence


Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world. It developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire which dominated large parts of the Southwest Mediterranean during the first millennium BC, including strict proprietary claims on the Central and Western Mediterranean and the lands and islands of their colonies.

Both the Phoenicians and later the Carthaginians were Thalassocracies, that is their dominion over the seas, or a seaborne empire that resulted from their trade, transferring ideas and culture from port to port where they traded. In this way, the Phoenicians became very popular all around the Mediterranean. As Phoenicia waned, the Carthaginians came to power, much like the Phoenicians had replaced the Minoans as the leading traders of the Mediterranean.

This path to power around and upon the inner sea was all based on trade—not exploration other than looking for new areas to settle and open up trade with the new colony. However, the Phoenicians did not belong to a single nationality or country—they called themselves by the city in which they lived, which is what allowed Carthage to develop independent of the Phoenicians, though they were originally of Phoenicia.

The Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were a warrior society where fighting was a part of life, and most famous for two—their deadly chariots and iron weapons


Toward the end of the sixth century BC, during the period of harsh Assyrian rule the Phoenicians in the east fell completely under their control. At this time, the Assyrians dominated all of the Levant, Egypt, and Babylonia. In 572 BC, the empire began to collapse. The Phoenicians continued to trade, but encountered grueling competition from Greece over trade routes, and as the 4th century BC approached, the Phoenicians' two most important cities, Sidon and Tyre, were destroyed by the Persians and Alexander the Great.

The Phoenician situation began to change in the 6th century, with the previous colonies in the western Mediterranean all gradually brought under the control of Carthage. United as one maritime empire, Carthage’s pooled resources could be used for greater ventures.

The Carthage trade with Cornwall for the tin they then traded with the eastern peoples beyond the Mediterranean


One of these was the Carthaginian development of the tin trade with Cornwall in Britain—which they jealously kept secret; another venture was to go to war to protect the Carthaginian sphere of influence and monopoly on trade, which they did with the Greeks who tried to infringe upon the Carthaginean-controlled western Mediterranean.

The Greeks were halted in 535 BC after the battle of Alalia and the westward expansion of Greek colonies past Massalia was halted. A treaty was concluded with Rome in 509 BC which recognized separate spheres of influence and trade for Carthage and Rome (Polybius, The Histories, translation Mortimer Chambers, Twayne Publishers, New York, 1966, vol.3, pp22-23).

In 500 BC, the Greek, Hecataeus, knew of islands beyond Gaul where tin was obtained. Pytheas of Massalia travelled to Britain around 325 BC where he found a flourishing tin trade, according to the later report of his voyage. Posidonius referred to the tin trade with Britain around 90 BC, though Strabo about 18 AD did not list tin as one of Britain's exports. This is likely because Rome was obtaining its tin from Hispania at the time.

The Babylonians (red lines) controlled the land around Jerusalem as they lay siege to the city—little chance of escape to the west to obtain a ship. Black broken line indicates the only way out of the city, which is basically the course Lehi took


Thus, before the time Mulek left, at the time Mulek left, and following the time Mulek left, Jerusalem were controlled by the Assyrians, under siege by the Babylonians, and also under siege by the Romans, following when Mulek left Jerusalem. Specifically in 600 BC, Nebuchadnezzar controlled the entire Levant in the eastern Mediterranean, particularly along the coasts to block any Israelites from escaping his siege. The Egyptians, Palestinian coastal groups, and the Phoenicians, the latter having ships in the eastern Mediterranean, were under attack and control of the Babylonians and would not, and could not, have sailed away with someone of the Jerusalem royal family or any other Jews. The Babylonians simply would not have allowed it—this is particularly pointed out in their chasing Zedekiah halfway across Palestine to Jericho where he and his many sons were captured. Nebuchadnezzar’s horrific treatment of the king and his sons should suggest to anyone that he and the Babylonian army were dedicated to eliminating the entire line of Zedekiah. 

In addition, even when Mulek escaped from Jerusalem, he could not have gone north since that was directly into the heart of the Babylonian army; and he could not have gone south into Egypt since the Babylonians controlled those routes, blocking Egypt, their enemy to the south, from aiding those in Jerusalem. Mulek’s party could not have gone east, for that would have been into the Judaean Desert and hills, and the empty desert beyond.

Both Lehi, and later the Mulekites took the only course available to them to go south and west out of Jerusalem and along the Red Sea


Their only course was the inland Frankincense Trail that Lehi had earlier taken, going southeast and then down toward the Gulf of Aqaba, far to the east of Egypt. That would have taken them to the same location of Bountiful where Lehi went and from which both departed by ship.

Thus, Mulek and his party could not have sailed west through the Mediterranean as claimed by many theorists. 

As for the Jaredites, they were in barges that were moved by the waves (ocean currents) which do not make 90º turns, such as sailing south from the Med then turning west at the Canary Islands. Or, once reaching the Caribbean the barges would have hit the first island the current reached--certainly there was no way to steer around the island and no way to reach the Central American mainland. In addition, they were submerged from time to time by the ocean and then resurfaced, somewhat like a submarine. How this was done is an extensive part of the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica? Which covers such things as the type of barges and how they were built, when they traveled, what was their course across the land and what were the waters they crossed and the sea in the desert where they were told not to stop.

They built barges to travel across the Great Deep, or the deep ocean, that would submerge from time to time and how this was done when the only resource available at the time was wood, is all covered in the above book. 

The ocean current through the Sicily Channel between Carthage and Sicily flows from west to east--causing the Jaredite barges to move against the current,opposite of the scriptural record

It should be kept in mind that there are no direct currents from the east coast (the Levant) to the Straits of Gibraltar to have moved barges driven by waves. There are numerous circular currents in this Sea, and specifically in the narrow passage known as the Sicily Channel, the sea moves from west to east--against the barges and ships trying to reach Gibraltar. While ships could have  manuevered this channel with expert seamanship, the barges could not have done so. 

Thus, we see that neither the Mulekites, nor the Jaredites before them, could have gone west across the Mediterranean and then the Atlantic Ocean to reach Mesoamerica or North America.

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