Monday, December 31, 2012

Finding Proof of Book of Mormon in South America

There has been much criticism by critics of the Book of Mormon that no artifacts or “proof from excavations” in the New World, that shows evidence of the Book of Mormon. Actually, that is not true. In fact, there is so much evidence that one can only wonder why so many critics continue to harp on such a useless argument.
But before discussing that, let me ask two simple, representative, questions: 1) In the Bible lands, we can point to the mount of Golgotha and say that is where Christ was crucified. Now, I’m not denying that this is true, however, what “proof” do we have? Sure, a hill outside Jerusalem exists, and it is called Golgotha, but there is no evidence whatsoever that Christ was crucified there; 2) In the story of Samson, we are told that in one fell swoop, he eliminated the entire Philistine leadership, bringing a major setback in their conflict with Israel. It was a turning point, and from that time on, the Israelites started to gain the upper hand. But did it really happen? Could one man actually pull down an entire temple single handedly?
Archaeologists have found two temples, each with two stone pillar bases in the Philistine area at Tel Qasile, Israel. Could one strong man have toppled the entire temple by pulling down pillars that weighed several tons?
As a counter example, outside Cuzco, which we claim was the area of the city of Nephi (later called the city of Lehi-Nephi), there was a magnificent temple once built on the hill overlooking the valley. This temple had:
1) a tall, round tower next to it that was identified by the conquering Spanish when they arrived in the valley (Mosiah 11:12);
2) the Spanish said the tower, about five stories tall, had a top, level floor upon which guards could stand and look out over all the land (Mosiah 11:12);
3) the tower overlooked the entrances to the valley below and tall enough to see invading forces entering the valley or city from some distance away (Mosiah 19:6);
4) Where the Spanish said the tower was located, and which they tore down claiming it was built by the Devil, there remains a huge rock base upon which the tower once stood, an undeniable round stone base.
Left: The remaining base of the tower beside the temple at Sacsayhuaman, overlooking Cuzco valley. Note the size of the tower circle compared to the person standing inside it; Right: The entire base, with support ramps and flanges
This City of Nephi and valley is said to be 3000 years old, having been inhabited by the Marcavalle, Chapanata, Qotakalli, Sawasiras, Antasayas and Wallas cultures, dating it to at least 1000 B.C. Around 600 A.D., came the Wari, Killki, and the Lucro cultures, to finally be conquered by the Inca in 1400 A.D., who renamed the area Cuzco, meaning “navel or center of the world.” In 1533 the Spanish arrived and moved the capitol to Lima. In 1572, Tupac Amaru I, the last Inca dynasty and leader was defeated and executed. Because the Inca remained somewhat in control of Cuzco, with rebellions in 1780, 1814 and 1820, they retained that name. The following year Peru received its independence from Spain and the name has remained, being declared by law in 1983 as the "Tourist Capital of Peru" and "Cultural Heritage of the Nation."
There can be no question that this tower once existed next to the temple that overlooked the valley and city of Cuzco, and dated to Nephite times. Had the name not been changed numerous times through various Lamanite culture conquests after the demise of the Nephites, it may have well remained its City of Nephi or City of Lehi-Nephi name. Yet no one considers this site a match of the Nephite site in the Book of Mormon as the hill outside Jerusalem is considered proof of the Bible.
There are numerous other areas in the Bible lands that cannot be “proved” that Biblical events took place there, but we have long passed that issue after two thousand years of discussion, research and belief. On the other hand, we are only 180 years into the Nephite knowledge, and almost no Nephite research by serious archaeologists and anthropologists who insist in spreading their own, minute vision of the development of the Andean area. Yet, artifact after artifact, excavation after excavation, discovery after discovery, continue to validate what is written in the Book of Mormon.
Still, even today, there are critics of the Samson story. They claim the Samson myth was copied from an icon showing the exploits of the Sun God, with the beams of light from the Sun God’s head being mistaken for long, uncut hair. They say the Hebrew mythologian created a hero-god, whose downfall was brought about by not obeying the Nazirite law never to cut his hair, and that Samson’s name was a variant of Shamash the Babylonian Sun God. It was also the Hebrew name for the Sun, and that Samson was born in Tsorah near Beth-shamash (house of the Sun) which was an ancient center of Sun worship. So what “proof” is there that the Bible event was real? In the end, it is a matter of faith—just as it is to those believing in the Book of Mormon.
In addition, it is interesting that even today science cannot explain the magnificent structures found in Peru, including walls that have been built with stones weighing hundreds and even thousands of tons, that have been assembled and fitted without modern technology that still stump modern engineers. Yet, they have no understanding of who built these magnificent buildings and structures, or exactly when they were built, or how they were built in a land with no record or history of prior development.
Another question could be posed. If we did not have the Bible record, would we know who built Jerusalem, or when it was built, or by whom? If we did not have the written records, though fragmentary at best, of Middle Eastern kings and empires, would we know anything about them? Take for an example:
1. Stonehenge in England. We do not know who built the giant stone megaliths, why it was built, or how it was built. There is no written record to tell us.
2. Catal Huyuk in Turkey. Since there is no written record, we only have speculation as to who they were that built this 32-acre city. We don’t even know what it was called.
3. Mehrgarh in Pakistan. An Indus people who are said to have existed 4,000 years before the first pharaoh of Egypt. We know nothing about them other than artifacts they left behind.
4. Uyghur east Turkistan. A people whose history is unknown and little understood. Who they were is only conjecture, believed to have been the ancestors of the Chinese yuezhji.
5. Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming. At 9,642 feet, on top of the Bighorn Range in Wyoming that is reachable only during the warm summer months, lies an 80' diameter wheel-like pattern made of stones. It is unknown when, why, or by whom it was built.
6. Mystery Hill in Massachusetts. This complex, the largest and most sophisticated of its kind in North America, covers over 30 acres and is composed of monolithic standing stones, stone wall and underground chambers, most of which are aligned to obvious astronomical points. No one knows when it was built, or by whom, or for what reason.
7. Lamokans in Michigan. Claimed to have settled the area 5000 years ago, they are unknown, nor do we know where they came from or exactly when the 2.5 acre site was built.
8. Teotihuacan in Mexico. The mysterious city that is laid out in a grid was built and abandoned before the Aztec settled in central Mexico. The Aztec named the site and guessed about the purposes of the buildings, but archaeologists are only now beginning to understand the importance of the temples here. Who they were or from where they came is unknown.
9. Nazca Lines in Peru. Giant drawings in Peru’s Nazca Desert can only clearly be seen from the sky or the tops of surrounding hillsides, but not from the ground. The drawings depict many different things such as humans and different kinds of animals, but no one knows who made them, when they were made, or for what purpose.
Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards
10. Dolmens throughout the World. In various places from all over the world across the coasts of West Europe—from Portugal to Denmark—and in France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Korea and the American north-east, there are seemingly primitive constructions consisting of a single chamber and built with enormous megalithic stones. Who built them, for what purpose, and when they were built is unknown.
Typically single-chamber megalithic structures, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone that mostly date from 4000 to 3000 B.C. It is unclear when, why, and by whom the earliest dolmens were made
There are far more than these ten unknowns, but the point is, science, including archaeologists, anthropologists, and numerous others, have no idea where so many things came from, who created or built them, or for what purpose. We can only theorize. And one person’s guess is as good as another. The only manner in knowing something beyond guesswork is to rely on written information of the period, cultures, and structures under investigation—like the Bible for the Middle East, or the Book of Mormon for the Andean area of South America.

No comments:

Post a Comment