Friday, January 3, 2020

The Death Knell for Mesoamerica - Part IV

Continuing with the reason for Mesoamerica’s death knell to the theorists Land of Promise model according to the fact their model does not match the descriptions of Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni. In earlier posts we discussed Nephi and Jacob’s comments, ending with Moroni’s use of Jaredite directions.
Some of the islands in the Indonesia Region and their square mileage

Returning for just a moment to the idea of an island, and many people writing in telling us that an island would not have been big enough to cover the events of the Book of Mormon, we need to look at world island locations in size, keeping in mind that Israel is 8,522 square miles:
• Taiwan 13,974
• Sri Lanka 25,332
• Ireland 32,595
• Iceland 39,769
• Cuba 42,426
• Java 49,536
• Honshu 88,016
• Japan145,936
• Madagascar 226,658
• Borneo 287,001
• New Guinea 303,476
• Aztec Empire 80,000 (estimate)
• Mayan Empire 67,658 (estimate)
• Total Mesoamerica 147,658 (estimate)
• Land of Promise (South America) including both Land Northward and Land Southward
Certainly, there would be sufficient room for the events described and the population indicated in the scriptural record.
    Now, let us take a look at another Jaredite comment from Moroni’s writing that has puzzled and confused various theorists over the years and that is the comment about another sea: “And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10:20).
Divide: In 1828 meant “to part, or separate, into two parts.“
    Thus, to “divide the land” is to separate it into two parts, and Mormon tells us that the Land of Promise was separated into two lands when he says: “there being a small neck of land between the Land Northward and the Land Southward” (Alma 22:32). And that small neck, which he calls a “narrow neck” elsewhere (Alma 63:5), was the width that a Nephite could travel in a day and a half (Alma 22:32).
    So both Moroni and Mormon tell us that the sea that divided the land was in the same area or region as the narrow neck of land and where the land was separated. There is only one way to interpret this and that is the sea that surrounded the island Land of Promise also cut into and separated the land into two parts. Thus, it would look something like this:
How the Sea divides the land in this example of an island divided into two parts

It should also be noted that there is no area in Mesoamerica where the sea divides the land. However, this most definitely is in Andean Ecuador where the Bay of Guayaquil divides the country of Ecuador from the country of Peru. 
    Another death knell for Mesoamerica!
    This is also true of the Great Lakes, where there is no sea or ocean that divides the land, for despite opinions to the contrary among theorists who simply have not bothered to search out the facts behind their model, no ocean vessel like Nephi’s could have reached the Great Lakes (Sea West) via an inland waterway from the Gulf of Mexico or the eastern seaboard, since no river flowed deep enough that far inland to have allowed penetration of the lakes until the Corps of Engineers in the 18th through 20th centuries when they dug new routes and deepened existing rivers to allow for ocean traffic further inland.
Nor could the lakes have been reached via the St. Lawrence river because of the extensive rapids past Montreal until 1824 when the Canadian government dug a channel around the city, and more importantly, until the St. Lawrence Seaway was built to allow for a vessel to be raised through a series of eight locks, canals and channels the 243-feet to Lake Ontario and then through the Welland Canal and its eight locks up to the 569–feet of Lake Erie (beyond that is Lake Michigan at 577-feet and Lake Superior at 601-feet beyond he ninth lock.
    Thus, it would be impossible for a sailing vessel in the 6th century BC, being “driven forth before the wind,” to have reached any of the Great Lakes “driven forth before the wind.”
    A death knell for the Great Lakes as well!
    Another comment made by Nephi is that when he landed and they set up camp, tilled the ground the planted seed, that they traveled around the area to see what could be found. In addition to the animals in an adjacent forest, he writes “we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper” (1 Nephi 18:25). He also mentions copper as to what he taught his people to work with once they were in their established home after leaving his brothers. He wrote: “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15).
    Nephi’s grand-nephew, Jarom, repeats that find: “And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war”(Jarom 1:8).
Ancient copper tools and weapons

The Jaredites also had copper: “And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound” (Mosiah 8:1; see also Ether 10:23), and the Nephites had so much copper, it was taxed by king Noah (Mosiah 11:3), and adorned the magnificent buildings he built (Mosiah 11:8,10).
    The point is, while copper is the third most important of all ore listed numerous times in the scriptural record, typically after gold and silver, in Mesoamerica, there is almost no copper found in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador with a small amount found in Mexico by comparison to the amount of copper found in Andean Peru and Chile—the latter being the largest producer of copper today, at 5.7 million tons, Peru third at 1.6 million tons (only China is ahead of Peru, with 1.75 million tons). In addition, Argentina is 16th in the world, Bolivia 41st and Colombia 51st. Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador are not listed in the top 52 countries of the world in copper production, and Mexico is ranked 12th, with at least half of that not in Mesoamerica.
    Another death knell for Mesoamerica!
    In gold and silver, both abundantly found in the Land of Promise, is almost non-existent in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the Great Lakes region, eastern U.S. and the heartland U.S. is found in Andean Peru in abundance: Gold (Hearst Magazines 2015) Peru 150 tons and Chile 14th with 50 ton making them combined the 4th largest producer, tied with the U.S.), and (Mesoamerica) Mexico about 11th tied with Brazil with 60 ton; Silver (Hearst Magazines 2015) Peru 3rd at 3800 tons, Chile 5th at 1600 tons, Bolivia 7th at 1300 tons, making them a combined 6700 tons and the largest producer of silver in the world. (Mesoamerican) Mexico would be 5th at 2205 tons.
    Another death knell for both Mesoamerica and Great Lakes/heartland/eastern U.S.
    Nephi tells us that he taught his people how “to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15), in fact Moroni tells us the Jaredites were working with “gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work” (Ether 10:23). 
    Thus, in the Land of Promise, metallurgy was practiced from the time of the Jaredites down through the time of the Nephites, however, archaeologists have never found evidence of metallurgy in Mesoamerica before 900 AD, though Sorenson claims it was 600 AD. Either way, there was no evidence of metallurgy in Mesoamerica until more than 200 years after the Nephites had been destroyed. Yet, full metallurgy, including smelting and various metals being purposely alloyed, has been found in Andean Peru dating to at least 2155-1936 B.C. In fact, archaeologists claim that Mesoamerica and Western Mexico learned of metallurgy from the ancient Ecuadorians and Peruvians.
    Another death knell for Mesoamerica.
(See the next post, “The Death Knell for Mesoamerica – Part V,” for more on how Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni disqualify Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise)

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