“Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere’s past, and the Society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.” – National Geographic Society (August 12, 1998)
“The Smithsonian Institution has never used The Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.” – The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. (1996)
“Neither the Society nor any other institution of equal prestige has ever used the Book of Mormon in locating archaeological sites. Although many Mormon sources claim that the Book of Mormon has been substantiated by archaeological findings, this claim has not been scientifically substantiated. However, several locations in the Bible have.” – National Geographic Society, Harry Palmer (September 29, 1981)
“This letter is to inform you that it is our considered desire that my own name and that of my wife and daughter be removed from the membership rolls of the LDS Church. We, D. J Nelson, Catherine Nelson, Kim Cherry Nelson do freely and with full understanding of the implications of my actions request our names be removed from the records of the LDS church.” Mormon Egyptologist Professor D. J. Nelson (as reported by Walter Martin)
So. I can sit with an Archaeologist, and talk about the first and second Temple in Jerusalem. I can talk about both Jerichos. I can talk about Bethel. I can talk about Nazareth.
Can you sit and talk to an archaeologist about Zarahemla? Where is it? How many people really lived there? Was it a dozen families? A hundred? Ten thousand families? Two Hundred Million people?
Where are their coins? Where are the limnals of gold and the shums?
Coins are funny things. They get lost. They get dug up. I used to have a coin with the face of the Roman Caesar Domitian on it, until someone stole it – which greatly annoyed me, as my father had given it to me!
The point is, if a nation uses coins, they’re usually one of the first things dug up, among belt buckles, shoe latchets, pottery, arrow tips, schimitars, and shields. If your nation does metallurgy, it’s found pretty quickly.
Well, we’ve found Native American arrowheads, pottery, and spears. The Arrowheads and spear heads are made of flint or bone.
Just what you’d expect if you were a school dropout only knowing European history, and mentally compressing all of history into a rapid space right into Middle Eastern times, and assuming that life and customs in the Middle East was exactly the same as in Europe. And that life in America must logically be the same. Why, everyone acts like Europeans, right?
Shields and schimitars are unknown among Native Americans. They’d never seen them until the Europeans arrived. Matter of fact, open war among most Native tribes was rarely done. It took a GREAT deal of convincing, arguing, boasting, and other traditional means among for example the Iriquois to get them to dance the war dance – and then it was usually limited to a single punishing action, and then done.
The Cherokee were capable of long-drawn out warfare, but they too tended towards a long period of hostility, and isolated single violent actions.
I’d dare say that to call Native Americans “war like” and “savage” is probably the most hostile slanders one can make!
It takes cultures who have histories of warfare of long, drawn out battles to see a need to invent a sword. And then it takes a period of some time with swords to create shields. A nation that has histories of limited actions, without battles that rage for days and weeks, with sieges and famines, will never develop swords – let alone schimitars, which is a specific curved blade sword.
The tendency for a nation to develop swords is always to develop a two-edged blade first, and then eventually to move towards a single edge. Why? You’ve got to fiddle with “Do I want it sharp?” or “Do I want it strong?” It requires a spine on a sword to make it both. The French developed their first sword, and their remedy was to drop it and step on it after their first kill to straighten it out, then back into the battle. Alas, the nation they were fighting had long since figured the spine thing out, and wiped out those french armies.
Schimitars are a late invention, not appearing until the 14th or 15th century. Simple math has us taking 600 and adding it to 1500 and coming up with a gap of 2000-2100 years between the Book of Mormon and the invention of the schimitar.
Schimitars were not used by the Jews. The traditional weapons was spears, archery, and two edged sword. The Israeli team of a shield bearer armed with only a short knife and another with a spear was almost devastating in combat. When you were fighting a press of bodies trying to “rush and crush”, you dropped the spear and pulled the two-edged sword, similar in style to the Roman short sword but longer. It went to “hack and slash”, and foreign armies retreated with what little numbers were able to escape that alive. Similar to battling the Scottish Highlanders and their claymores – you had to be aware that the blade cut laterally, and then back. Simply swing it back and forth, and anyone and everyone in front of you was hacked to pieces. Or the butterfly like figure 8 cuts, done with the twist of the wrist – two swordsmen back to back could simply shred charging crowds.
Jews of the divided kingdom era would have tossed aside the schimitar with a look of disdain. “Only one edge? No thank you. And why the curve???”
Why am I going through all of this?
Because all of this is listed in the Mormon “holy books”.
And every scientific expedition launched by Mormon archaeologists to find any location in the Book of Mormon all failed to find one scrap of evidence.
Geographically, the Book of Mormon fails miserably.
“No Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography. Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful (nor any other location for that matter) were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but we have already seen that twenty years of such an approach has left us empty-handed.” [Dee F. Green, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, pp. 77-78]
The fastest way to apostasy in the Mormon “church” is to study either Egyptology or Archaology. Both courses of study yield vast dissapointments.
Another point would be that Native Americans do not use coins. It was a series of barter, and certain items among certain tribes took the place of barter for certain ceremonial obligations. How much did a father want as a bride price for his daughter? Three bucks? The use of a skin from a male deer is literally where Americans get their slang for the US dollar – although in a derogatory sense. YOU try hunting three male deer with a bow and arrow in one day. See how easy that is. To equate that to “one dollar” is a little insulting.
But as usual, I’m digressing.
I’ve got a fascination with history, especially military history, and I’m sure it shows.
One last point, and I’ll leave the Archaeology issue, although logically I should sit here and insist on examples of any of this being found anywhere in the US. Yes, go ahead and show me an example! I’m DYING to see an ancient steel Schimitar from 600 BC! Let me see that!!!
Or perhaps a shoe latchet… Jews didn’t have those until more towards the Antiochus period, in the intertestamental era. They had sandals. Look that up in the Bible, it makes that clear.
Here’s my last point – horses…
They weren’t introduced into America until the Spanish arrived. Oops!
The Native Americans did not have the wheel, either. Wow. Not looking good for the book of Mormon.
Look, if we can find pottery and bone going back apparently to when the Native tribes first got here – but no coins or metal – then they had no coins or metal.
But we can find all that in other places in the Middle East. We’re findind the remains of settlements of the Canaanites now, and remnants of their weapons. If we can find remnants of the Canaanites, then by golly we should have found Lamanite or Nephite coins or weapons! Chariots? They’re pretty big… we should have found them by now.
Hey, wheels are pretty handy… if they had chariots, they should have said, “Hey, I like those round things! They’re pretty handy! Much easier than dragging tree limbs across the ground!!!”
The evidence is not there.
Hey, how about showing me the foundations of the Nephi Temple? It was after the manner of Solomon’s Temple, so it should be roughly the same size…
Of course, there’s problems with that in that Nephi only had a few family members – yet Solomon required over 180,000 men to build his temple. I suppose it’s the kind of error you can make if you’re writing fiction or making things up as you go… but in a “holy book” we would expect it to be factual.
The number of Jews supposedly arriving in America was too few even to quarry and cut the blocks to build a temple with, let alone assemble it. Or cut down all the trees, and mill that into wood sheets. It would have taken centuries with a population numbering less than a thousand, and the numbers presented in the Book of Mormon is far less than that.
Show me the remains of the temple of Nephi. Show me the remains of the roads leading to it. Show me a Schimitar. Show me a chariot.
You’ve got nothing.