|Stephen C. Compton's important new|
2011 book about Olmec origins
Stephen C. Compton is unusual among contemporary scholars – a man at home in both the ancient Old World and the New. He spent a great deal of time as a young person with family members in Peru and Guatemala, which gives him an instinctual feel for things Olmec, Mayan, Teotihuacano and Aztec. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and Northwestern, which equip him to handle sources from ancient Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia with facility. After a 14 year research odyssey wandering around the Near East and Mesoamerica, he has published a well written, extensively documented, abundantly illustrated 344 page volume that changes the paradigm for Olmec origins. Looking at both cultures from a variety of sub-disciplines, Compton concludes that the enigmatic Olmec in ancient Mexico derive from the equally enigmatic Hyksos in ancient Egypt. Scholars will have difficulty faulting either his sources or his research methodology. Lay readers will enjoy his fast pace and provocative style. Serious students of The Book of Mormon will likely re-consider some previously held notions such as the date of the Flood (which impacts the date of the Tower of Babel), the broad equals sign we have tended to posit between the Jaredite and Olmec civilizations, and the origin of the Quetzalcoatl feathered serpent motif. Compton is at his best dealing with ancient languages, glyphic systems and alphabets, a topic that should interest many students of the Nephite text.
Highly recommended. Available in both paperback and Kindle editions.