|Proposed Fortified Cities Moroni to Manti and Beyond|
Ca. 72 BC Captain Moroni fortified a string of cities at key points along the southern flank of Nephite lands. They ran from Moroni on the east Alma 50:13 to Antiparah on the west Alma 56:31. Going from east to west, the cities were Manti, Zeezrom, Cumeni, and Antiparah Alma 56:14. Westward from Moroni the next fortified city was Manti which was near the head of river Sidon Alma 22:27. Antiparah, Cumeni and Zeezrom were in the south west quadrant of Nephite lands Alma 52:11, Alma 53:22. The Sidon itself was in the center of Nephite territory Helaman 1:26. Ca. 72 BC the greater land of Zarahemla north of the narrow strip of wilderness extended from sea to sea Alma 50:11-13. So, moving westward from Moroni, Manti was the next in line of Captain Moroni's fortified cities. It was not far from the head of the river at the approximate center of the greater land of Zarahemla. The Usumacinta fits this scenario beautifully and for Norman, that was the clincher.