Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Mesoamerican Chronological Alignment with Book of Mormon Events

This article is a work in process documenting remarkable temporal concordance between Mesoamerican events known to science and historical events recorded in the Book of Mormon.
  • Ceramics first appear in the archaeological record in Oaxaca/Puebla ca. 2,000 BC. See the blog article "Early Settlement Sequence." The Book of Mormon describes the Jaredites in an upland land of Moron early in their history Ether 7:5-6.
  • Ceramics show up in the Olmec heartland (Veracruz/Tabasco) ca. 1,500 BC. See the same blog article "Early Settlement Sequence." The Book of Mormon describes Jaredite movement out of Moron into coastal lowlands midway through their history Ether 9:3.
  • Ca. 1,000 BC maize cultivation in the Maya lowlands became much more productive which led to urbanization and ceremonial architecture. This is the beginning of the middle Pre-classic when Maya centers such as Ceibal, Cuello, Blackman Eddy, Nakbe, and Cahal Pech began. See the blog article Takeshi Inomata. We can now add Aguada Fénix to this list of sites in the Maya area that began ca. 1,000 BC. See Takeshi Inomata, et al., "Monumental architecture at Aguada Fénix and the rise of Maya civilization," Nature (2020) June 3, 2020. This is close to the time when virgin land was no longer available in the land northward (Ether 10:21) and Jaredites first began traveling into the land southward to exploit its rich resources Ether 10:19.
  • Ca. 550 BC the formerly Olmec Izapa experienced an influx of new artistic and cultural influences that created the vibrant monumental art the site is known for today. This is just when Laman and Lemuel were establishing what would become Lamanite civilization in the land of first inheritance. See the blog article "Izapa."
  • The eastern portion of the Olmec heartland declined ca. 400 - 350 BC, and the capital, La Venta, was abandoned. See Richard A. Diehl, The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004) p. 82. This correlates well with the Jaredite demise. Coriantumr, lone survivor of the Jaredite civil war, spent nine moons with the people of Zarahemla prior to the arrival of Mosiah I who discovered the Mulekite capital ca. 200 BC Omni 1:21.
  • Ca. 100 BC imposing Teotihuacan began its rise to prominence and some of its early inhabitants came from the Maya area of southern Mesoamerica. See George Cowgill, "State and Society at Teotihuacan, Mexico" in Annual Review of Anthropology, 26 (1) (1997) pp. 129-161. Teotihuacan was a cosmopolitan society with people from Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, and the Maya world. The Tetitla murals are in a Maya-like style. Edwin Roman in a presentation at the VII Convención Mundial de la Arqueología Maya, Antigua, Guatemala, February 15, 2019. Ca. 55 BC the Book of Mormon describes the first of many large-scale Nephite migrations into the land northward Alma 63:4.
  • Takeshi Inomata and associates, in their Ceibal-Petexbatun Archaeological Project (CPAP), discovered large-scale defensive structures that were built ca. 75 BC. This is precisely the time Captain Moroni was fortifying Nephite cities through greater Zarahemla. See the blog article "75 BC."
  • Popocatépetl between Puebla and the Valley of Mexico and Tacaná on the Mexico/Guatemala line both erupted ca. AD 30. See the blog article "Volcanic Eruptions Near the Time of Christ." The Book of Mormon describes regional destruction in the lands southward and northward at the Savior's death 3 Nephi 8:11-12.
  • Takeshi Inomata and associates identified an upheaval and decline they call the "Preclassie Pan-regional collapse" ca. AD 125 - 175. El Mirador is the type site for this Preclassic collapse. See Inomata, et al., "High-precision radiocarbon dating of political collapse and dynastic origins at the Maya site of Ceibal, Guatemala" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 114 (6) (February 7, 2017) pp. 1293-1298. This is precisely the time when Lamanites appear again in the Nephite record 4 Nephi 1:20 after the great period of peace that followed the Savior's appearance in land Bountiful. At a presentation he gave in Antigua, Guatemala on February 15, 2019, Edwin Roman said in the pre-classic collapse populations fell, emigrants left, there were droughts, and territorial conflicts began to disturb former tranquility.
  • On January 16, AD 378, Teotihuacan military emmisary Siyaj K'ak' presided over the death of the king of Tikal, Chak Tok Ich' aak, who ruled from ca. AD 360 (David Stuart, Marcelo Canuto, Tomás Barrientos, Alejandro González, "A Preliminary Analysis of Altar 5 from La Corona: in The PARI Journal, Vol. XIX, No. 2, Fall 2018). Eventually Sijay K'ak' installed a new ruler loyal to Central Mexico and ushered in a new political order in the Maya lowlands that lasted 150+ years until the first Tikal-Calakmul war began in AD 537. This is the famous "entrada" recorded on El Peru Stela 15, Tikal Stela 31, Bejucal Stela 3, and Naachtun Stela 24, among others. This precisely matches the time Mormon was preparing the Nephites for the final battle at Ramah/Cumorah where they were annihilated by a combined army of Lamanites and Gadianton Robbers. See the blog article "Robbers and Lamanites."
  • The Maya were building defensive walls in the early Classic (AD 250 - 500). By AD 500 warfare was nearly continuous with shifting alliances. Edwin Roman, presentation at VII Convención Mundial de la Arqueología Maya, Antigua, Guatemala, February 15, 2019. In the preclassic (500 BC - AD 100) settlement in the Buenavista Valley was in the lowlands around Laguna Palmár. In the classic (AD 250 - 850) settlements moved up in the hills. People were worráied about defense. The presence of Teotihuacan (ca. AD 378) coincided with a change from peace to war. Stephen Houston, "Recovering a Lost World," lecture given at BYU October 28, 2019. Ca. AD 330 Mormon said there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land, and it was one complete revolution Mormon 2:8. Ca. AD 401 Moroni said the Lamanites were at war one with another, and the whole face of the land was one continual round of murder and bloodshed, and no one knew the end of the war Mormon 8:8. Ca. AD 410 Moroni said Lamanite wars were exceedingly fierce among themselves Moroni 1:2.