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. 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. 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.
  • On January 16, AD 378, Teotihuacan military emmisary Siyaj K'ak' presided over the death of the king of Tikal. Eventually he 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, 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."