Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feedback Questions

Most recent update: April 22, 2013
Dr. Joseph L. Allen, long-time tour guide and author, through his editor, Ted D. Stoddard, has been kind enough to furnish a list of 22 questions from his perspective as an advocate of the Mezcalapa-Grijalva/Sidon correlation. See the article "Wandering River" in this blog to understand why the term Mezcalapa-Grijalva is more accurate than simply Grijalva when referring to the river that flows through the central depression of Chiapas and down El Sumidero Canyon. The questions:
  1. How do we know the river Sidon runs south to north? Answer 1.
  2. Is there a name correlation between the Old World name Sidon and either the Usumacinta River or the Grijalva River? Answer 2.
  3. Richard Hauck proposes in his writings that Coban, Guatemala, is Manti where the headwaters of the Sidon began. However, neither the Usumacinta River nor the Grijalva River runs by Hauck's candidate for Manti. Why? Answer 3.
  4. Proponents of the Grijalva River point out that the wilderness of Hermounts is between the Uxpanapa and the Chimalapa regions of the Tehuantepec wilderness, which is west and north of the central depression of Chiapas (the Grijalva River) as required by the Book of Mormon. They also point out a name connection with Hermounts and Tehuantepec Answer 2. Where is the proposed wilderness of Hermounts located by adherents of the Usumacinta River? Answer 4.
  5. Alma crossed over the river Sidon and traveled east to the valley of Gideon. Later, he crossed over the river Sidon and traveled west to the land of Melek. The Allens (Dr. Joseph L. and his son, Blake J.) have proposed the Comitan region as the valley of Gideon and the Tonala region as Melek. Where do adherents of the Usumacinta River place Gideon and Melek? For Gideon, see Answer 5a. For Melek, see Answer 5b.
  6. Dr. Bruce Warren spent nine years working with the New World Archaeological Foundation, primarily in the Chiapas valley. He identified pottery similarities with the upper Grijalva and the highlands of Guatemala. Has the same pottery connection been discovered along the Usumacinta? Answer 6.
  7. Fun for Less takes tours along the Usumacinta River, proclaiming that Yaxchilan may be the city of Zarahemla. The Allens write in Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon that "No Nephite ever lived at Yaxchilan." Who is right? Why? Answer 7.
  8. Jerry Ainsworth accuses the Allens of not being current in their research in analyzing the river Sidon. Response?
  9. Jerry Ainsworth states that the city of Zarahemla was not built along the banks of the river Sidon. Any comments?
  10. Joe Anderson challenges the Allens on the migration route from Nephi to Zarahemla, stating that the distance from Kaminaljuyu to Chiapas is too great. Any comments? Answer 10a & Answer 10b (see point #24), both of which are based on the rule of thumb metric determined in Answer 10c.
  11. It appears that Dr. John Sorenson, Dr. Bruce Warren, and Dr. Joseph Allen are all in agreement that the Grijalva River is a better candidate for the Sidon than the Usumacinta. What is the primary driving force among some other scholars in stipulating the Usumacinta as the Sidon? Answer 11.
  12. The Allens propose a name correlation with the city Sidom along the Grijalva Answer 2. Where do adherents of the Usumacinta place the city of Sidom? Answer 12.
  13. What is the relationship with the Jaredite land southward (wilderness of wild animals) and the two rivers under question?
  14. Where did the sons of Helaman fight in defending the west sea, south? Answer 14.
  15. What is the relationship between the narrow neck of land and the river Sidon? Answer 15.
  16. What is the relationship between the narrow strip of wilderness and the river Sidon? Answer 16.
  17. Preclassic battles along the Sidon suggest numerous Nephite population centers in close proximity to the Sidon. Why are such Preclassic population centers not found in close proximity to the Usumacinta River? To what extent are they found in close proximity to the Grijalva?
  18. The city of Zarahemla was probably in close proximity to the river Sidon. Why have no credible sites that satisfy criteria for the Preclassic city of Zarahemla been found in close proximity to the Usumacinta?
  19. To get to the city of Zarahemla, the Limhi expedition probably expected to locate the head of the Sidon and then follow the Sidon to the city of Zarahemla. Had they located the Sidon correctly and followed it to the Preclassic city of Zarahemla, they would have encountered thousands of people who spoke their same language, who called themselves "Nephites," and who could have clarified all issues about the city and the land of Zarahemla. With these facts in mind, why should anyone conclude that the Limhi expedition traveled along the Grijalva rather than the Usumacinta?
  20. Why did the New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF) select the central depression of Chiapas rather than territory along the Usumacinta River as the primary location for most of its archaeological endeavors? Why doesn't the NWAF "come clean" in admitting its biases in favor of the Grijalva rather than the Usumacinta as the preferred candidate for the river Sidon?
  21. To what extent does the archaeological research of the NWAF support the central depression of Chiapas as the heart of the land of Zarahemla and the Grijalva River as the river Sidon?
  22. During the Preclassic Period, dozens of villages and cities were located in relatively close proximity to the Grijalva River in the central depression of Chiapas. Why do proponents of the Usumacinta River as the river Sidon tend to overlook these Chiapas villages and cities in their model for Book of Mormon geography? How do Usumacinta proponents explain the extensive Preclassic sites in the central depression of Chiapas? Why are not the remains of comparable Preclassic villages and cities found in close proximity to the Usumacinta?