Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Norman's Clincher

While talking with Garth Norman recently he recounted the moment he realized the Usumacinta must be the Sidon. He first determined that Moroni on the east coast just north of the narrow strip of wilderness Alma 50:13 had to be one of the known submerged ruins (such as Tiger Mound) in the Bay of Amatique that straddles the Caribbean coast of Guatemala and Belize.
Proposed Fortified Cities Moroni to Manti and Beyond
There are six serious Mesoamerican Book of Mormon correlations. They are, in order of first publication: Sorenson (1985), Hauck (1988), Allen (1989), Turner (2004), Norman (2006), and Magleby (this blog, 2011). Five of the six place Moroni (white pin) and the narrow strip of wilderness about where they are shown on the map above. The only outlier is Sorenson who places Moroni (black pin) on the Gulf Coast. So, Norman has solid support for his Moroni correlation.

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.