Sunday, August 9, 2020

Aguada Fénix Update

Takeshi Inomata has the most exciting site in Mesoamerica, Aguada Fénix on the San Pedro in the municipality of Balancán, Tabasco. 

LiDAR Image of Aguada Fénix

It sits at the nexus of Olmec and Maya civilizations. Inomata also has an enviable publication record. His major article in Science, the #2 science journal on the planet (impact factor 41.845), appeared in 2013: "Early Ceremonial Constructions at Ceibal, Guatemala, and the Origins of Lowland Maya Civilization." His major article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), often considered the #3 science journal in the world (impact factor 9.412), appeared in 2017: "High-precision radiocarbon dating of political collapse and dynastic origins at the Maya site of Ceibal, Guatemala." His major article in Nature, the #1 science journal on earth (impact factor 42.778), appeared in 2020: "Monumental architecture at Aguada Fénix and the rise of Maya civilization."

I heard Inomata at BYU in March, 2016 and wrote an article about him entitled "Takeshi Inomata." Soon after his PNAS article appeared, I summarized an important potential Book of Mormon connection in the article "75 BC." When Aguada Fénix began receiving major publicity following the 2019 SAA meetings in Albuquerque, I tried to make sense of it in an article entitled "Usumacinta Olmec." I heard Inomata at Hamline University in October, 2019 and blogged about his presentation in an article entitled "Light from Saint Paul."

Today, I listened to a Zoom presentation Inomata gave in Spanish to interested Tabasqueños on July 17, 2020. This is what I found interesting:

1. Construction began at Aguada Fénix ca. 1,000 BC just as maize agriculture was becoming a major factor in the local Maya diet. Prior to this time, the proto Maya were hunter-gatherers who subsisted largely on fish, turtles, shellfish, and other riverine resources. Ceramics also appear in the Maya area for the first time ca. 1,000 BC.

2. Aguada Fénix is not Olmec in the San Lorenzo/La Venta cultural tradition. Its monumental platform, though, had strong influence from San Lorenzo.

3. The Middle Formative Chiapas pattern (E Group without platform), described by BYU's John Clark, implies lively communication between the Grijalva basin and Ceibal in the 1,000 - 800 BC timeframe. The following images are screen captures from a YouTube video of a Zoom presentation, so pardon the grainy resolution.

Sites Inside the Blue Polygon Show the Middle Formative Chiapas E Group Architectural Pattern.

4. One way to measure a structure is the volume of material it contains. By this measure, Temple I at Tikal and Temple 26 at Copan are tiny. The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan contains over a million cubic meters of material. La Danta at El Mirador has 2.8 million cubic meters of material. For years, archaeologists thought La Danta was the largest structure in Mesoamerica. Now we know that Aguada Fénix, with 3.8 million cubic meters of volume in its main platform, is the largest structure in the Maya area. The meseta (plateau) at San Lorenzo, it turns out, contains almost 7 million cubic meters of material. The Pyramid at Cholula is another very large structure.
Material Volume of Major Mesoamerican Structures
The fact that the 4 largest structures in Mesoamerica were all built in the Pre-classic is frankly astonishing. No archaeologist would have believed this a generation ago. It dovetails nicely with the Book of Mormon, though. The Nephite text describes the Jaredites as the greatest nation on earth in their era Ether 1:43.
5. San Lorenzo collapsed ca. 1,100 BC. Aguada Fénix and Ceibal began ca. 1,000 BC. Aguada Fénix collapsed ca. 800 BC just as La Venta was reaching apogee. La Venta collapsed after 400 BC and Ceibal continued on into the Classic.
Pre-classic Timeline.
I have not yet visited Aguada Fénix. John Clark has. I asked him the burning question everyone has on their mind: "Who were these people and how did they appear on the scene literally out of nowhere and build a main platform 1.4 kilometers long X 400 meters wide requiring 3.8 million cubic meters of fill material? John was non-commital. Were they Olmec survivors from the collapse of San Lorenzo who migrated east? Perhaps. The Aguada Fénix platform derives from the earlier San Lorenzo model. Were they antecedents of the early Maya at El Mirador? Perhaps. San Lorenzo had no pyramids. Aguada Fénix had a few small pyramids. El Mirador had spectacular pyramids.
6. Aguada Fénix had an E Group and a platform. This combination Inomata is calling the Middle Formative Usumacinta pattern. About 15 sites between Aguada Fénix and Villahermosa, Tabasco have this pattern. Aguada Fénix is the largest of the 15. Based on his experience at Ceibal, Inomata fully expected to find a centerline cache in the Aguada Fénix E Group. His team did.
Centerline Cache from Aguada Fénix E Group
These polished stone hachas confirmed a cultural relationship with Ceibal which prior to this discovery had the earliest E Group known from the Maya area.
The new "Tren Maya" being developed as a major tourist attraction by the Mexican Government will pass right by Aguada Fénix. Covid shut down the 2020 field season, but Inomata and his wife, Daniela Triadan, will be back in future years with their exciting Middle Usumacinta Archaeological Project.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

FOMO in the Book of Mormon

Fear of Missing Out, FOMO, is referenced frequently in contemporary popular culture. It is an anxiety that others may be enjoying something while you are on the sidelines, not participating. It can lead to obsessive social media consumption as victims try to stay abreast of other's lives. 

Photo Illustration by Gary Meander, Duluth News Tribune

Marketers cleverly exploit FOMO to incite a herd mentality to purchase the latest iPhone, watch SuperBowl ads, etc. The term "FOMO" entered our lexicon in 2004 in a Harvard Business School publication. The idea, though, it is as old as the human race. In earlier years it went by the name "keeping up with the Joneses." I have seen it many times in my lifetime as televisions, microwave ovens, the Internet, smart phones, and big-screen TV's have quickly swept through the world and been adopted by a large percentage of people on the planet.

We see FOMO in the Book of Mormon. Ca. 64 BC Helaman and the 2,000 stripling warriors decoyed a strong army of Lamanites out of the fortified city of Antiparah with a strategem. They pretended to be taking provisions to the city by the west sea. The Lamanites detected their small numbers and stripling stature (the English word "stripling" means immature, not yet filled out according to the OED), left the city of Antiparah in droves, and followed as Helaman led them on a wild goose chase northward with Antipus in pursuit Alma 56:35-37. Why did the Lamanites en masse fall for Helaman's ploy? FOMO. They were bored cooped up in Antiparah and a lop-sided fight with 2,000 youngsters seemed like an attractive diversion. After a terrible battle in which Antipus was killed, Antiparah was repatriated into Nephite hands without further loss of life Alma 57:4.

Ca. 64 BC in the battle of Mulek, Captain Moroni and Teancum executed a similar feint. Teancum decoyed a strong Lamanite army out of the fortified city of Mulek with a small force who led the previously bored enemy on a wild goose chase northward up the east coast Alma 52:22-24. So many Lamanites left Mulek that Moroni had little trouble taking the city while surrounding the tired enemy on the south as Lehi pressed them into surrender from the north. The Lamanites in Mulek fell for Teancum's ruse, sensed a quick kill, and nearly everyone wanted to get in on the action.

The same tactic worked for Helaman a year later in the battle of Manti. The weaker Nephite army decoyed the stronger Lamanite army out of their fortified city in such numbers that a small force of Nephites under Gid and Teomner easily overpowered the few defenders left in Manti Alma 58:14-19. Few Lamanite soldiers occupying Manti wanted to miss out on what seemed to them like an easy victory.

Nephite tacticians took advantage of Lamanite FOMO to lure the enemy into 3 separate traps in a 2 year time span.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Ancient American Warfare

A naive myth persisted for decades among archaeologists that the ancient Maya were for the most part peaceful astronomers and theologians. This was a serious problem for the Book of Mormon which describes many large-scale wars in grim detail. The last few decades have seen a complete revolution in our understanding of ancient American warfare. The Maya fought many large-scale wars with horrific consequences. Decipherment of Mayan glyphs and airborne LiDAR scans have provided a wealth of information that corroborates the Nephite text in such incredible detail it nearly takes your breath away.

This study analyzes more than 75 correspondences between Nephite and Lamanite warfare as described in the Book of Mormon and characteristics of ancient Mesoamerican warfare known to science. The correspondences cluster into 18 topical categories. Many have multiple attestations. Scholarly sources are listed below by publication year to highlight recency. My friend, retired BYU soil scientist, Richard Terry, brought some of these correspondences to my attention.

1983 Carmack Robert M. Carmack and James L. Mondloch, translators, El Titulo de Totonicapán (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1983)

1991 Ricks Stephen D. Ricks and William J. Hamblin, editors, Warfare in the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1991)

1993 Williams Sandra Williams, "The Impact of the Holocaust on Survivors and their Children," paper written for the Program in Judaic Studies, University of Central Florida, 1993

1996 Berdan Frances Berdan, et. al. Aztec Imperial Strategies (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996)

2000 Stuart David Stuart, "The 'Arrival of Strangers': Teotihuacan and Tollan in Classic Maya History" in David Carrasco, Lindsay Jones, and Scott Sessions, editors, Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage: From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000) pp. 465-513

2003 Tedlock Dennis Tedlock, translator, Rabinal Achi: A Mayan Drama of War and Sacrifice, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)

2005 Brady James Brady and Keith M. Prufer, editors, In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005)

2005-2008 Mathews Peter Mathews and Péter Bíró, "Maya Hieroglyph Dictionary," Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (online at

2006 Aguilar-Moreno Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, Handbook to Life in the Aztec World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

2006 Golden Charles Golden and Andrew K. Scherer, "Border Problems: Recent Archaeological Research along the Usumacinta River," Precolumbian Art Research Institute: PARI Journal, Vol. VII, No. 2 (Fall, 2006)

2006 Johnstone Kevin J. Johnstone, "Preclassic Maya Occupation of the Itzan Escarpment, Lower Río de la Pasión, Petén, Guatemala," Cambridge Univeristy Press: Ancient Mesoamerica Vol. 17, No. 2 (July, 2006) pp. 177-201

2006 Maxwell Judith M. Maxwell and Robert M. Hill, translators, Kaqchikel Chronicles: The Definitive Edition, with translation and exegesis (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006)

2008 Martin Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya, 2nd Edition (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2008)

2008 Stuart David Stuart and George Stuart, Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2008)

2009 Chase Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Michael E. Smith, "States and Empires in Ancient Mesoamerica," Cambridge University Press: Ancient Mesoamerica Vol. 20, No. 2 (September, 2009) pp. 175-182

2009 Scherer Andrew K. Scherer and Charles Golden, "Tecolote, Guatemala: Archaeological Evidence for a Fortified Late Classic Maya Political Border," Taylor & Francis: Journal of Field Archaeology Vol. 34, No. 3 (January, 2009) pp. 285-305

2012 Medina Paulo Medina, "Maya Warfare: Implications of Architecture that Infers Violence in the Preclassic Maya Lowlands," MA Thesis, Cal State Los Angeles Department of Anthropology, September, 2012

2013 Henderson Lucia Henderson, "Bodies politic, bodies in stone: imagery of the human and the divine in the sculpture of Late Preclassic Kaminaljuyú, Guatemala," PhD Dissertation, University of Texas Department of Art History, May, 2013

2013 Tokovinine Alexandre Tokovinine, Place and Identity in Classic Maya Narratives (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2013)

2014 Scherer Andrew K. Scherer and John Verano, editors, Embattled Bodies, Embattled Places: War in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and the Andes (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2014)

2014 Stuart David Stuart, "Naachtun's Stela 24 and the Entrada of 378," Maya Decipherment, May 12, 2014

2015 Hansen Richard Hansen and Michael Coe, "Mesoamerican Talks: New Perspectives on the Ancient Maya and their Environment," lectures given at the Utah Museum of Natural History sponsored by the University of Utah Department of Anthropology, October 16, 2015

2017 Inomata Takeshi Inomata, Daniela Triadan, Jessica MacLellan, Melissa Burham, Kazuo Aoyama, Juan Manuel Palomo, Hitoshi Yonenobu, Flory Pinzón, and Hiroo Nasu, "High-precision radiocarbon dating of political collapse and dynastic origins at the Maya site of Ceibal, Guatemala," National Academy of Sciences: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Vol. 114, No. 6 (February 7, 2017) pp. 1293-1298

2017 Laub Dori Laub and Andreas Hamburger, editors, Psychoanalysis and Holocaust Memory: Unwanted Memories of Social Trauma (London and New York: Routledge, 2017)

2018 Canuto Marcello A. Canuto, Francisco Estrada-Belli, Thomas G. Garrison, Stephen D. Houston, Mary Jane Acuña, Milan Kovác, Damien Marken, Philippe Nondédéo, Luke Auld-Thomas, Cyril Castanet, David Chatelain, Carlos R. Chiriboga, Tomás Drápela, Tibor Lieskovsky, Alexandre Tokovinine, Antonín Velazquez, Juan C. Fernández-Díaz, Ramesh Shrestha, "Ancient lowland Maya complexity as revealed by airborne laser scanning of northern Guatemala," American Association for the Advancement of Science: Science Vol. 361, No. 6409 (September 28, 2018) p. 1355

2018 Clynes Tom Clynes, "Exclusive: Laser Scans Reveal Maya 'Megalopolis' Beneath Guatemalan Jungle," National Geographic, online February 1, 2018

2018 Helmke Christophe Helmke, Julia A. Hoggarth, Jaime J. Awe, A Reading of the Komkom Vase Discovered at Baking Pot, Belize (San Francisco: Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, 2018)

2018 NatGeo "Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings," National Geographic Special, aired February 6, 2018 video online at:

2019 Clynes Tom Clynes, "Lasers reveal Maya war ruins," National Geographic, online March 1, 2019

2019 Garrison Thomas G. Garrison, Stephen D. Houston, Omar Alcover Firpi, "Recentering the rural: Lidar and articulated landscapes among the Maya," Elsevier: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology Vol. 53 (March, 2019) pp. 133-146

2019 Houston a Stephen D. Houston, "Watery War," Maya Decipherment, June 17, 2019

2019 Houston b Stephen D. Houston, "Recovering a Lost World," John L. Sorenson Lecture, BYU, October 28, 2019 video online at:

2019 Roman-Ramirez Edwin Roman-Ramirez, Presentation at VII Convención Mundial de la Arqueología Maya, Antigua, Guatemala, February 15, 2019

2019 Scherer Andrew K. Scherer, Lecture and Workshop given to the Maya Society of Minnesota, Hamline University, September 20-21, 2019

2019 Vernimmen Tim Vernimmen, "Ancient Maya practiced 'total war' well before the climate stress," National Geographic, online August 5, 2019

2019 Wahl David Wahl, Lysanna Anderson, Francisco Estrada-Belli, Alexandre Tokovinine, Paleoenvironmental, epigraphic and archaeological evidence of total warfare among the Classic Maya," Springer: Nature Human Behavior Vol. 3 (August 5, 2019), pp. 1049-1054

2020 Beliaev Dimitri Beliaev and Stephen D. Houston, "A Sacrificial Sign in Maya Writing," Maya Decipherment, June 20, 2020

2020 Golden Charles Golden, Andrew K. Scherer, Stephen Houston, Whittaker Schroder, Shanti Morell-Hart, Socorro del Pilar Jiménez Álvarez, George Van Kollias, Moises Yerath Ramiro Talavera, Mallory Matsumoto, Jeffrey Dobereiner, Omar Alcover Firpi, "Centering the Classic Maya Kingdom of Sak Tz'i'," Taylor & Francis: Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 45, No. 2 (2020) pp. 67-85

2020 Stuart David Stuart, "After the Entrada: The Memory of Teotihuacan among the Late Classic Maya," lecture given at Boundary End Center (BEC), Bernardsville, NC, May 27, 2020 video online at:

Most of the points below were discussed in the following blog articles:
"Kaqchikel Chronicles" February 17, 2015
"Rabinal Achi" March 5, 2015
"Titulo de Totonicapan" March 30, 2015
"Light from LA" May 8, 2015
"Hansen and Coe" October 19, 2015
"Aztec Garrisons" November 29, 2015
"75 BC" February 4, 2017
"Holocaust Survivors in the Book of Mormon" December 2, 2017
"LiDAR" February 2, 2018
"Ground-truthed LiDAR" October 1, 2018
"Light from Guatemala" March 3, 2019
"Komkom Vase" April 28, 2019
"Captain Moroni's Towers" August 27, 2019
"Moroni's Total War" September 19, 2019
"Burned Cities" September 22, 2019
"Seasons of War" September 22, 2019
"Cacaxtla" February 8, 2020
"Robbers and Lamanites" February 12, 2020
"Light from St Paul" March 27, 2020

A. Metaphysics - Belief Systems

A1a. The Nephites sought prophetic guidance before embarking on military missions Alma 16:5, Alma 43:23-24
A1b. The Kaqchikel consulted a divining stone on military matters 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 21
A2a. The Book of Mormon uses the term "spirit of prophecy" 19 times Jacob 4:6, Alma 5:47. Nephites appointed supreme military commanders who had this spirit of prophecy 3 Nephi 3:19
A2b. The phrase "divining power" is used frequently in Kaqchikel writings. Great warriors in Kaqchikel history had "divining power" 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 32
A3a. Nephite writers correlated battlefield success with righteousness and spirituality Alma 57:35-36, Helaman 4:24-26, 3 Nephi 3:2
A3b. The Kaqchikel thought righteousness and spirituality led to battlefield success 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 31
A4a. King Benjamin prophesied that if the Nephites ever became wicked, they would become weak militarily and lose their comparative advantage over the Lamanites Mosiah 1:13. Helaman 4:24 and Mormon 2:26 record the fulfilment of that prophecy.
A4b. In his sixth speech, Man of Rabinal says Cawek of the forest people lost his strength through misdeeds and no longer enjoyed a comparative advantage over his enemeis 2003 Tedlock pp. 52, 57
A5a. The Book of Mormon repeatedly says God delivers people either into (Mosiah 11:21, Alma 44:3) or out of (Mosiah 2:4, Alma 58:37) the hands of their enemies. Military success comes from God 3 Nephi 3:2
A5b. Man of Rabinal says it was an act of God that caused Cawek of the forest people to fall under his power 2003 Tedlock p. 75 and attributes his power as a warrior to a divine source 2003 Tedlock p. 249
A6a. In the Book of Mormon some battles were publicly announced in advance Mormon 3:4, 6:2-3
A6b. The Quiche had a custom of publicly announcing the future date of a battle 1983 Carmack p. 178

B. Totemism - Animal Attributes

B1a. In times of extremity, great warriors in the Book of Mormon acquired animal-like attributes and power Mosiah 20:11, Alma 43:44
B1b. In times of extremity, great Kaqchikel warriors acquired animal attributes and power through "nawal power" aka "transforming power" 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 32

C. Leadership - Kings and Judges

C1a. Included among the Nephite crown jewels was the sword of Laban which kings used in real battles Jacob 1:10, Words of Mormon 1:13
C1b. Included in the investiture bundles ancestral Kaqchikel brought from Tulan were weapons of war which were subsequently used in real battles 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 31
C2a. The Book of Mormon documents places where the military and settlers worked together to colonize new lands Alma 27:22-24, 50:7-9
C2b. Achij, the Quichean military, participated in provincial colonization programs throughout the kingdom 1983 Carmack, pp. 21, 198, 226
C3a. In the Book of Mormon, chief judges led military campaigns Alma 2:16, 62:7-8
C3b. Among the Quiche, judges sometimes served simultaneously as military leaders 1983 Carmack p. 226
C4a. In the Book of Mormon, kings and political leaders were warriors Omni 1:24, Mosiah 10:10, Alma 2:16
C4b. Among the Maya, elites thought of themselves as warriors 2019 Houston b
C5a. In the Book of Mormon, kings or rulers engage other kings or rulers in single combat Alma 2:29, Ether 15:28-30
C5b. Single combat between kings is well attested in Mayan epigraphic sources 2019 Houston b

D. Politics - Lands, States, Empires

D1a. The Nephite system of government was an alliance of semi-autonomous city states which could take themselves out of the confederation at will Alma 2:9, 43:4. Changes in the alliance inevitably led to war. Alma 2:10, 43:5
D1b. Most state level societies in Mesoamerica were "hegemonic" (collective) rather than "territorial" (centralized) polities with alliances whose composition shifted over time 2009 Chase p. 182. War resulted from shifts in the alliance.
D1c. By AD 500 at El Zotz, there were wars and shifting alliances 2019 Roman-Ramirez
D2a. The Nephites at the end, ca. AD 326 - 401, faced a military alliance consisting of the Gadianton Robbers headquartered in the "northernmost parts of the land" 3 Nephi 7:9-13, and the Lamanites in the land southward Mormon 2:29. This correlates well with Teotihuacan headquartered in central Mexico and the Maya in southern Mesoamerica. See the blog article "Robbers and Lamanites." Ca. AD 326, the Gadianton Robbers were among the Lamanites Mormon 1:18. Ca. AD 330 the land southward was filled with robbers and Lamanites Mormon 2:8. Ca. AD 350 the Nephites negotiated a three-way treaty with the Lamanites and the robbers, in which the Nephites gave up all claim to the land southward Mormon 2:28-29. Ca. AD 401 Moroni was alone, the last survivor of the former Nephite nation. Only Lamanites and robbers remained on the face of the land Mormon 8:9. It is clear from Mormon's and Moroni's words that the Gadianton robbers and the Lamanites had different identies, but were sharing the same physical space in some kind of political relationship.
D2b. In this time period, AD 326 - 401, Teotihuacan influence was widespread throughout southern Mesoamerica. Teotihuacanos had their own identity, but were physically present and highly influential in regional politics at places like Los Horonces, Tikal, Uaxactun, Piedras Negras, Copan, and La Sufricaya 2000 Stuart, 2014 Stuart, 2020 Stuart
D2c. Teotihuacan was a powerful force in the Maya lowlands around the time of the "entrada" (AD 378) and for several generations afterward. There is talud tablero (Teotihuacan-style) architecture near La Cuernavilla and at Tikal. Pots have been discovered that came from Central Mexico 2019 Roman-Ramirez, 2019 Houston b
D3a. Mormon, ca. AD 330, said there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land (southward) and it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land Mormon 2:8.
D3b. Defensive walls were built in the early Classic (AD 250 - 500) and by AD 500 in the central lowlands there was nearly constant war with shifting alliances 2019 Roman-Ramirez
D3c. In the area around Lacanjá Tzeltal (ancient Sak Tz'i'), interdynastic relationships evolved with shifting alliances 2020 Golden

E. Scale - Intensity

E1a. At the close of the Nephite era, Moroni reported nearly continuous warfare among the Lamanites Mormon 8:8. As recently as 20 years ago, this was a problem for the Book of Mormon. Most specialists did not believe warfare was endemic in Mesoamerica ca. AD 400. They believed token wars were ritualized and small-scale until the Terminal Classic (AD 800 - 950) when drought reduced the food supply, inciting violence that led to the Classic Maya collapse. All that has changed. We now know that warfare has been nearly constant throughout Mesoamerica from Book of Mormon times to European contact.
E1b. Once the Quiche ended their ancestral migration and reached their current homeland, they had nearly continuous war with their neighbors 1983 Carmack p. 242
E1c. Witzna (ancient Bahlam Jol), was almost totally destroyed by fire in an act of war from Naranjo on May 21, AD 697. In the same destructive campaign, Naranjo also burned Buenavista del Cayo (ancient Komkom), Ucanal (ancient K'an Witznal), and the as yet unidentified K'inchil 2019 Wahl pp. 1049-1053
E1d. Witzna suffered similar burnings on at least two previous occasions 2019 Wahl p. 1053
E1e. "There is an increasing understanding that there were destructive wars throughout the Classic period." Takeshi Inomata 2019 Vernimmen
E1f. "War was a common theme of daily discourse among the elites." Takeshi Inomata 2014 Scherer pp. 36, 37
E1g. "Toward the end of the Preclassic period (AD 250), physical conflicts in the Maya Lowlands appear to have further intensified." Takeshi Inomata 2014 Scherer p. 45 
E1h. "It (warfare) must have been a fact of life from a very early time." James Brady 2019 Vernimmen
E1i. Endemic warfare over centuries was the norm 2018 Clynes
E1j. There was much more war among the Maya than we had ever supposed 2018 NatGeo
E1k. Sizable defensive features imply large-scale conflict 2018 Canuto
E1l. The entire 2018 Maya Symposium at Tulane was dedicated to warfare. Andrew K. Scherer was one of the presenters 2019 Scherer

F. Seasonality - Timing

F1a. The Book of Mormon states that war among the Nephites was seasonal Omni 1:3. John L. Sorenson showed that war events in the Book of Mormon generally took place in months 11, 12, 1, 2, and 3; occasionally in months 4, 5, and 10; and hardly ever in months 6, 7, 8, or 9. In other words, Nephite wars were generally not fought in the season roughly corresponding with our June through September. 1991 Ricks pp. 445-477
F1b. Mesoamerica has well-defined rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season generally starts in May and runs through October. Crops are usually planted in April or May and harvested in October or November. The dry season (November through April) was when agriculturists were pressed into military service, surplus food supplies were available for provisions, infantry marches were feasible, and conditions in field camps were tolerable. Warriors were home tending their crops during the rainy season (May through October). Numerous war events in the corpus of Mayan inscriptions can be securely dated, and they follow the expected seasonal pattern. The Maya went to war in the dry season and stayed home farming in the rainy season. 2019 Houston a citing data from Simon Martin

NASA Blue Marble Image of Mesoamerica
April, Height of the Dry Season
The corresponding image from October shows a dramatic difference after 6 months of rain.
NASA Blue Marble Image of Mesoamerica
October, Height of the Rainy Season

G. Pageantry - Regalia

G1a. Trumpets sounded on Jaredite battlefields Ether 14:28
G1b. Conch shell trumpets sounded battle calls in Kaqchikel warfare 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 201
Trumpet, Sculpture 75, Kaminaljuyú from 2013 Henderson

H. Linguistics - Word Patterns

H1a. In the Book of Mormon, sleep leads to military defeat and loss of dominion Mosiah 24:19, Alma 55:15-16
H1b. In Kaqchikel writings, when the amaq' (land) sleeps, it loses battles and forfeits territory 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 36
H2a. Nephites threw enemy bodies into river Sidon so the corpses decomposed in the sea Alma 2:34, 3:3, 44:22 as Egyptian bodies had done in the days of Moses Helaman 8:11
H2b. In Kaqchikel terminology, losers in battle "enter water," "become water," or "dissolve in death" 2006 Maxwell part 1, pp. 36-37; part 2, p. 129
H2c. Tikal Stela 31 contains the phrase och ha which means "enter water at death" 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 37
H2d. Cawek of the forest people, knowing he will be killed as a war captive, describes himself as a drop of water 2003 Tedlock p. 35
H3a. In Nephite military affairs in the days of Alma II and Captain Moroni, historians recorded precise troop strength and casualty count numbers up to 19,094 Alma 2:19. Numbers larger than that could not be counted Alma 2:35, 3:1 so historians estimated "tens of thousands" Alma 3:26, 28:2 or called them "innumerable" Alma 58:8, Helaman 1:14
H3b. In Kaqchikel military affairs, a force of 8,000 or 16,000 troops could be counted precisely. Numbers larger than that were called "innumerable" 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 197. The Kaqchikel term ma-ki ajil-am meant "not able to be counted" 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 221
H4a. In the Book of Mormon, the couplet "with their swords and with their shields" represents military power Ether 15:24
H4b. In the Rabinal Achi drama, the couplet "ax and shield" or "weapon and shield" represent military power 2003 Tedlock pp. 1, 30
H4c. In Mayan texts, the couplet "flint and shield" represents military power 2019 Houston b. This is an example of "diphrastic kenning." Kerry M. Hull, "Poetic Tenacity: A Diachronic Study of Kennings in Mayan Languages," in Kerry M. Hull and Michael D. Carrasco, editors, Parallel Worlds: Genre, Discourse, and Poetics in Contemporary, Colonial, and Classic Maya Literature (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2012) pp. 73-122.
H5a. In the Book of Mormon, military forces in extreme situations burned towns, villages, and cities with fire Ether 14:17, Mormon 5:5
H5b. The ancient Mayan word for burning was puluy or puluu2005-2008 Mathews
H5c. Naranjo stelae 22 and 23 memorialize the burning of Witzna (ancient Bahlam Jol) using the term puluy 2013 Tokovinine pp. 33-34
H5d. Puluy was a common war statement and such tactics were not rare 2019 Wahl
H5e. Puluuy is a clear verb for war meaning "to burn" and has been noted in many war contexts. The hieroglyph puluuy is a well-accepted verb for war 2005 Brady p. 158
H5f. Puluuy (to burn) in Mayan is used in military contexts 2012 Medina p. 9
H5g. Pul-yi (gets burned) is a term used in Maya warfare 2019 Houston b
Illustration of epigraphic Pul-yi from 2019 Houston b
H6a. The Book of Mormon uses the terms "cut" and "cut off" in a military context Alma 46:30, 50:11, 52:34, 58:20, 3 Nephi 4:21, Mormon 3:10
H6b. Ch'ak (to chop, to axe, to cut) in Mayan refers to warfare 2012 Medina p. 9
H7a. The Book of Mormon uses the term "strike" in a military context Alma 52:36
H7b. Jatz' (to strike, is struck) in Mayan is used to describe military actions 2012 Medina p. 9
H8a. The Book of Mormon uses the term "captive" in a military context Alma 16:3, Helaman 11:33
H8b. Baak (bone, captive) and yeht (captive, captor) in Mayan are used in war contexts 2012 Medina p. 9
H8c. Captors grabbed or seized captives in Maya war texts 2019 Houston b
H9a. In the Book of Mormon, military forces "go up" to battle Mosiah 10:6, 10, Alma 3:22, Mormon 3:10 and "come up" to war Mosiah 20:14-15
H9b. In Mayan texts, people go up or rise up to war 2019 Houston b
Illustration of epigraphic "go up to war" from 2019 Houston b
H10a. In the Book of Mormon, the words "fall" and "fall to the earth" represent military defeat Alma 44:12-14
H10b. In Mayan war texts, the vanquished go "down" and the phrases "drops down" and "falls down" represent military defeat 2019 Houston b
H11a. The Book of Mormon speaks of military captains among the Nephites Alma 2:13, 52:19 and the Lamanites Alma 43:6
H11b. Mayan epigraphy mentions the title sajal applied to military captains 2012 Medina p. 223

I. Fortifications - Defensive Structures

I1a. Nephite cities had earthen defensive walls Mosiah 7:10, 9:8, Alma 50:1. Some of the walls were high Alma 49:18
I1b. Precontact Kaqchikel cities were surrounded by fortified walls 2006 Maxwell part 1, p. 65
I1c. Lord Five Thunder's Red Mountain fortress had great walls 2003 Tedlock p. 34
I1d. Man of Rabinal describes several fortresses and sets of defensive walls presided over by multiple lords 2003 Tedlock p. 76
I1e. The Quiche surrounded their settlements with defensive walls 1983 Carmack pp. 187, 236
I1f. The Maya built hilltop ditch and rampart fortifications 2018 Canuto
I1g. There was an earthwork wall surrounding Tikal 5 meters high and 16 kilometers long. Archaeologists have begun calling it "the great wall of Tikal" 2018 NatGeo
I1h. One defensive wall was 6 meters (19 feet) high. The tallest defensive wall yet discovered was 7.6 meters (25 feet) high 2019 Roman-Ramirez
I1i. Near El Zotz, LiDAR has identified a veritable fortress, the largest defensive structure yet discovered in the Peten. Thomas G. Garrison named it "La Cuernavilla" 2018 NatGeo
I1j. Stephen Houston said La Cuernavilla had 20 foot high walls, moats, and watchtowers 2019 Clynes
La Cuernavilla Ditch and Rampart from 2019 Houston b
I1k. Earthen walls as defensive fortifications were built at Piedras Negras, Yaxchilán, and La Mar 2019 Scherer
I1l. Stephen Houston's 1987 dissertation at Yale documented defensive walls at Dos Pilas 2019 Scherer, 2019 Houston b
Defensive Walls at Dos Pilas from 2019 Houston b
I1m. Yaxchilán was surrounded by a defensive ring of fortified settlements that included Chicozapote and Nuevo Guerrero on the Mexican side of the river and Tecolote (14 walls), La Pasadita (2 walls), and Oso Negro on the Guatemalan side. Walls have also been discovered at Arroyo Macabilero and El Tunel 2019 Scherer
I1n. The defensive wall on the western periphery of El Mirador was massive: 8 - 10 meters (26 - 32 feet) high and up to 11 meters (36 feet) wide 2012 Medina pp. 29-44
I1o. Zancudero is a pre-classic site with a high defensive wall 5 kilometers east of Yaxchilán 2019 Scherer
I1p. 10 defensive walls have been discovered at Piedras Negras, north of the site center. They date to the early classic 2019 Scherer
I2a. Captain Moroni built forts of security for every city in all the land round about. In other words, Nephite defensive architecture was widespread Alma 49:13, 50:1, 6
I2b. LiDAR showed ubiquitous fortresses, ramparts, and defensive walls 2018 Clynes
I2c. Defensive structures and fortifications were everywhere 2018 NatGeo
I2d. The PACUNAM LiDAR Initiative (PLI) found 31 instances of defended areas in the 2,144 square kilometers they mapped. This high fortification density was entirely unexpected 2018 Canuto
I3a. Nephites fortified their cities by digging ditches around them and using the fill to build earthen embankments Alma 53:3-4. Some of the ditches were deep Alma 49:18
I3b. Kaqchikel writers described people fortifying their city by digging trenches and using the fill to erect walls 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 213
I3c. Tintal had a late pre-classic moat around it 10 times larger than the widely-publicized moat around Becan, Campeche. The Tintal moat was 40 meters wide and 10 meters deep 2015 Hansen
I3d. El Mirador was also surrounded by a moat 2015 Hansen
I3e. The Maya built landscape ditch and rampart fortifications 2018 Canuto
I3f. Tikal had a massive ditch and rampart stretching for miles 2019 Roman-Ramirez
I3g. Arthur Demarest published an article in National Geographic (February 1993) showing walls at Dos Pilas and a moat around Punta de Chimino 2019 Scherer
I3h. Cerros had a moat surrounding the site core 2012 Medina p. 82
I3i. Tintal and Xulnal both had moats 2012 Medina p. 93
I3j. El Kinel is located inside a bend in the Usumacinta. A circular moat was constructed around the landward side of the city so the entire settlement was protected by water 2019 Scherer
Google Earth Image of El Kinel Showing Moat
I3k. La Cuernavilla, a massive fortress near El Zotz, was protected by ditch and rampart systems. It was the largest system of fortifications in ancient America 2019 Houston b
I3l. The ditches at La Cuernavilla were 20 feet deep and some were moats 2019 Houston b
I4a. Captain Moroni's earthen walls fortifying Nephite cities were topped by timbers Alma 50:2
I4b. In their capital, Iximche, the Kaqchikel surrounded it with a wall topped by timbers 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 185
I4c. Lacanjá Tzeltal (ancient Sak Tzi'i') was protected by step riverbanks on one side and defensive walls on the other. The walls were wooden palisades with a 1 meter wide foundation 2019 Scherer
I4d. Wooden palisades were built for defense at Aguateca and Dos Pilas during the Classic period 2012 Medina p. 30
I4e. Wooden palisades protected Tecolote 2009 Scherer
Wooden Palisades at Tecolote, Guatemala. Illustration from 2009 Scherer
I4f. There are 13 defensive walls in saddles between hills around La Mar, Chiapas. The walls clearly show post holes where wooden palisades once stood 2019 Scherer
I4g. Post molds are clearly visible in defensive walls excavated at El Kinel, Peten 2006 Golden
Post Holes from Ancient Wooden Palisades
El Kinel, Guatemala Photo from 2006 Golden
I5a. Atop the timbers, Captain Moroni erected frames of wooden pickets Alma 50:3
I5b. Colonial sources such as Bernal Diaz del Castillo and the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan describe and depict wooden pickets, cross-hatched frames, and barricades 2019 Scherer
Lienzo de Quauhquechollan Showing Maya Pickets ca. AD 1530
Reconstruction by Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
I6a. Captain Moroni erected watchtowers that overlooked the earthen ridges topped by timbers and pickets Alma 50:4
I6b. The PACUNAM LiDAR Initiative (PLI) revealed 37 defensive towers in the El Zotz survey block alone. 7 towers overlook ditch and wall structures 2019 Garrison figure 3
Watchtowers in El Zotz PLI Survey block from 2019 Garrison
I6c. Watchtowers have been discovered overlooking defensive walls at Tecolote, La Pasadita, and El Tunel on the Guatemalan side of the Usumacinta north of Yaxchilán 2019 Scherer
I6d. In the area around La Cuernavilla, LiDAR showed many watchtowers 2019 Houston b
I7a. Some Nephite defensive walls were built with stone Alma 48:8
I7b. The defensive wall built at Chaak Ak' al had crudely hewn limestone blocks at its base 2006 Johnstone
I7c. Stone walls up to 1 kilometer in length have been discovered 2018 Canuto
I7d. The site of Lacanjá Tzeltal (ancient Sak Tzi'i') has stone walls 1 meter high, likely topped anciently by wooden palisades 2020 Golden
I7e. La Pasadita is surrounded by low, short, linear rubble mounds built with rough, irregular rocks 2019 Scherer
I7f. Macabilero had pre-classic defensive walls built with huge stone blocks 15 to 20 feet tall. This kind of megalithic architecture is rare in Mesoamerica 2019 Scherer
I8a. In addition to walls, ditches, and wooden palisades around cities and watchtowers overlooking the defenses, the Nephites also built small forts or places of resort apart from urban areas Alma 48:5, 8, 52:6.
I8b. The PLI Survey showed that the Maya built small military forts designed for short stays apart from urban areas. Archaeologists call these isolated structures "refuges" and five have been identified: RS028, Turca East, Kanalna North, Kanalna South, and El Achiotal Peninsula 2018 Canuto
Refuges or Forts Identified in PLI LiDAR Survey from 2018 Canuto
I9a. Nephite cities had stronger and weaker areas Alma 48:5
I9b. Some parts of Maya cities were more heavily fortified than others 2018 Canuto
I10a. Some Nephite cities were more heavily fortified than others Alma 49:14-15
I10b. Some Maya cities were more heavily fortified than others 2018 Canuto

J. Armor - Protective Gear

J1a. Lamanites sometimes went into battle wearning only leather loin cloths Enos 1:20, Mosiah 10:8, Alma 43:20
J1b. Most combatants (depicted in battle murals) wear relatively light costumes, with many wearing only loin cloths 2014 Scherer p. 17 Takeshi Inomata
Bonampak Mural Showing Combatants in Loin Cloths
J2a. The Nephites wore "thick clothing" into battle Alma 43:19
J2b. The Kaqchikel fought with quilted cotton body armor called k'ub'ul. The name in Nahuatl was ichcayapul or achcayopilli 2006 Maxwell part 2, pp. 198, 222
J2c. The K'iche' term for quilted cotton body armor was Xak pot 1983 Carmack p. 216
J2d. Photograph of tightly woven cotton body armor called ichcahupilli. Replica from Oaxaca. MAW Collection. On display at Cal State Los Angeles, April 10, 2015.
Ichcahupilli. Photo by Kirk Magleby
J3a. Book of Mormon warriors wore breastplates as body armor Mosiah 8:10, Alma 43:19. Helaman1:14
J3b. The Kaqchikel used breastplates for armor, calling them xajpota 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 62
J4a. The Jaredites used copper and brass for breastplates Mosiah 8:10
J4b. The Quiche made shields out of metal 1983 Carmack p. 196
J5a. The Book of Mormon mentions head shields Alma 43:19 and head plates Alma 43:38, Helaman 1:14
J5b. Photograph of warrior figurine from the Shaft Tomb Culture of Western Mexico, MAW Collection. On display at Cal State Los Angeles, April 10, 2015.
Warrior with Head Plate. Photo by Kirk Magleby
J6a. The Book of Mormon describes warriors with breastplates and head plates, but exposed legs Alma 49:24
J6b. The photo of the warrior above shows a breastplate, head plate, and exposed legs.
J7a. Shields are mentioned many times in the Book of Mormon Alma 43:19, 49:6. Helaman 1:14, 3 Nephi 3:26.
J7b. Several battle murals at the site of Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala depict elaborately decorated shields
Cacaxtla Mural Showing Shields. Photo by Kirk Magleby January 29, 2020

K. Weapons - Arms

K1a. The Book of Mormon describes the use of arrows, shields, spears, and slings Alma 17:7, 49:24, Helaman 1:14
K1b. The Kaqchikel fought with arrows, shields, and spears 2006 Maxwell part 2, pp. 16, 29. 101
K1c. The Quiche fought with slings, spears, arrows, and shields 1983 Carmack, p. 193
K1d. Several battle murals at the site of Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala depict spears or lances
Cacaxtla Mural Showing Spears. Photo by Kirk Magleby January 29, 2020
K2a. Book of Mormon peoples fought with axes Enos 1:20, Mormon 6:9
K2b. Stone axes were important weapons and symbols among the Maya 2003 Tedlock p. 2
Ax Depicted on Sculpture 24, Kaminaljuyú from 2013 Henderson
K3a. Captives in the Book of Mormon were bound with strong cords Mosiah 7:13, Alma 14:22, 20:29, 26:29
K3b. The Achi Maya bound captives with henequen rope or cord 2003 Tedlock pp. 28, 75
Bound Captive Shown on Sculpture 65, Kaminaljuyú from 2013 Henderson
K4a. In the Book of Mormon, military leaders provided weapons and armor to their soldiers Mosiah 9:16, Alma 43:19, 51:9, 55:16-17
K4b. Man of Rabinal's weapons were gifts from Lord Five Thunder 2003 Tedlock p. 83
K5a. The Book of Mormon makes the obvious point that captors retain their weapons while captives are forcibly disarmed Alma 55:16-17, 57:14, 62:15
K5b. Photo of a ceramic figurine from the Shaft Tomb Culture of Western Mexico depicting armed warriors leading disarmed prisoners of war along a trail. MAW Collection. On display at Cal State Los Angeles April 10, 2015.
Captors and Captives. Photo by Kirk Magleby
K6a. The Book of Mormon describes captive King Noah suffering death by fire Mosiah 19:20
K6b. The Komkom vase text talks about a captured king who was killed with a torch 2018 Helmke p. 66
Maya God L and Others Holding Torches Kerr 702
K7a. According to the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites fought with stones and arrows Alma 49:2, 50:4. The Nephites also fought with stones and arrows launched from atop their fortifications Alma 49:19. In their watchtowers, the Nephites stockpiled stones to cast down as weapons Alma 50:5
K7b. Stephen Houston said La Cuernavilla had stockpiles of round stones that probably served as ammunition for warrior's slings 2019 Clynes, 2019 Houston b
Stockpiled Stones at La Cuernavilla from 2019 Houston b

K7c. At Macabilero, excavators found quantities of small, round sling stones about the size of tennis balls 2019 Scherer
K8a. The Book of Mormon mentions Onidah, the place of arms, in the land of Nephi Alma 47:5
K8b. Many Mesoamerican armaments were crafted with obisidian, volcanic glass. A major obsidian source in Book of Mormon times was El Chayal, 25 air kilometers NE of Guatemala City. According to several Book of Mormon geography correlations, El Chayal could be Onidah.
Obsidian at El Chayal, Guatemala. Photo by Kirk Magleby, December 27, 2015

L. Tactics - Techniques

L1a. Book of Mormon military commanders used spies Mosiah 9:1. Alma 2:21, 56:35
L1b. In a military campaign, Cawek of the forest people spied on enemy forces 2003 Tedlock p. 18
L1c. Quichean writers documented spying prior to military conquest 1983 Carmack p. 188
L2a. General Shiz spread terror throughout the Jaredite countryside by annihilating inhabitants and then burning their cities Ether 14:17-18. Lamanites ca. AD 379 used similar scorched-earth tactics, killing Nephite men, women, and children and then burning their towns, villages, and cities Mormon 5:5
L2b. The Komkom vase text mentions a military campaign ca. AD 696 where enemy structures were set ablaze and another campaign where a town was burned 2018 Helmke pp. 41, 56
L2c. Naranjo invaded Witzna (ancient Bahlam Jol) on May 21, AD 697 and burned it to the ground, leaving a 1 inch charcoal layer that was preserved in the sediment of nearby Laguna Ek' Naab 2019 Wahl
L2d. Naranjo inscriptions describe 5 cities in the region that were all burned over a five year period. One of them was Buenavista del Cayo (ancient Komkom) that was burned on March 27, AD 696 2008 Martin pp. 66-82
L3a. Lehonti in the Book of Mormon ascended to the top of Mount Antipas to evade military pressure Alma 47:10
L3b. The Komkom vase text talks about a king who ascended a mountain to evade military pressure 2018 Helmke p. 71

M. Mutilation - Desecration

M1a. Lamanites carried severed arms to King Lamoni as proof of a battlefield casualty count Alma 17:39
M1b. 9 Achi Maya warriors were killed in battle and their forearms were used as proof of this casualty count 2003 Tedlock p. 37
M2a. Warriors in the Book of Mormon butchered the bodies of their victims as a token of bravery Moroni 9:10
M2b. Quiche warriors carrried body parts from vanquished victims as tokens of battlefield success 1983 Carmack pp. 221-222
M3a. The Book of Mormon mentions bones being scattered Omni 1:22 and heaped up Alma 2:38
M3b. The Komkom vase text talks about a conquering army scattering the bones of an enemy king 2018 Helmke p. 51

N. Geography - Relative Distance

N1a. The best Book of Mormon geography correlations predicit that the Nephites and Lamanites were capable of projecting military force and maintaining supply lines at places hundreds of kilometers distant from their respective capitals Alma 52:10-11
N1b. Kaqchikel writers described military action at places hundreds of kilometers distant from their capital, Iximche 2006 Maxwell part 2, note 109
N1c. From their capital, Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs projected military force and maintained supply lines at points hundreds of kilometers distant. Xoconocho on the Pacific coast of modern Chiapas was 900 air kilometers from Tenochtitlan 1996 Berdan p. 153
Aztec Troop Garrisons 1518
N1d. We now know that attempts to minimize Teotihuacan's presence in the Maya area are wrong. We find green obsidian from Pachuca (pachuquia) at Altun Ha. Caracol has cremated burials and green obsidian by AD 330 2019 Roman-Ramirez
N1e. The Kanul empire ca. AD 690 extended from Coba in the north to Quirigua in the south (600 air kilometers) and from Palenque on the west to the Caribbean on the east (400 air kilometers). The snake kings ruled over 10 million people 2019 Roman-Ramirez presentation by Tomás Barrientos
N1f. The Teotihuacan-Tikal alliance was at the pan-regional level. It was hundreds and hundreds of miles between these two urban centers 2019 Houston b
N2a. In his epistle to Captain Moroni, Helaman describes the Nephite army defending the SW front being re-supplied from both Melek and Zarahemla Alma 56:27-28
N2b. In long-distance campaigns, Aztec military units were re-supplied from both the capital, Tenochtitlan, and from provincial centers closer to the front 2006 Aguilar-Moreno p. 130

O. Chronology - Dating

O1a. Ca. 72 BC, Captian Moroni fortified Ammonihah, Noah, and every other Nephite city Alma 49:13, 50:1
O1b. Ca. 75 BC, warfare intensified and fortifications were built at Ceibal. Fortifications were also built near this time at Chaak Ak' al, Edzna, Becan, El Mirador, Cerros, Muralla de Leon, Cival, and a number of sites along the upper Usumacinta between Piedras Negras and Yaxchilán 2017 Inomata
O1c. Chaak Ak' al, occupied from ca. 300 BC to ca. AD 150, had massive fortifications built ca. 75 BC. Ceibal also had fortifications built ca. 75 BC 2019 Scherer
Chaak Ak' al Defensive Wall from 2006 Johnstone
O2a. Ca. AD 330 the Nephites were continuing to fortify their cities Mormon 2:4
O2b. Defensive walls were built throughout the Maya lowlands in the early Classic (AD 250 - 500) 2019 Roman-Ramirez
O2c. Omar Andrés Alcover Firpi studied fortifications at Becan that date from ca. AD 100 - 250 2019 Scherer
O3a. Ca. AD 378 the Nephites lost effective control of their territory Mormon 5:5 and from then on, General Mormon never won another battle Mormon 5:6
O3b. January 16, AD 378 was the "11 Eb" day Siyaj K'ak' deposed the ruler of Tikal and inaugurated a new era of Teotihuacan-influenced empire throughout the Maya lowlands as mentioned on Tikal Stela 31, El Peru Stela 15, Naachtun Stela 24, and Bejucal Stela 3 2014 Stuart, 2019 Houston b, 2020 Stuart
O4a. Moroni, writing ca. AD 401 - 421, said wars were exceedingly fierce among the Lamanites Moroni 1:2
O4b. Warfare was particularly prevalent in the Early Classic (AD 250 - 500) 2018 Clynes
O4c. In the Preclassic, settlement in the Buenavista Valley was in the lowlands around Laguna Palmár. In the early Classic, settlement moved up into the hills. People were worried about defense. Teotihuacan presence (AD 378) coincided with defensive architecture and intensified warfare. In the Classic, these (Maya Lowlands around Tikal) were embattled lands. The period of intense fortification around La Cuernavilla lasted 3 - 4 generations 2019 Houston b
O5a. Nephite scribes recorded wars in their histories with precise dates per instructions from Nephi himself 1 Nephi 9:4, Alma 43:3
O5b. Mesoamericans recorded hundreds of war events with precise dates 2019 Roman-Ramirez
O5c. On dated monuments from Toniná, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Piedras Negras, and La Mar, warfare is a frequent theme 2020 Golden

P. Demographics - Troop Strengths, Casualty Counts

P1a. The Book of Mormon describes a war of annihilation where only Coriantumr and Ether remained alive Ether 15:29-33
P1b. The Quiche remembered a war of annihilation where only 2 of the enemy remained alive 1983 Carmack p. 239
P2a. The Book of Mormon mentions war casualties in the hundreds of thousands Mormon 6:11-15 and millions Ether 15:2. These high numbers were a problem for the Book of Mormon for generations. Scientists simply did not believe that ancient American populations were large enough to sustain losses of that magnitude. All that has changed with large-scale LiDAR surveys showing aneient Mesoamerican populations in the tens of millions.
P2b. Specialists now estimate populations in the 7 - 11 million range at apogee in just the 95,000 square kilometers of the Central Maya Lowlands, which constitute only about 15% of Mesoamerica 2018 Canuto p. 1355
P2c. Lowland Maya population at apogee could have reached 15 - 20 million 2018 Clynes
P2d. Tikal was 3 or 4 times larger than we thought. Previous population estimates were 60,000 at apogee. That number should now be 250,000 or more 2018 NatGeo
P2e. Estimates of the population in the Maya area at apogee have been revised upward to about 20 million. That was one-half the population of Europe at the time, even though the Maya occupied only one thirtieth as much land area 2018 NatGeo
P2f. Northern Guatemala had the largest city in the ancient world - bar none 2019 Houston b
P2g. Caracol, Belize, had a population in the hundreds of thousands 2019 Houston b
P3a. In his epistle to Captain Moroni, Helaman explained that it was extremely labor-intensive to guard prisoners of war, and it required a large percentage of the Nephite force to conduct Lamanite prisoners from Cumeni down to the land of Zarahemla Alma 57:13-18
P3b. The photo in K5b shows 5 soldiers wearing headgear with weapons in hand guarding 4 captives.

Q. Sociology - Aftermath

Q1a. Unsuccessful military action in the Book of Mormon resulted in bondage and captivity Mosiah 12:15
Q1b. K'iche' warriors who survived the unsuccessful invasion of Iximche were enslaved by the Kaqchikel 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 203
Q1c. Piedras Negras Stela 26, Bonampak Lintel 2, and Toniná Monument 8 all mention taking captives from the site of Sak Tzi'i' 2019 Scherer
Q1d. One monument at Lacanjá Tzeltal (ancient Sak Tzi'i') shows 2 bound captives 2019 Scherer
Q1e. One of the results of Maya warfare was captivity 2019 Houston b
Q2a. In the Book of Mormon, some war captives were sacrificed Mormon 4:14, 21
Q2b. The Kaqchikel sacrificed war captives 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 97
Q2c. The Maya fought bitter wars that ended in bloody sacrifices 2019 Clynes quoting Stephen D. Houston
Q2d. Captives were sacrificial victims 2019 Houston b
Q2e. Many, perhaps most, captives were later killed 2014 Scherer p. 60
Maya War Captives Awaiting Decapitation Kerr 680
Q2f. Recent advances in Mayan epigraphy have identified glyphic characters and iconography associated with sacrifice 2020 Beliaev
Q3a. The Book of Mormon records a battle where captives were killed unless they were chief captains Alma 56:12
Q3b. Kaqchikel writings record an incident where war captives were killed unless they were nim-a' q achi "great warriors" 2006 Maxwell part 2, p. 168
Q4a. The Book of Mormon says Nephite children were sacrificed Mormon 4:14, 21
Q4b. At the site of Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala, over 200 children were sacrificed and interred as an offering during the construction of the palace INAH site signage photographed January 29, 2020
Q4c. Child sacrifices are depicted on El Cayo Altar 4 and Piedras Negras Stela 11. El Zotz burial 9 contained the remains of 6 children in ceramic vases. They ranged in age from 6 months to 4 years. El Zotz burials 6 and 15 also contained sacrificed children whose remains were in ceramic offering vessels 2019 Scherer
Child as Sacrificial Offering, Kerr 1645 
Q5a. In the Book of Mormon, war incited fear and terror Helaman 11:32, Mormon 6:7-8, Ether 14:18
Q5b. Stephen D. Houston described the fortress, La Cuernavilla, creating "an almost palpable sense of fear in this landscape" 2019 Clynes
Q6a. The Book of Mormon records an instance where former combatants were given land and became farmers Alma 62:29
Q6b. Cawek of the forest people was promised land as a reward for military service 2003 Tedlock p. 18
Q7a. In the Book of Mormon, people surrender their weapons to find peace Alma 24:19, 44:14-15
Q7b. Former warrior, Man of Rabinal, surrendered his weapons to find rest 2003 Tedlock p. 264
Q8a. In the Book of Mormon, victorious warriors took women as captives Alma 54:3, 60:17, Moroni 9:7
Q8b. Maya art depicts victorious warriors seizing women 2019 Houston b
Warriors Seizing Women from 2019 Houston b
Q9a. The dominant image of Maya warfare is the depiction of live captives on monuments and portable objects 2014 Scherer p. 59
Q9b. The Book of Mormon mentions the terms "prisoner" Alma 54:1, Mormon 4:2; "captive" Alma 60:17, Helaman 11:33; or "captivity" Alma 5:5, Ether 13:23 more than 100 times in the text.

R. Psychology - Impact

R1a. Trauma psychology recognizes a group of behavioral and attitudinal traits called "Holocaust Survivor Syndrome." Characteristics include:

  1. Death Imprint - extreme anxiety about death, recurring mental images of violence and death.
  2. Death guilt - uncertainty, aimlessness, wondering why one survived when most did not.
  3. Psychic numbing - insensitivity or diminished ability to feel.
  4. Suspicion and distrust - foreboding sense that everything, even life itself, is an illusion.
  5. Witness imperative - a sense of mission to bear witness to future generations.
Entrance Hall, Holocaust Museum, Washington DC 
1993 Williams, 2017 Laub
R1b. Mormon and Moroni were holocaust survivors. The behavioral and attitudinal traits of Holocaust Survivor Syndrome come through loud and clear in their writings:
  1. Death imprint. Mormon 4:11 "the horrible scene of the blood and carnage which was among the people" Mormon 5:8 "such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes" Mormon 6:7 "that awful fear of death."
  2. Death guilt. Mormon 8:3 "whether they will slay me, I know not" Mormon 8:4 "whither I go, it mattereth not" Mormon 8:5 "I have not friends, nor whither to go. And how long the Lord will suffer that I may live, I know  not."
  3. Psychic numbing. Mormon 3:12 "the hardness of their hearts" Moroni 9:5 "they have lost their love one towards another" Moroni 9:20 "they are without principle and past feeling."
  4. Suspicion and distrust. Mormon 1:18 "the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery" Mormon 1:19 "sorceries and witchcrafts and magics" Mormon 2:10 "no man could keep that which was his own."
  5. Witness imperative. Mormon 3:16 "I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard" Moroni 9:22 "to witness the return of his people unto him or their utter destruction."