Friday, October 31, 2014

2,000 Year Old Tunnel in Mexico Reveals Startling New Finds

This article, Incredible New Artifacts Found In 2,000-Year-Old Mexican Tunnel, came across my Facebook timeline. Since I haven't written here in a while, I thought I'd share.

Here's one quote that caught my eye:
The archaeologists suspect it could be a tomb of the city's elite. It's there where the rules acquired divine endowment allowing them to rule on the surface, say the researchers. Archaeologists have yet to find any remains belonging to Teotihuacan's rulers.
Not that the LDS endowment would be the exact analogy to what researchers might find in this tunnel, but the form and motif aspect is very interesting.

And from the comments:
So many artifacts and pieces hinting at this complex huge society. There was a lot more going on in Mexico thousands of years ago than people realize.
I'm so glad to see that the public, and the scientific world, is finally shaking loose the shackles of ethnocentric thinking. They are beginning to realize that many, many things previously thought "impossible" for Mesoamericans anciently are now seen as more likely than not. Complex societies that built complex things and had complex lifestyles and beliefs and tools and so forth that we're only beginning to discover and understand? Check.

But we've been saying that since at least 1830. ;)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pssst. Want to see some golden plates?

Here are three. No, they're not THE Golden Plates, but they're as close to their description as has ever been found.

They're called the Pyrgi Tablets and were found in Italy in 1964. Written in Etruscan and Phonecian, these plates are very similar in size, description, and script to the ones Joseph Smith translated. They are thought to date from around 500 B.C., which is only about 100 years later than when Lehi left Jerusalem for the Americas carrying records engraved similarly on brass plates. The gold plates from which came the Book of Mormon weren't created until after Lehi's arrival in the Americas, but it's rather safe to assume that Book of Mormon gold plates were quite similar to these.

It's fascinating to compare the form and makeup of the characters on these plates with the ones copied to paper and shown to by Martin Harris Professor Charles Anthon at Columbia University. There are many similarities. One could be persuaded that perhaps Phonecian and Etruscan were related to or even a form of the Reformed Egyptian found on the gold plates.

See also: Golden Plates by William Hamblin

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book of Mormon Challenges: Elephants in America?

Could it be there were elephants in ancient America?

Key quote from the article:
While the jury is still out, there are a number of North American Indian traditions which recount legends of giant stiff-legged beasts which would never lie down, had a big head and large leaf-like ears, round footprints, forward-bending knees, and had a fifth appendage coming out of its head.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book of Mormon Challenges: Pre-Columbian horses?

What about "horses" mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

Key quote from the article:
There are at least two possible resolutions to the “horse” problem in the Book of Mormon: (1) definitions were expanded to include new meanings and (2) horses were present but their remains have not been found.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book of Mormon Challenges: Why anachronisms?

Why are there anachronisms in the Book of Mormon?

Key quote from the article:
The Book of Mormon has frequently been charged with containing numerous anachronistic items including certain animals, plants, metals, textiles, and weapons. In all instances, however, there is the possibility that (a) such things were once in the Americas but the evidence has either disappeared or has not yet been found, or (b) Book of Mormon labels are based on the re-labeling of New World items with familiar Old World labels. To claim that things did not exist because they have not been found is to commit the logical fallacy of arguing from ignorance or silence. According to a famous and generally accepted archaeological dictum, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Book of Mormon Challenges: Taken from other manuscripts?

From Book of Mormon 1: Taken from other manuscripts?

Key quote from the article:
Even many years later, after Rigdon had apostatized from the Church, he denied ever having seen the Book of Mormon until it was introduced to him by the Mormon missionary Parley P. Pratt. Somehow the Spalding manuscript was lost and then resurfaced in 1884 in a pile of papers belonging to a man who had bought Howe’s business. Examining Spalding’s actual novel proved that the Mormons had been right all along; any similarities between the manuscript and the Book of Mormon were superficial.