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Saturday
Mar262011

Archaeology

The scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains, especially those that have been excavated.
— Dictionary.com

If the Book of Mormon is an authentic historical record of real people, language, and cultures, then we would expect to find tangible evidences that corroborate it—unless of course it is a work of Joseph Smith's imagination.

The Archaeological Record

Comparing the Book of Mormon narrative with the Archaeological record.
Book of Mormon Archaeology
People
Nephites, Lamanites, Mulekites.
Jews are the principle ancestors of the indigenous inhabitants.
Book of Mormon peoples are unknown. Analysis demonstrates indigenous inhabitants are of Asian descent.

The Origins of Native Americans, Michael H. Crawford Evidence indicates extremely strong biological and cultural affinities between New World and Asian populations and leave no doubt that the first migrants into the Americas were Asians, possibly from Siberia.

Michael H. Crawford
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Kansas
The Origins of Native Americans, p.3-4
Geography
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides no answer as to where the events in the Book of Mormon take place.

See Book of Mormon Locations
Because of this vacuum, Mormon apologists and members are left to speculate, of which there is no consensus:
Language
Reformed Egyptian and possibly Hebrew.
The Book of Mormon suddenly appears with no other extant copies, fragments, quotations, citations, inscriptions, engravings, carvings, parchments, scrolls, etc. found. Hebrew and Egyptian have never been found in the ancient New World.

Michael D. Coe Of all the peoples of the pre-Columbian New World, only the ancient Maya had a complete script.

Michael D. Coe
Prof. Yale University
Breaking the Maya Code, preface
Agriculture
Wheat, Barley, Figs
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Animals
Cattle, oxen, ass, horses, goats, sheep, swine, elephants
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Coinage
Alma 11.5-20
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Industry
Chariots, Compass, Windows
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Metallurgy
Steel, Smelting, Dross
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Weaponry
Chariots, Steel Swords, Archery, Scimitars
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms
Religion
Judaism, Christianity, Synagogues
See Book of Mormon Anachronisms


New World Archaeological Funding (NWAF)

The NWAF is part of BYU. It was financed from inception by the church to perform archaeological research for Book of Mormon evidences throughout Mesoamerica. After 17 fruitless years, its founder, Thomas Stuart Ferguson, lost his testimony and declared:
Thomas Stuart Ferguson You can't set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere — because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archaeology. I should say — what is in the ground will never confirm to what is in the book.

Thomas Stuart Ferguson - NWAF Founder
Letter dated February 2, 1976


Smithsonian Institute

The Smithsonian Institute has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.


National Geographic

Smith's narration is not generally taken as a scientific source for the history of the Americas. Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere's past, and the Society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.


Conclusion

The Book of Mormon is an unverified translation from non-existent records written in an unknown language by unknown people from an unknown land.


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