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Real Cities from the Book of Mormon
Are there real places and cities and peoples that match Book of Mormon accounts?
by Jeff Lindsay
Yes there are! The most impressive specific correlations are in the Arabian Peninsula, where specific places described by Nephi appear to have been found right where the text requires them to be. The recent discovery of the ancient burial site Nahom and the amazing discovery of the placed called Bountiful (Wadi Sayq), both right where they should be, is simply overwhelming evidence that at least part of the Book of Mormon is authentic and could not have been fabricated by Joseph Smith or anyone else in the nineteenth century. For more details, see my Book of Mormon evidences page at "http://www.athenet.net/~jlindsay/BMEvidences.shtml".
As for the account dealing with peoples in the New World, Book of Mormon geography best fits the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (southern Mexico, Guatemala), where a number of sites, cities, etc., have been tentatively correlated with Book of Mormon locations. The best treatment of this is in John Sorenson's An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon. He offers fascinating correlations, very strong (in my opinion), though only a small fraction of the archaeological work has been done that is needed to confirm most of the specific proposals. The Lamanites in the Book of Mormon may correlate well with a part of the early Mayan civilization or one of the other cultural groups in ancient Mesoamerica. The peoples described in the Book of Ether could very well be part of the Olmec peoples from the same area. A number of Mayan legends and the few surviving writings provide interesting parallels with Book of Mormon concepts. Could write much more on this if you're interested. Bottom line: yes, there are real places and there were real people described in what is truly an authentic ancient record. But we are in our infancy when it comes to understanding Mesoamerica. Until scholars are able to do more work there, the argument from silence should be applied with caution.
(See The Book of Mormon home page; Response to Criticism home page; Accusatory Questions home page)
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