This article is an extract from Michael T. Griffith, Refuting the Critics (Horizon Publishers, 1993). The article answers criticisms of the Book of Mormon made by Gordon Fraser in his book Joseph and the Golden Plates. The complete chapter, along with all references, can be found in Refuting the Critics.


Michael T. Griffith


@All Rights Reserved

Book of Mormon Civilizations and Ancient Mesoamerica

Fraser: "It has . . . been established beyond question that the time periods of the florescence of the Indian cultures do not equate with the Book of Mormon datings (there is a difference of many hundreds of years). . ." (38).

RESPONSE: Fraser does not say just exactly who has established this datum. Certainly no non-Mormon scholars have done so, since none of them is familiar enough with the Nephite text's internal chronology and geography to adequately address the subject. And the reference to "the florescence of the Indian cultures" is extremely vague since there were numerous native cultures in the ancient Americas, and they did not all flourish at the same time.

In any event, there are definite correspondences between the Book of Mormon civilizations and major cultures of ancient Mesoamerica, which is the area identified by LDS scholars as the region where the events chronicled in the Nephite text took place. Even in 1968, M. Wells Jakeman was able to say the following:

What is now known of the Book of Mormon or Pre-Classic" period in Mesoamerica . . . is already in some agreement with that record. For example, two civilizations arose successively in the period according to present archaeological evidence, just as according to the Book of Mormon; the first of them, called by archaeologists the "Olmec," corresponding at least partly in time to the first of the two Book of Mormon civilizations, an advanced Mesopotamian-derived culture called by Book of Mormon students the "Jaredite"; and the second main archaeological development or civilization--actually the earliest period of the "Maya" civilization--corresponding closely in time to the second Book of Mormon civilization, an Israelitish culture known as the "Lehite-Mulekite" or "Nephite." (Jakeman 1968b:21).

Raymond Treat has added the following:

The succession of four righteous [Jaredite] kings and the recognition of Olmec came together at nearly the same time, 1400-1200 B.C. The Jaredite decline and the decline of Olmec civilization both occur from 600-200 B.C. The arrival of the Nephites and Mulekites which resulted in at least three new regional cultures, Nephite, Lamanite, and Mulekite, and a pattern of regional cultures with new traits are both seen in the 6th century B.C. The appearance of Jesus Christ, ushering in an outstanding period of happiness and prosperity known as the Golden Age and the rise of Maya civilization known throughout the world for its unique accomplishments, both occur in the first two centuries A.D. The division of the people, the downfall of the Nephite nation, the beginning of Maya hieroglyphs and the resumption of warfare are all dated in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D.

The Book of Mormon outline, first published in 1830, has not changed . The Mesoamerican outline has been gradually filled in with most of the information coming after 1950. The major points of both outlines can now be said to be in essential agreement. (1982:10)

The Book of Mormon reports that from around A . D. 100-350 the Nephite civilization enjoyed a tremendous cultural and economic expansion. There is good evidence that such a florescence did occur in ancient Mesoamerica.

By A.D. 250 most of the sites in the Rio Bec Zone suggest the presence of the socio-political structure, the ceremonialism, and most of the material expressions that were characteristic of the Classical Maya civilization (Adams 80). In the Pasion Valley and elsewhere throughout the Peten Lowlands, the Protoclassic period (ca. A.D. 50-350) was a time of "accelerated culture change" (Willey 1977:150-151). During this time, complex stelae were more thoroughly diffused from the major ceremonial center of Tikal to other parts of Mesoamerica (Culbert 2743). Tikal's impressive Floral Park ceramic phase occurred in Cimi times, i.e., A.D. 150-350 (Culbert 28-29). The peak of development at Becan seems to have occurred during the Protoclassic period (Ball 121). During the Protoclassic Izapan period (A.D. 150-250), the Soconusco district witnessed one of the greatest platform-building efforts in all of Mesoamerica (Lowe 234). All of these things happened at the exact same time the Book of Mormon reports that the people experienced a great florescence, often referred to as the Nephite Golden Age.

Moreover, R.E.W. Adams and T. Patrick Culbert note that by A.D. 250 the following civilizational traits were already firmly established in the Maya Lowlands: monumental architecture, an art style defined by specific conventions with thematic messages, mural paintings, illustrated books, jewelry products such as carved jades, palaces as administrative quarters, writing and a calendrical system, elaborate burials for the elite, functional and highly patterned urban centers, temples as burial sites, temples as kinship unit-ritual centers, and many others (4-5).

In short, Jakeman was right in saying that a study of the civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica in Book of Mormon times "will show that definite correspondences to the civilizations of the Book of Mormon, in both (1) geography and (2) chronology, as well as (3) number and order and (4) characteristics, have already begun to appear" (1963:102-103).

Semites, Mongoloids, and Others in Ancient Mesoamerica

Fraser: "The most stubborn problem encountered by the defenders of the Book of Mormon is the generally accepted fact that the American Indians are Mongoloids from eastern Asia and not Semites from western Asia, as they would have to be if they were descended from a group of Israelites who migrated from Jerusalem in 600 B.C." (38).

RESPONSE: The blanket statement that "the American Indians are Mongoloids" is not supported by the facts. A number of years ago, Virgil Haws of the Society for Early Historic Archaeology conducted a study of the blood types of the American Indians. His study is entitled The American Indian and the Blood Groups. Haws found that in many of the American Indian tribes there occurs a type of blood which is common among them but which is extremely rare among Mongoloids.

Furthermore, Francois Eustache observes that blood type B, which is common among Asians, is virtually non-existent among American Indians in North, Middle, and South America (19). William Boyd has also pointed out this fact (21).

Nibley has summarized the situation in these words:

A number of anthropological studies appearing in the past few years have been remarkably free of the old doctrinaire cocksureness that once characterized discussions of Indian origins. Here it will be enough to quote a remark of Carleton Beals, summarizing findings of the experts in the field of blood-typing: "Few Indians of South America [and even less of North America, according to Beals] have even 1 percent of B blood, and most have none at all--though this is the most important and characteristic non-O ingredient of Asia .... Here is a mystery that requires much pondering and investigation." The Indians, that is, who are supposed as we all know to have come from eastern Asia, do not have the Asiatic blood-type. (1976:x-xi, brackets in original)

P. Rivet discusses the non-Mongoloid cranial forms of the Maya of Mesoamerica:

Physically, it is difficult for us to relate the Maya to an Asiatic group. The cranial deformation is absent from the northeast of Asia, with people who can be classed as Mongoloid, and the prominent nose with convex bridge is compatible with the complete development of the Mongoloid physical characteristics. Neither those flattened [Maya] heads nor those "Proboscoden" noses are at home in Mongoloid Asia. (227)

In relation to this issue, it is important to keep in mind the fact that the Book of Mormon does not claim to be a history of all of the ancient cultures in the New World. In addition, since the Nephite record's geographical statements indicate that its land area was confined to Mesoamerica, Mormon scholars recognize that not all of the American Indians are descended from Book of Mormon peoples.

Fraser: "A final contrast" between Semites and Mongoloids "is in the presence of what is termed by anthropologists as the Mongolian spot on the sacral area of most Mongoloid babies" (40-41).

RESPONSE: The so-called "Mongolian spot" is not confined to Mongoloids and American Indian groups. It is found on most infants of most populations in which the skin has much pigmentation, as among the Polynesians, and also among some of the darker populations of the "white" race such as the Portuguese and the Spaniards (Haws 2).

Fraser: There were no Semites in ancient America. There is "no hint" of any ancient transoceanic crossings to the New World by Semites (35-41)

RESPONSE: Actually, there is a great deal of evidence that there were Semites in the ancient Americas. Significantly, most of the evidence comes from Mesoamerica, the Book of Mormon land area.

To begin with, as mentioned previously, well over a hundred cultural and religious parallels between the ancient Near East and Mesoamerica have been documented by numerous scholars, both Mormon and non-Mormon (Heyerdahl 59-92; Kelley 1960; Sorenson 1971; Sorenson and Raish; Riley; Warren and Ferguson 201-230). These parallels include important resemblances in such areas as calendrics, plant life elements, belief and ritual practices, religious symbolism, social customs, politics, economic and subsistence elements, technology, language, and architecture

David Kelley, a leading authority in the field of Mesoamerican studies has found that certain day names and associated symbols in the Mayan calendar seem related to Hebrew; so much so, in fact, that he believes Semites played a role in shaping certain aspects of the Mayan calendar (1960).

Jakeman also sees Semitic features in the Mayan calendar, as well as Egyptian (1947). W.L. Mahoney agrees with Jakeman on the presence of Egyptian elements in the Mayan calendar.

One important piece of evidence for Semites in ancient Mesoamerica is the discovery in that area of numerous Semitic-looking bearded figures. Kirk Magleby completed a statistical analysis of more than two hundred and thirty of these ancient bearded figures. He published his findings in a lengthy study entitled A Survey Of Mesoamerican Bearded Figures. Among other things, Magleby observes that virtually all of the bearded figures are pre-Columbian and that many of them date to the Book of Mormon period He also points out that the geographic distribution of the figures is consistent with the geography of the Nephite record. In commenting on the presence of bearded figures in ancient Mesoamerica, Heyerdahl has said the following:

In fact, highly realistic illustrations of the bearded and often almost Arabo-Semitic ethnic type are extremely common all the way across Mexico, from Guerro into Yucatan, from the Mexican high plateau and the northern jungles of Vera Cruz to Chiapas, and from there into Guatemala and El Salvador. [These figures are] . . . depicted in freestanding statues, in carved reliefs on flat stone stelae, molded in clay, shaped in gold, painted on ceramic vessels and stucco walls, and in the picture writings of pre-Columbian paper folding books. (119)

Jakeman points out that the ancient Itza people of Yucatan had numerous decidedly Caucasian-like facial features, such as Caucasian-in-type noses, foreheads, and chins (1945:181).

At the ancient Mesoamerican site of La Venta, a stela was discovered, Stela 3, upon which is carved a figure with some remarkably Semitic features. This figure, according to Mexican archaeologist Miguel Covarrubias, is "a fully bearded man with an enormous aquiline nose . . . , a personage with surprisingly pronounced Semitic features" (90, emphasis added).

To judge from their art, the Olmecs (ca. 2500-300 B.C.) comprised two contrasting ethnic types. One was remarkably Negroid. "The other Olmec type," says Heyerdahl, "is completely different, sometimes representing a strikingly Semitic type, with sharp profile, a prominent hooked nose, narrow face, thin lips, and a pronounced beard ...." (119, emphasis added).

Polish anthropologist Andrzej Wiercinski examined a large series of skulls excavated at dated sites in Mesoamerica. These skulls showed evidence not only of north and central Asian physical types, but also Chinese, and, most importantly, Caucasoid features, including the Near Eastern Armenoid subtypes whose rather large noses and beards resemble the classic American figure known as "Uncle Sam" (Wiercinski; Sorenson 1985:88).

A number of scholars have found parallels between some ancient Mesoamerican languages and Hebrew and Egyptian (Smith 1977; Agrignier; Gordon 1971:99; Sorenson 1985:74-81; Reed 8-10).

Ancient Mesoamerican religious texts and the writings of numerous Spanish priests and historians record two prominent native traditions: (1) that the ancestors of certain Mesoamerican tribes arrived by sea from across the ocean; and (2) that there were light-skinned, bearded peoples in the region anciently (F. Harris III; Sorenson 1955). Some of these sources--Diego de Landa, Diego Duran, and the Quiches--even asserted that the ancestors of some Mesoamerican tribes were Hebrews (F. Harris III 44-50).

Warfare in Ancient Mesoamerica

Fraser: "There is no evidence that great wars occurred among the inhabitants during the fifth century A. D., as would be required if the Book of Mormon is reliable" (48) . "The inhabitants of early America, especially in the period between 600 B.C. and A . D. 421, which is the period of the Book of Mormon, had little interest in war, hence the arts and weapons of warfare were virtually unknown to them" (57).

RESPONSE: First of all, the actual period of the Book of Mormon, when you include the Jaredites, spanned from around 3000 B.C. to A.D. 421. This takes us from when the Jaredites started off in Mesopotamia clear to the end of Nephite history. The Book of Mormon era in Mesoamerica equates closely to the Preclassic and Protoclassic periods in that region. Many scholars include the latter with the former, so that everything before around the fourth or fifth century A.D. is labeled Preclassic (also Formative).

As for the idea that the civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica were peaceful during Book of Mormon times, this notion has long been thoroughly refuted (Webster; Baudez and Becquelin; Palmer 1985; Ricks and Hamblin; see also below).

The arts and weapons of warfare were certainly well known in ancient Mesoamerica during the Book of Mormon period. Here is a brief overview of just some of the evidence of this fact:

Obisidian-edged swords, knives, and lances are shown on various Preclassic Olmec monuments (Palmer 1981:136).

Numerous ancient Mesoamerican sites built during Book of Mormon times, including Becan, Tikal, El Mirador, and Los Naranjos, were protected by huge defensive fortifications (Treat 25-26; Staff, Brigham Young University El Mirador Project 2; Puleston and Callender; Baudez and Becquelin; Sorenson 1984:32). The fortifications at Becan bear a striking resemblance to those described in the Book of Mormon (Treat 25-26; Sorenson 1985:261).

In the Rio Bec region near Becan, there is evidence of rapid population growth and movement toward the end of the Preclassic period, "related significantly enough, to large-scale warfare" (Webster 360)

At Tikal, which is located in the Maya lowlands, Stela 31 pictures a Maya lord flanked by armed warriors (Webster 362). These warriors are armed in a fashion more typical of the Maya highlands area, "raising the possibility that foreign mercenaries may have been used in lowland conflicts" (Webster 362).

In addition, Sorenson and others have amassed quite a bit of evidence of especially heavy fighting in Mesoamerica during the time the Book of Mormon indicates the last great battles between the Nephites and the Lamanites were being fought (Sorenson 1985 :260-264, 335-353; Palmer 1981:200-213; Allen 1989:80-82) . A plausible reconstruction of the geography of those last battles has even been worked out (Sorenson 1985:335-353).

Fraser: "Joseph Smith probably thought he was on safe ground when he mentioned the bow and arrow. Wasn't the bow and arrow the very symbol of Indian fighting? Unfortunately, we must once more spoil Smith's picture. The sinew-backed bow is a Mongolian device that was brought to America probably by the Navajos at a date much too late to enter the Book of Mormon story" (60).

RESPONSE: To begin with, the Book of Mormon reports that Nephi an his brothers knew of and used the bow and arrow while they were still living in the Old World, well before they came to Mesoamerica. Therefore, they would not have been dependent on the Mongolian sinewed bow, since composite and solid metal bows were used in the ancient Near East long before Lehi's party left Jerusalem in approximately 600 B.C. (Goff and Welch 1-2; Nibley 1952:66-69; Achtemeier 1985:1123-1124; Vos 99). So it makes no difference when the Mongolian sinewed bow was first used in the New World.

Concerning the use of the bow and arrow in ancient Mesoamerica, Sorenson has said the following:

The intimidating effect of outdated views is shown by a recent incident. One of my former students wrote to me with some concern because his professor at an eastern university had assured him that the bow and arrow, mentioned in several places in the Book of Mormon, was not present in Mesoamerica until A.D. 900. But I could assure him that a potsherd from central Mexico has scratched on it a sketch of a man with such a weapon. The fragment is dated approximately eight hundred years prior to the "recognized" date cited by the professor. (1984: 33-34, citing Muller 231).

Literacy In Ancient Mesoamerica

Fraser: The Nephites could not have written their language down because "literacy in Middle-America came into its florescence many years after the Book of Mormon dates, and during most of the period ascribed to the Mormon record there was no true literacy known on the American continents" (52).

RESPONSE: Scholars have known for decades that highly developed writing was present in ancient Mesoamerica during Book of Mormon times In fact scholars are now agreed that Mayan hieroglyphic writing had its beginnings in Preclassic times (i.e., from the Jaredite era to the early part of the first century A.D.), and many authorities believe that writing in the region originated at least in part with the Olmec civilization (Marcus; Coe 1966:22)

At Uaxactun and Tikal the advanced form of the Maya Long Count calendar and the Classic style of Mayan hieroglyphic writing were already in their final stages of development (Willey 1977:146-147). Highly developed Maya writing, with main signs accompanied by extensive affixing, appears on the Tuxtla Statuette with a date corresponding to a day in the year A . D. 162 (Coe 1977:194). Archaeological excavations have made it clear that the inhabitants of the giant ruin of Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala, were using a highly developed glyphic writing system during Book of Mormon times (V. Norman 1976:232).

It is odd that Fraser could be so misinformed about writing in ancient Mesoamerica, (I) because the facts on the matter are so well known, and (2) because Victor Von Hagen's book, The Aztec: Man and Tribe, from which Fraser quotes on page 47, mentions the fact that by 500 B.C. the inhabitants of Monte Alban had already developed glyphic writing (Von Hagen 1961:34).

Fraser: In connection with his claim that during most of the Book of Mormon period there was "no true literacy known on the American continents," Fraser maintains that the earliest of the Mesoamerican calendar stones (stelae) whose date has been positively established "is the one known as Stela 9, discovered at Uaxactun, and bears the Maya date which in our dating would be around A.D. 328 .... [This] was only 93 years before the civilization recorded in the Book of Mormon is supposed to have come to a bloody close" (52-53).

RESPONSE: If the earliest carved stone monument in Mesoamerica is Uaxactun Stela 9 dating to A . D. 328, then what about El Baul Stela I, which dates to A . D. 36? What about the Tuxtla Statuette, which dates to A.D. 162? What about Tikal Stela 29, which dates to A.D. 292? What about the Leidan Plate, which dates to A.D. 320? And what about the mass of Izapan stelae which date from 300 B.C. to A.D. 200 (Coe 1977:194; 1966:74-75; V. Norman)

Great Cities And Large Populations

Fraser: The Book of Mormon's references to large Preclassic and Protoclassic Mesoamerican cities are in error because there were "no great cities such as are mentioned by the Book of Mormon" (58).

RESPONSE: The fact that there were large, impressive cities built in Mesoamerica during Book of Mormon times has been well known to scholars for decades. A partial list of these cities would include El Mirador, Palenque, Tikal, Karninaljuyu, Izapa, Santa Rosa, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Becan, La Venta, Teotihuacan, Monte Alban, Chalchitan, Dainzu, Chiapa de Corzo, Altamira, Padre Piedra, San Isidro, Vera Cruz II, La Libertad, Mitla, and Ocozocoatla (Cf. Palmer 1982).

Fraser: Contrary to what the Book of Mormon claims, "During the entire period in question there were no great concentrations of population" in ancient Mesoamerica (58).

RESPONSE: The Book of Mormon's references to great concentrations of population in ancient Mesoamerica have been strikingly vindicated by modern research (Treat 11-13; Elefson 30-33; see also below). Sorenson discusses some of the evidence of the Nephite record's references to large populations:

In 1560, Father Bartolome de Las Casas estimated that forty million native Americans had perished "unjustly and through tyranny" in New Spain in the two generations after Columbus's discovery .. .. Henry Dobyn's assessment of the data led him in 1966 to conclude that ninety million natives had inhabited the Americas around A.D. 1500--more that forty million of them in Mexico and Central America.

Population studies are not, of course, based upon speculation or interpretative whim. As historical and archaeological sources are more carefully examined and the specialists correct each other by mutual criticism, a better grasp of the real numbers is emerging. William Denevan's 1976 volume, The Native Population of the Americas in 1492, weighted all the arguments. His estimated total of 57 million for the hemisphere seems fairly safe. He concluded that Mexico and Central America had some 27 million. Moreover, according to Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, who used native documents as sources for his post-Conquest history of central Mexico, the "Toltecs" of the tenth century carried on wars with forces in the millions and suffered over 5.6 million dead. Even discounting for possible exaggeration, such numbers are not outside the range of the reasonable. Neither are the 230,000 warrior attributed to the Nephites six hundred years earlier.

The figures on Mesoamerican population offered by demographers decades ago could not be reconciled with statements in the Book of Mormon about millions of people being destroyed in the concluding Jaredite and Nephite wars. Now, analysis of the data on lands occupied ecology, sizes, war casualties, and other population-related factors in the Book of Mormon text shows striking consistency and realism in the reported demographic changes. At the same time, the absolute numbers reported in the book are of the same order of magnitude as the figures which current research on Mesoamerica finds acceptable.

The Wheel And Highways

Fraser: Chariots are "mentioned frequently in Joseph Smith's war tales This is pure imagination . . .. The chariots would, of course, suggest wheels This is another gross blunder. The wheel was never used in America" before the coming of the Europeans (59).

RESPONSE: There is substantial evidence of the use of the wheel in Mesoamerica in the Book of Mormon era. Numerous examples of pre-Columbian wheeled figurines (or "toys") have been unearthed in Mesoamerica. These examples date from approximately 100 B.C. to A.D. 900 It is highly unlikely that these figurines employed a basic mechanical principle that was not used in larger models. If we consider the almost universal use of dolls, which are miniature duplicates of people or animals, and of other small items of everyday life, it is worth observing that not a single toy has been found in a culture that was not at least a partial replica of a larger, practical model. In terms of simple logic, is it conceivable that a people would make a design of something in the form of a small model and not use it on a large

Verneil Simmons finds evidence in support of the Book of Mormon's references to chariots:

In 1887 . . . Desire de Charnay, a traveled Frenchman, published Ancient Cities of the New World. In his visits in Mexico he had excavated a number of ancient burials found on the slopes of Popocatepetl in which he had found a number of small clay objects that had the appearance of pull toys. One such toy with an animal head and tail, flattened body, and four clay disks for wheels was pictured in his book. When found, axles were missing, but when he had whittled new ones and inserted them into the clay disks, he declared, "My chariots rolled."

Charnay also quoted and commented on a statement by an early Indian historian who used an ambiguous word meaning both "chariot" and "transport." He further referred to a drawing in the writings of Father Duran [an early Spanish Chronicler], which showed a "rude chariot with clog wheels, drawn by a multitude of Indians."

In 1940 the Stirling Expedition to Tres Zapotes, Veracruz, discovered small pottery toys in the form of animals which rolled back and forth on clay disks for wheels. As excavations increased more wheeled toys were found in the state of Veracruz and in other areas of Mexico . . ..

The use of chariots, or wheeled vehicles, is mentioned twice in the Book of Mormon . . .. We have no idea what these "chariots" looked like. They could have been two-wheeled carts or even flatbed bodies on four wheels which would have been practical for moving their goods. The toys come in two-wheeled and four-wheeled models and indicate that both types were possible. (134-135, see also Sorenson 1980)

Furthermore, the Nephites certainly would have had every opportunity to learn about the wheel before setting sail for Mesoamerica. The principle of the wheel was widely understood in the ancient Near East (Achtemier 1985:1132).

Fraser: "Mormon apologists will remind us of the existence of highways in Yucatan which, they say, would indicate the use of wheeled vehicles. This is grasping at straws because these same Mormon writers are well aware that these roads were not in existence during the Book of Mormon period and, when they were built, were used as approaches to the temples for the religious processions, and then only by pedestrians" (60).

RESPONSE: Not all of the highways built on the Yucatan Peninsula postdate the Book of Mormon era; some of them were built from around A.D. 300-500, and one of them dates even earlier.

The idea that the Yucatan highways were not used for wheeled vehicular travel seems far-fetched. These highways connected such ancient cities as Kampocoicha, Muyut, Tulum, Xelha, Pole, Cacakal, Mochi, Dzilam, Merida (T'ho), Uxmal, Champoaton, Tancah, Labna, and numerous other cities (Von Hagen 1960:186) . These roads spanned a distance of hundreds of miles, and they ranged from about twelve to thirty-three feet in width. Are we really supposed to believe that all of these highways were used only as "approaches to the temples for the religious processions, and then only by pedestrians?"

Numerous roads have been found which date to the Book of Mormon period . Sorenson points out the following:

Latter-day Saint writers have in the past compared the "highways" and "roads" mentioned in 3 Nephi (6:8; 8:13) to the lime-surfaced causeways ("sacbes") on the Yucatan Peninsula. The ones identified as late as twenty years ago were nearly all concentrated in that restricted area and seemed to date well after Book of Mormon days. Recent studies, however, show that road-building has a long history and occurred from one end of Mesoamerica to the other.

The earliest causeway known at this time [1984] is in Komchen, in extreme northern Yucatan. E. Willys Andrews V. and his colleagues from Tulane University date one of them from around 300 B.C. At Cerros in Belize (formerly British Honduras) another was in use between 50 B.C. and A.D. 150. Later roads were built at La Quemada in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, at the extreme northern limit of Mesoamerica

Others were at Xochicalco, just south of Mexico City, where three kilometers of paved roads exist, and at Monte Alban. (1984:18)

Moreover, there are several highways radiating out from El Mirador (300 B.C. to A.D. 300). One highway goes to the site of Nakbe about eight miles to the southeast, and another goes to an unrecorded site about twelve and a half miles to the southwest. Several other causeways fan out northward to unknown destinations. In addition, a 62-mile Mayan road has been located about two hundred miles northeast of El Mirador (Treat 28).



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Michael T. Griffith holds a Masterís degree in Theology from The Catholic Distance University, a Graduate Certificate in Ancient and Classical History from American Military University, a Bachelorís degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, and two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force.He also holds an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies and a Certificate of Civil War Studies from Carroll College.He is a graduate in Arabic and Hebrew of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training School in San Angelo, Texas.In addition, he has completed Advanced Hebrew programs at Haifa University in Israel and at the Spiro Institute in London, England.He is the author of five books on Mormonism and ancient texts, including How Firm A Foundation, A Ready Reply, and One Lord, One Faith.


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