Mormon Archeological Observations


In addition to the foregoing statements from the Book of Mormon which indicate the tremendous spread of the culture of these races, there are some thirty-eight cities catalogued in the Book of Mormon, evidence that these were indeed mighty civilizations which should, by all the laws of archeological research into the culture of antiquity, have left vast amounts of “finds” to be evaluated. But such is not the case as we shall show. The Mormons have yet to explain the fact that leading archeological researchers not only have repudiated the claims of the Book of Mormon as to the existence of these civilizations, but have adduced considerable evidence to show the impossibility of the accounts given in the Mormon Bible.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington has also added its voice against the archeological claims of the Book of Mormon. Such a highly regarded scientific source the Mormons can ill afford to ignore.

  1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection
    between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.
  2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World—probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age— in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
  3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen who arrived in the northeastern part of North America around A.D. 1000. There is nothing to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.
  4. One of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific finding that contacts with Old World civilizations, if indeed they occurred at all, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations, is the fact that none of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre-Columbian times. American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, camels, etc., before 1492. The do­mesticated dogs of the Indians accompanied their ancestors from north­western Asia. Domesticated sweet potatoes occurred in both hemispheres, but probably originated in the New World and spread from there into the Pacific.
  5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492 (except for occasional use ofunsmeltedmeteoric iron). Nuggets of native copper were used in various locations in pre-Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late pre-historic times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.
  6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by no means certain that even such contacts occurred; certainly there were no contacts with the ancient Egyptians, Hebrew, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near East.
  7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World archeol­ogy. And no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or confirmed any relationship between archeological remains in Mexico and archeological remains in Egypt.
  8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have fre­quently appeared in newspapers, magazines, and sensational books. None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable scholars. No in­scriptions using Old World forms of writing have been shown to have oc­curred in any part of the Americas before 1492.

Summer 1979
From this evidence, it is clear that the cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon are imaginary, that elephants never existed on this continent, and that the metals described in the Book of Mormon have never been found in any of the areas of contemporary civilizations of the New World. Here is not a theologian attempting to discredit the Mormons on the basis of their theology, but recognized archeological experts challenging the Book of Mormon on the basis of the fact that its accounts are not in keeping with the findings of science. Mormon missionaries are generally reluctant to discuss these areas as the evidence in support of the Book of Mormon is blatantly lacking.

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