Yes. There are ancient records that have come from the ground. These ancient records are collectively called the Book of Mormon, which is an 1829 translation of these records describing several past cultures and civilizations spanning thousands of years. This record is even more valuable as archeological evidence now that we have been able to match many Book of Mormon places and details to actual locations on the earth. The translation of the Book of Mormon came by the gift and power of God, and we have found the book’s geographical details to be correctly recorded, and in complete harmony with existing features on the earth.
Have ancient artifacts and impressive ruins been found in Baja California?
Baja California has barely been touched by archaeologists, possibly because of its isolated location. The few archaeological investigations have yielded the expected arrow heads, potsherds, middens, and burial caves. This area also has what is considered to be the most extensive and detailed rock paintings in the world. These investigations have provided some interesting items for testing and further analysis.
May we offer a word of caution: The Book of Mormon account describes the destruction of two civilizations that were literally “swept off” the land because of their iniquity. It is difficult to say how much evidence would have survived this destruction process, coupled with the normal diminution of evidence that would have happened over the 1600 years since the end of the Book of Mormon record. We should note that the Book of Mormon is a record of people who built humble homes, cities, synagogues and temples. It is feudal and slave-based civilizations who traditionally build elaborate structures for governing and worship, such as the pyramids of Egypt, the seven wonders of the world, or the tower of Babel. We need not look, therefore, to areas of ostentatious and extensive ruins in the Western Hemisphere to find the heartlands of the Book of Mormon peoples. In fact, the erosion of time may have destroyed the modest structures and artifacts they abruptly left behind. We have found that descriptions of their geographical settings, such as climate, plants and animals, and the relative location and scale of their lands have proved to be the most fruitful clues to their location.
What do your geographical findings mean to the many archaeological findings in Meso-America?
These intriguing and awe-inspiring archaeological ruins and findings in Meso-America deserve to be investigated, in their own right, but not because they sit on the sites where the Book of Mormon story took place or because they were built by the Book of Mormon people during the years of their recorded history. As we indicated, the Book of Mormon record describes a people who built humble homes, cities, temples, and synagogues. We need not look to areas of impressive and elaborate ruins such as have been discovered in Meso-America to find the locations mentioned in the Book of Mormon record. We should be quick to note, however, that those who built these structures in Meso-America could well be estranged cousins or distant descendants of the Book of Mormon people. The book itself indicates that those who survived the destruction of their civilization were “scattered upon the face of the earth.”
And another word of caution: The Biblical lands, after many years of archaeological investigation, have yielded only a few items that link to the Biblical record, especially during the hundreds of years the children of Israel were in Egypt. Any reader wishing to pursue the topic of archaeology and the Book of Mormon is strongly urged to read two chapters on the subject by Hugh Nibley, “The Nature of Book of Mormon Society” and “The Archaeological Problem,” published in his work, An Approach to the Book of Mormon. Links to these two chapters are provided on this web site. Nibley spells out what we should expect to find in the way of archaeological artifacts, and especially what we should not presume to find, simply because many of the anticipated items are not part of the society and culture of the Book of Mormon people. This is a sensitive and often controversial topic, and we again strongly urge the reader to study these two chapters and ponder Nibley’s perspectives. They have enlightened our understanding of Book of Mormon geography. Our goal is not to be adversarial but merely to pursue the truth, wherever found.
Updated: Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Questions Archaeological Evidence Why Baja California Most Important Evidence Limited Geographical Model Wars and Conflicts Analog of Biblical Lands Direction of the River Sidon Other Evidence Translation Insights What led you to Baja California
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