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Is there any Archaeological Evidence that the History of the Book of Mormon took place in the Great Lakes/New York Area?

In answer to the above question, Joseph L. Allen Ph.D., gave just a few of the many examples, discoveries, and information relating to the fact that archaeological evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that the main historical events of the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica.  
"For more than 100 years scholars have re-created the history of the Great Lakes/New York region. They have found the following:" 

"A Written Language 
There is no evidence of a written language in the Great Lakes region during either the Jaredite (2500 B.C. to 300 B.C.) or the Nephite (600 B.C. to 400 A.D.) time period. Since both the Jaredites (Mosiah 18:7-12) and the Nephites (1 Nephi 1:2-4) wrote their histories, any area proposed as Book of Mormon lands must have had a written language during those time periods. 
Some have argued that only the Nephites wrote a history and that other people in the area did not write, therefore one would not expect to find evidence of a written language. However, as early as 145 B.C., apostate Nephite priests were commissioned by a Lamanite king to teach the Nephite language to his people so that they could “keep their record so that they might writeone to another” (Mosiah 24:3-6). 

Building with Cement 
There is no evidence of buildings made of cement in the Great Lakes region during the Book of Mormon time period as required by the Book of Mormon record.  
In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nephites had become “expert in the working of cement; therefore, they did build houses of cement in which they did dwell” (Helaman 3:7).  
The reference in Helaman, as well as another reference in Alma 63:4-6, inform us that the area where the Nephites built buildings of cement was in the land northward. Students of the Book of Mormon will recall that the land northward was divided from the land southward by a narrow neck of land (Alma 27:32).  
Some have suggested that we would not expect to find the remnants of cement buildings because the whole face of the land was changed at the time of the great destruction at the death of Christ. However, the very nature of destructions are a great aid to archaeologists in uncovering the evidence because in essence they freeze the debri in time and space much like the volcanic eruption of Pompeii.

An Advanced Civilization
There is no evidence in the Great Lakes region of a stabilized civilization with kings, religion, trading, manufacturing of tools for warfare, farming, and mining, as required by the Book of Mormon history (see Ether 10:4)...about 1000 B.C. and Mosiah 18:26-29, c 145 B.C. 

Population Studies
Closely related to the lack of a high civilization in the Great Lakes Region are population studies. At approximately 300 B.C. the Jaredites had a great civil war which brought an end to their nation. Prior to that time more than two million people had been killed (Ether 15:2). Likewise, the Lamanites and Nephites had battles in the first century B.C. where “thousands and tens of thousands” were killed (Alma 3:26). The great battle at Cumorah resulted in the death of 270,000 Nephites as well as many Lamanites (Mormon 6:10-15). 
Scholars of the history of the Great Lakes/New York region immediately dismiss the possibility of these kinds of death tolls in the region because there were not nearly enough people living there at the time.

A Tropical Climate
The climate described in the Book of Mormon dictates a tropical rain forest as illustrated by the statement that some “died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land” and “the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of the diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate” (Alma 46:39-41). 
There is also the implication that the climate was marked by a distinct rainy and dry season as in the statement “the earth was smitten that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain” (Helaman 11:6,13). In a contrasting manner, the fact that snow and cold are not mentioned in the Book of Mormon also eliminates the Great Lakes region as Book of Mormon lands.
It has been argued that because the word “hail” is mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the Great Lakes region qualifies the Book of Mormon…
There are at least two good reasons why this argument is not valid. First, the word “hail” is mentioned only twice in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 12:6 and Helaman 5:12). In both instances it is in reference to a prophecy that is not related to the climate of the book of Mormon lands. And second, hail cannot be confined to the Great Lakes area as it occurs throughout all of the Americas. 

Agriculture products can be dated to specific periods of ancient civilizations. Archaeologists have determined that corn was not introduced into the Great Lakes region until about 500 A.D., after the end of Book of Mormon history. This is done by examining the teeth of skeletons of people found in the area who lived before and after 500 A.D. The Book of Mormon mentions the use of corn as early as 200 B.C. (Mosiah 9:9,14). 
Failure to locate agricultural products such as corn during these periods casts serious doubt on the Great Lakes/New York region as a location for Book of Mormon civilizations.

People or Place Names
There is no evidence of people or place names found in the Book of Mormon in the Great Lakes region that date to the proper time periods. Linguists and archaeologists can trace language names as far back as 2600 B.C.

Local or Traditional History
There is no local or traditional history that outlines the origins of a people who came from the tower of Babel and whose civilization came to an end as a result of a massive civil war where millions of people were killed (Ether 15).

A Pacific Crossing
The book of Mormon requires Lehi to cross the Pacific rather Atlantic Ocean (Alma 22:30). It is inconceivable that Lehi landed on the east coast of North America without crossing the Atlantic. Such a crossing is contrary to the text of the Book of Mormon. 

An East-West Mountain Range
The Book of Mormon requires an east-west mountain range touching both an east and a west sea that divides Nephi from Zarahemla (Alma 22:27). There is no east-west mountain range in the Great Lakes region.

Region Does Not Meet the Test
Because the Great Lakes region does not meet any of the necessary criteria, any attempt at placing Book of Mormon locations in this region is pure speculation and is detrimental to any legitimate study of the history of the Book of Mormon. In fact, considering the complete lack of archaeological evidence that a Book of Mormon civilization existed in the Great Lakes region, those who insist on placing it there unwittingly assist antiMormon groups in their efforts to disprove the Book of Mormon.”


(This short article was published in The Book of Mormon Archaeological Digest p.15.
Dr. Joseph Allen and his family have traveled down to Mesoamerica more than 500 times.  In most of those trips they were giving tours. The Allen’s were Book of Mormon / Mesoamerica tour guides.  Dr. Joseph Allen has written two books: Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, published in 1989.  And he has co-authored with his son Blake Allen: Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon 2nd Edition, published in 2008.)