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There Were Many Highways Cast Up

“And there were many highways cast up, and many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place.”  (3 Nephi 6:8)  29-30 A.D.

“And behold, now it came to pass that it was upon a tower, which was in the garden of Nephi, which was by the highway which led to the chief market, which was in the city of Zarahemla; therefore, Nephi had bowed himself upon the tower which was in his garden, which tower was also near unto the garden gate by which led the highway.”                       (Helaman 7:10) Between 23 B.C.-20 B.C.   Also: (Helaman 14:24) About 6 B.C.  &  (3 Nephi 8:13)  About 33-34 A.D.
The above scriptures have some strange and unusual statements or claims in them. 

1st The most obvious strange claim is that these ancient people had "highways" that “led from city to city, and from land to land”.
Needless to say that in 1830 A.D., when the Book of Mormon was first published, there was no published information, in the United States about any such ancient Book of Mormon time period “highways” in Mesoamerica or ancient "highways" anywhere in the Western Hemisphere that "led from city to city".

2nd The other very interesting and strange thing is the language that is used.  The language that these “highways” were “cast up”  Now what in the world are they talking about when they say that these "highways" were “cast up”? 

The Dictionary definition of the word “cast” means “to throw (something) so as to cause it to spread over an area”.  And the word “up” means: “ movement toward the sky or a higher position”.

We in our language would normally say that we build highways from city to city.
We do not throw a highway up or "cast up" a highway.
The Prophet Mormon in writing about their highways was actually describing how they made their highways.  They “cast up” dirt from the sides of the road in order to make a road higher and help keep it dry.  It’s the same reasoning why we make a barrow drainage ditch along the side of our highways today.

Note:  The same language is used in Alma 53:4 "And he caused that they should build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch; and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers..."

Did these an ancient Book of Mormon people have any "highways" that "led from city to city" having dirt "cast up" from the sides of the roads?  
There are hundreds of miles of ancient highways in Mesoamerica that date exactly to the Book of Mormon time period.
Some estimate that there is up to 4,000 miles of ancient roads in Mesoamerica and Central America.  With some being covered with cement.

Highways  2,000 B.C. to 250 A.D.   Exactly Book of Mormon time period.

‘Twenty-six…  [2,000 B.C. to 25 A.D], city sites have been identified in the [Mirador Basin], including Nakbé, La Muralla, Waknab, La Manteca, Tintal, Xulnal, Wiknal, Chan Kan, Wakna', Paixban, Naachtún, Dos Lagunas and many more still unnamed…south and east [of] El Mirador.  

Huge highways connected all of these 26 ancient cities.

These 26 ancient cities were all connected by huge highways, called Cuseways, Sacbe'ob, or Sacbé in singular, meaning white roads, due to being “paved” over with white stucco.
Some of these highways have dirt “cast up”  6 to 19 feet high.
With some highways as wide as  a 4 lane highway, 131 feet wide.  
(2 to 6 meters high and 44 meters wide.)   
The highway between El Mirador and Tintal is about 24 miles long. 
These highways are clearly distinguishable from the air seen on Satellite photographs.
There are no modern roads in the region and many [City] sites are a two or three-day hike from the nearest town of Carmelita.’
“These were [Cities at the time], equal in power and culture to those in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, etc.”

Another preclassic, [Book of Mormon time period highway], between the city site of Tiho to the Caribbean Sea near modern Puerto Morelos is 186 miles long [300 km]. 

(Source of Information:  Authentic Maya, El Mirador    Ancient Guatemala      Wikipedia )
"highways" that “led from city to city, and from land to land” (3 Nephi 6:8)  29-30 A.D.

According to Diaz-Bolio in a booklet on the sacbe’ob by Diaz-Bolio at the Acuario Hotel at Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula.   Diaz-Bolio  reports that these highways  “crisscrossed the entire Yucatan”.   "Only remnants of these causeways remain."  (Geography of the Maya Causeways - Dan Shaw)
Note similar language in the Bible:  "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway...."  (Isaiah 62:10)
In ancient times, a network of smooth roads with hard surface linked many cities large and small in the Yucatan peninsula. 
This land, from the remaining archaeological evidence seemed to have had, during the Book of Mormon time period, and shortly thereafter, the best road network "from city to city" in the world.

<< Cobá, Quintana Roo, Mexico Ancient Highway. 

Approximate date 800 B.C. to 600 B.C. 
[Book of Mormon time period.]

A complex network of sacbes, or stone roads, that are believed to have been built between 800 B.C. to 600 B.C, connects Coba’s buildings or Cities. There are over 40 sacbes that cover approximately 63 miles, (100 km). The sacbes reach other important Mayan cities, like Yaxuna, near Chichen Itza, Pole, now called Xcaret, and the Muyil.

In 1891, the Austrian archaeologist Teobert Maler, after hearing of an ancient city lost in the jungle, came to Coba and began its first excavation. The city remained undisturbed for another thirty-five years until 1926, when the Carnegie Institute financed two expeditions headed by Eric Thompson and Harry Pollock.
"Coba is… 45 km. northwest of Tulum. The site is actively being restored and is very large. Instead of concentrated plaza-like structures, but its layout is spread out over 70 square kilometersConnecting many of the buildings are sacbes, [Highways].



 << Highway at Xtobo, Xaman Susula, Yucatán Peninsula.






 << Highway to Calakmul, Campenche, Mexico  

 “Eight sacbe (causeways) have been located around Calakmul. Two of these have been mapped, three have been identified visually on the ground and three more identified with remote sensing. The sacbes not only linked Calakmul with local suburban sites but also with more distant allies and rivals, such as the great cities of El Mirador, El Tintal and Nakbe. The longest documented roadway links Calakmul with El Mirador first (38.25 kilometres (23.77 mi) to the southwest) and ends at El Tintal making this sacbe 68.25 kilometers (42.77 mi).”  (Calakmul Ruins - Campeche)



 << Highway near Dzibilchaltun, Yucatán Peninsula 






 << Highway near Labná, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico 








 << Chichén Itzá 








 << Ancient highway located on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve in Mexico.






 << Satellite image of an Ancient highway, Yucatán Peninsula.








 << An Inca road that dates back to 1453 B.C.  The Inca roads stretched for more than 10,000 miles. Although they are commonly called “Inca roads”. it is certain that this network of roads that cover the Andes were built by earlier pre-Inca civilizations. 






 << An old picture of a hanging bridge over the Aqrimac River, Peru.









 << An old photo of a Bridge over Pampas, Peru.


  << Pedro de Cieza de León
 Cieza de Leon “came to Peru fifteen years after the seizure of Atahualpa by Pizarro…Cieza de Leon mentions the destruction of the [Peruvian Indian] people. [And] "...the grand roads destroyed, and the posts for pointing the way in the deserts used for firewood."   (Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon, 1532-1550, the first part of the Chronicles of Peru, Pages 17,93,108,119,203,213,220)

 Their roads were so advanced that they had "posts" -road signs,- "for pointing the way".

"They made a road almost forty feet broad, with very thick embankments on either side. After leaving the valleys the same road was continued over the sandy deserts, posts being driven in and fastened by cords, so that the traveller might not lose his way, neither turning to one side nor to the other. The road, like that in the Sierra, is five hundred leagues long. Although the posts in the desert are now broken in many parts, because the Spaniards, both in time of war and peace, used them for lighting fires." (Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon, 1532-1550, the first part of the Chronicles of Peru, p. 219)


"Excellent and extensive road networks are well known in all over Central and South America, some of which are consistent with the time of the Book of Mormon. A hard surface Highways in the Yucatan peninsula... dated [back] to 300 BC. Belize used another Causeway [dated back to] between 150 and 50 BC....  
A scholar wrote that "in Yucatan were built [Maya] paths that meet all known about road construction principles..." Good engineering and the thoroughness of its construction compete with the famous roads of the Roman Empire or [any of] the current highways. In ancient times, Chichén Itzá and all cities, were large or small, in the Yucatan peninsula, were linked by a network of smooth roads with hard surface... this land... Once had the best roads in the world."   (Evidenciaslibodemormon.org)

Highway at Guayabo, Costa Rica


No one in the 1830's, [when the Book of Mormon was first published],  knew that there were 100's of miles of roads, "which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place" and that these Ancient "highways" would date exactly to the the Book of Mormon time period."   (3 Nephi 6:8)  29-30 A.D.

  << John L. Sorenson, a professor of anthropology at Brigham Youn University.
An article by John L. Sorenson, in the June 1985 Liahona
"Recent studies...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 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...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.  Many of the reported thoroughfares are modest local affairs, yet in Yucatan there is a single stretch about one hundred kilometers long.  Clearly, current knowledge about the dates and nature of road building is not inconsistent with the idea that “level roads” existed which were “spoiled” at the time of Christ’s death."
(3 Ne. 8:13)  (Digging into the Book of Mormon, Part 3, Liahona, June 1985, by John L. Sorenson)


...     The researchers uncovered more than 810 square miles of ruins in the northern Petén area of Guatemala, which “is thought to have been home to millions more people than other research had previously suggested."

"The LiDAR scans showed densely packed urban centers, sophisticated irrigation systems and advanced engineering achievements, like highways that had been raised off the ground so they could still be used during the rainy season." About 250-900 A.D  (Newsweek, Science Daily, Feb. 5, 2018, Deseret News Feb. 6, 2018)
 "Ancient Mayan Superhighways found in the Guatemala Jungle"
"The Network of roads dates as far back as 600 B.C....  An ancient network of roads that stretched over 150 miles has been discovered in the Jungle of Guatemala, according to high-tech scanning carried out in the area".
"These causeways, 
[or highways], are 130 feet wide, up to 20 feet high and in some cases they extend as far as 25 miles."  "The first building of the causeway, between Mirador and Tindall and Mirador and Nakbe dates to 600 B.C. and 400 B.C., while others date from 300B.C. to 100A.D."  << Note: that is Book of Mormon time period.

(Seeker, published on 1/27/17)  .