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Book of Mormon — Archaeology

“Archaeology: the scientific study of material remains (such as tools, pottery, jewelry, stone walls, and monuments) of past human life and activities.”

— Merriam-Webster


If the Book of Mormon is a genuine historical record of a real people, language, culture and places, then we would expect to find tangible evidences to support it. However, if it is a product of Joseph Smith’s imagination, then no such evidence exists.

Archaeological Record

An examination of Book of Mormon claims with the archaeological record.

Book of Mormon Archaeology
Jews are the principle ancestors of the indigenous inhabitants: Jaredites, Mulekites, Nephites and Lamanites.
Since the first edition of this handbook, the LDS church has conceded that DNA evidence does not support the Book of Mormon narrative that Jews are the primary ancestors of American Indians.

The evidence assembled to date suggests that the majority of Native Americans carry largely Asian DNA.

— Gospel Topics Essays

"Book of Mormon and DNA Studies"

The church changed ‘principal’ to ‘among’ in the Book of Mormon introduction to downplay the link between Jews and American Indians.

The Lamanites, and they are among the principal ancestors of the American Indians.

Book of Mormon

— Book of Mormon


Hill Cumorah, Manchester, New York

Despite claiming to be led by continuous revelation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides no answers, except for the Hill Cumorah, as to where the events in the Book of Mormon took place.
Because of this vacuum, Mormon apologists and church members are left to speculate. Theories range from the Great Lakes region, New York, North America, Central America / Mesoamerica, South America, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Malaysia
Reformed Egyptian and possibly Hebrew.
The Book of Mormon suddenly appears with no other extant copies, fragments, quotations, citations, inscriptions, engravings, parchments, scrolls, manuscripts, books, plates, etc. found. Egyptian and Hebrew have never been found in the ancient New World.

Of all the peoples of the pre-Columbian New World, only the ancient Maya had a complete script.

Michael D. Coe

— Michael D. Coe

Ph. D., Harvard, Prof. Yale
Archaeology & Anthropology
Breaking the Maya Code, Preface



Native to Asia. Brought to the Americas by the Spaniards in the 1500’s.

Native to Iraq. Brought to the Americas by the English colonists in the 1700’s.

The process of refining silk from silkworm cocoons originated in China. This process was introduced by New World colonists over a millennium after the Book of Mormon ends.

Cattle, Oxen





Donkeys are native to North Africa. Brought by the Spaniards in the 1500’s.

First domesticated in the Middle East. Brought by colonists in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s.

Native to Africa and Asia. The first elephant was brought to North America for a traveling exhibit in 1796.

Native to Asia. Brought to the New World by colonists in the 1500’s.

Horses in North America were extinct by the time the Book of Mormon began. Spanish conquistadors reintroduced them to the continent in the 1400’s.

Native to Southwest Asia. Brought to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus.

Native to Eurasia and North Africa. Brought to the New World by the Spaniards in the 1500’s.
Alma 11:5-19
No pre-Columbian coins have ever been found in the New World.

There is no evidence that ancient cultures of the New World used wheeled vehicles. There also were no horses on the continent to push them.

The compass was invented in China in 1100 AD, long after the Book of Mormon ended.
Steel, smelting and dross
There is no evidence of high-temperature smelting in the ancient New World. The Book of Mormon narrative also mentions ‘dross’, which is a smelting waste product.
Steel swords

Cimeters, scimitars
There is no evidence of high-temperature smelting in the ancient New World to produce steel.

A 15th century word for the curved, single-edged sword of Oriental origins. Out of place for 400 BC American Indians.

New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF)
The NWAF is part of Brigham Young University. It was founded by *Thomas Ferguson and financed by the LDS church to conduct archaeological research for the Book of Mormon. After 17-years of fruitless research, Thomas Ferguson lost his testimony.

You can't set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere -- because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archaeology. I should say -- what is in the ground will never conform to what is in the book.

Thomas Ferguson

— Thomas Ferguson

Founder and President of the New World Archaeological Foundation
Letter dated February 20, 1976

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.

Smithsonian Institution

— Smithsonian Institution

Department of Anthropology
Form letter for Book of Mormon inquiries

National Geographic

Smith's narration is not generally taken as a scientific source for the history of the Americas. Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere's past, and the Society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.

National Geographic

— National Geographic

Letter to the Institute for Religious Research August 12, 1998


The Book of Mormon is an unverifiable translation of an unknown language from an unknown people living in an unknown land.

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