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BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Two Ancient Roman Plates

Abstract

In 1986, two ancient Roman plates were found in present-day Romania. The authors explain how the plates came to be displayed at BYU, the physical description of the plates, how the plates were inscribed and sealed, their content, their purpose, and the historical use of similar plates. The authors note why the plates may interest Latter-day Saints, namely that the Roman plates have some characteristics in common with the plates of the Book of Mormon—which is significant considering that such artifacts were not known in Joseph Smith's day—and that the practice of sealing documents was to provide a second witness or a back-up copy of legal documents. This may help explain why some of the Book of Mormon was described as being "sealed." The article is accompanied by illustrations and color photos.

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