Title

Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography

Keywords

Book of Mormon, Mesoamerica, Nephites, Lamanites

Abstract

The best available evidence for the Book of Mormon continues to support a limited Mesoamerican model. However, Alma 63 indicates that there was a massive northward migration in the mid-first century bc. I argue that these north-bound immigrants spread out over the centuries and established settlements that were geographically distant from the core Nephite area, far beyond the scope of the text of the Book of Mormon. I introduce the Hinterland Hypothesis and argue that it can harmonize the Mesoamerican evidence for the Book of Mormon with Joseph Smith’s statements concerning Nephite and Lamanite material culture in North America. Archaeological and anthropological evidence is used to demonstrate that migrations and cultural influence did in fact spread northward from Mesoamerica into North America in pre-Columbian times.

Original Publication Citation

Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography. In Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, 13(2015): 111-129

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014

Publisher

Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture

Language

English

College

Religious Education

Department

Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

Share

COinS