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

Title

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

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2015

Authors

Journal

Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship

Pagination

111-129

Volume

13

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Wright, Mark Alan. "Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography" In Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Vol. 13. 2015:111-129.

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.

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