Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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The archeons have the purpose of denying knowledge to man, there is even an effort to forbid him to eat out of the tree of knowledge. But unknown to the evil archeon, but unknown to them the Father was acting through them. It was the Father's intention that man should eat. Temptations seem to be that the father knew man would disobey and order by the Gods.


Why would so many thousands of people leave their homeland, (Alma 63:4) even if under duress and travel the long arduous distances required to eventually occupy much of eastern California, most of Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico and some surrounding areas? Could there have been some group related to the NUMIC peoples, Paiutes or Shoshones, that had previously traveled the routes northward as shown on MAPS 4 & 5 , who had established themselves in the vast lands to the north fanning out from near the junction of the Colorado and Gila Rivers as shown on MAP 6 ? Did they send messengers back to their homeland with such detail that it generated so much interest that 15,000 to 20,000 undertook the hazardous journey to the “separation point” at the junction of the two rivers? (See MAPS 5 & 6 ) And, then, if we look close, could we actually find any remnants of those who came that retained some semblance or remembrance of that journey and with other traditional baggage that reflected what had happened and what they knew  2000 years ago? We will look into what archaeologist working in the Great Basin in particular and the region in general have to say and see if any of their data supports the interpretation being made.


The latest work by Beck and Jones, Edited by the Fowlers, identifies the questions:   Two of the most hotly debated questions relating to late Archaic times [about 200 BC-10 AD] are, When did the Native People who lived in the Great Basin historically, particularly speakers of Numic languages, arrive here, and where did they come from?” (Fowler p. 51) They also summarize: “In the Great Basin, a major conference was held in the early 1990s to explore the complexities of such correlations relating to the Numic expansion. No consensus answer was reached, but several alternative models [theories] were proposed, and archaeologists continue to explore them. Some hope for an answer arose after a series of wet years during the 1980s caused lake levels [in western Nevada]  to rise …the water then retreated, exposing large numbers of ancient burials…analyses [were made] on the exhumed skeletons, one of which was DNA analysis. The majority of burials in all three places dated between 600 and 1300 CE, reaching back into late Archaic times …[about 200 BC to l AD]. The DNA suggested that the populations of those centuries were genetically different from modern Numa, adding support for a late migration of Numic-speaking peoples into the peripheries of the Great Basin…Thus several key questions about the Numic expansion [and origins] remain open and continue to be investigated.” (Fowler p, 52) We would expect that the DNA of the Archaic inhabitants to be different from that of the NUMIC, since they are arriving on the scene at a much later date than those of the various late phases of the Archaic. The Fowlers go on to propose an explanation to satisfy the questions, but do not achieve their objective. And in the Plateau country “Descendants of earlier immigrants were coming back from Mexico. Some descendants of these different waves of people settled in the Four Corners area. They were the Basketmakers, early Anasazi.” (Johnston p. 50) Perhaps the Book of Mormon migrational accounts deserve more attention. What is observed in these western regions after the end of the Late Archaic around 200 BC to the time of Christ, does demand an explanation and considerable clarification.  

Early reports on sites south of Caliente, Nevada along the Muddy River drainage, were re-examined and reprinted in 1973, the new work indicated that what had been called Basket Maker evidence, established for the Lower Virgin Valley to the south, was assumed “to simply be the lower level of a Pueblo II and III occupation based in part on Ceramics and presence of Fremont basketry.” (Busby p. 31)  The Basket Maker remains, whatever they want to call them, and the Pueblo and Fremont, make up the peoples who were migrating, but stayed west of the Colorado River. Busby also reports that occupation of sites in his study region had been abandoned “by Desert Archaic peoples…ca. l AD.” (Busby p. 30)  There are 30 miles of Basket Maker (as noted, also called Late Archaic) and Pueblo l, II, and III sites, along the Muddy River drainage. Excavations were started in this area in 1930, enhanced by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) which excavated and rebuilt a village, now located at Lost City Museum, near Overton, Nevada. The region was empty land when the migrating groups moved into this region some 10 to 20 years later after the abandonment by the Archaic peoples. We have an on-going interest in this region, (see Busby Map p. 25), as there may be a lot of supporting data there. In his study, Busby frequently wrote of how the groups of interest were interlocked, just as we have found in our own field studies. So, we are especially interested in eight Indian groups, perhaps ten at the most. Most will be referred to below.  


MAPS 3 & 6 show the outline of the Numic Speaking peoples (Paiutes-Shoshone) extending from Eastern California over all of Nevada and into Arizona and New Mexico and southward into northern Mexico and finally into the valley of Mexico itself. This area includes most of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. When they left the Yuma area did the early Numic Pioneers encounter the San-Gieguito-Pinto archaic peoples as they moved northward into California along the Nevada border? Were the southeastern Mono, Panamint and Kawaiisu speakers the early arrivals in this region? (See MAP in Fowler p. 52) His map shows the location of these peoples in Mono and Kerns area of California. Did they send back the news of an empty land? Who were the peoples on the western coast? Where had they come from? Did these peoples in the south or on the coast restrain them from going farther west than Yosemite? Was their northward extension blocked by what was left of the Oshar culture (Northern) Archaic?  Did they find any of the Toedokado (Tule eaters) left in the central Nevada desert? (Fagan p. 282: MAP 9 ) It seems that for the most part, if not all of it, the Great Basin was empty! Fagan thinks that there is an appearance of new technological artifices in these regions about the time of Christ. “Some authorities believe the appearance of these new technological artifices may reflect the expansion of Numic-speakers into the Great Basin from southern California. A case can also be made for an indigenous, long-term development of Numic tongues in the Great Basin itself.” (Fagan p. 286) “The vast territory belonging to the Shoshonean linguistic stock of the large Uto-Aztecan family once stretched from the rugged Cascades and Sierra Nevadas to the northern Plains, then southward into Mexico. With the exception of the Washoe of California, it included all of the Indians in the Great Basin area-the Shoshones, the Paiutes (Paviotsos), the Bannocks, (Northern Paiutes), and the Utes. There were a variety of dialects, but the natives had little difficulty understanding each other.” (Trenholm p. 3) Some reports indicate when the Paiutes moved northward towards the Oregon border they killed the few inhabitants who were left in the land. There were and are a lot of diverse tribes in that area. So was there a limit to the northwest beyond which they did not push into or settle? In northern Nevada they ultimately did not stop going north because some of them continued on into Idaho known as the Bannock and Limhis, the Wind River Shoshone and the “Northern Shoshones, known technically as the Agaidukas, the Phogues, and the Kogohues. The Agaidukas (Salmon Eaters) were the Lemhis encountered by the first white explorers in the Bitterroot Mountains (Montana).” (Trenholm p. 22)  After deciding not to go any farther than the Canadian border [maybe they didn’t have passports] they turned eastward, those that went east and south were called the Plains Comanche.  “Among the Shoshones was a subgroup who came to be called Comanches.” (Page p. 203) “The name “Comanche” derives from the Ute word, koimanica, which means “enemy”.” (Page p. 183)  Did they stop going eastward because the so called Fremont Culture occupied most of northern and eastern Utah? Since the Fremont are really related to the Virgin River Anasazi, more likely when the Paiutes pressed in that direction the Fremont  (Anasazi)  were already taking up ground themselves. Fagan sees more than a casual relationship there.  “Did the Fremont Culture emerge from a Desert Archaic base, [Basketmaker I or 11] with an infusion of culture traits from the Ancestral Pueblo [Anasazi] region of the Southwest?” (Fagan p. 289)  This infusion would have been out of Mexico.

The latest work on the Great Basin peoples by Simms summarizes: “Western Basketmaker II [Western White Dog Basket Maker] was possibly Uto-Aztecan and supplied later immigration into the Fremont region through the A.D. 1000s. Western Basketmaker II also became Anasazi and eventually, the Uto-Aztecan Puebloan people of the historic period, such as the HOPI. These complex heritages suggest that it is possible that both the upper Rio Grande peoples of New Mexico and the Hopi of northern Arizona have ancestral ties to the Fremont.” (Simms p. 200-201) And they would have been coming out of Mexico from somewhere far to the south. (MAP 10 , Simms p. 201)  To this we would agree. Simms goes on to support our proposition by adding: “A new linguistic study show that a southern origin better explains some relationships among the Uto-Azecan languages. A southern origin also fits better with the archaeological evidence and with emerging biological evidence.” (Simms pp. 200-201) Simms summarizes other aspects of his ideas, including the influx of Uto-Aztecan speakers after the founding of the Fremont to suggest additional streams of immigration [northward out of Mexico].” (See MAP 10 , Simms p. 250)  His work is one of the more recent ones. This includes the history of corn in the region, a future topic for study. The map by Simms on page 20l of his book is very much like other maps provided for this study. His summary of the Fremont Culture supports some of our contentions, and his maps of the Numic and Fremont provide convincing supporting evidence for the proposition described in this series of studies. The Fremont are believed to have joined the HOPI, no representatives of their culture remain. It leaves a lot of work to be done.   

So, was the so called late DESERT ARCHAIC BASE, really advancing Numic speakers, essentially PAIUTE? And farther east were they blocked by remnants of the Cochise (Southern) Archaic which seemed to have also ended about 200 BC? It is evident the land was empty when the migrational groups being discussed were moving in. (Fagan p. 308)  About the time of Christ and shortly thereafter, the PAIUTES and SHOSHONIS had taken up land areas essentially represented by MAP 6 . (also see Houghton p. 33)  “Students of prehistory assume a continuity of the Desert Culture [Basket Maker] that they were engaged in gathering and small game hunting like the modern Numic Tribes encountered by the first European entrants. Limited Oregon groups, never more than a few thousand members, altogether, included the Yahuskin and the Walpapi, essentially Northern Paiutes.” (Houghton p. 42)  The Northern and Southern Paiutes and the Shoshones, are “speakers of the Uto-Aztecan dialects,” (Houghton p. 55) as are also the Anasazi; as are also the Comanche, Kiowa and Aztecs. The well known linguist Colin Renfrew supports the direction we are taking by pointing out in his charts and maps that the entire western half of northwestern Mexico is also Uto-Aztecan. (MAP 11 , Renfrew pp. 73-74). The route of the migrations would have passed through the center of his mapped area, suggesting that some of the moving people had stayed behind and settled the northwestern territory as well as some of western Mexico. Time, white men, slave trading, and disease have reduced these noble people to a small scattering of reservations with less than a total of 1200 members. (Larsen p. 63)


The Kiowa had split off of the Anasazi when they had finally reached and settled the Upper Rio Grande and Red River areas. They are considered a Plains Tribe, but their linguistic association is with the Uto-Aztecan-Anasazi speakers. They call themselves Gaigwu, (Curtis, Natalie p. 221)  like most Indian tribes, the names by which they are known today are the names given to them by the white man. When the Mormons were driven west to the Wasatch Front, which was the eastern edge of the Great Basin, the “Great Basin was already a long inhabited-land by numerous small bands of Shoshones, Utes and Paiutes. (Utah got its name from the Spanish name for these tribes, Utahs.)” (Page p. 272) The Mormons began their successful colonization of the Great Basin after July 24, 1847. “On February 3, 1851 Brigham Young [the Mormon leader] became governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for Utah Territory.” (Madsen p. xvii) Forever after the Mormons were engaged in Indian affairs, including wars, missions, schools, clinics, etc.  

The Kiowa, originating from the Rio Grande Pueblos, mainly as a trading tribe, had continued across the plains to connect with the peoples of the Mississippi Valley, some perhaps remnants of the Poverty Point Cultures who had been in the region before 1500 BC.  Were these peoples in Louisiana Jaredite remnants, which had spread all across the land?  “At about 900 BC the sudden appearance of this [Adena Phase of the central Ohio River Valley] pure population into eastern North America …led the authors to postulate a direct migration from Central America…the writer considers this hypothesis to be sound, but suggests the POVERTY POINT PHASE [1500 BC] of the Lower Mississippi as a way-station.” (Ford p. 192)  Way-station to where? At any rate, Ford does postulate a Central American origin for the cultures in Louisiana. Since the Nephites had not arrived yet in Central America, were the origins of these cultures the Jaredites who had been around for more than 1300 years?  This could be a rich area to investigate.


The southern most Anasazi groups, the HOHOKAM, for some reason not yet fully understood, declined into what are now called the PIMA and PAPAGO. “The Pimas…centered on the Gila and Salt River region, still retained many recognizably Hokoham cultural traits…One factor in the decline of the Hokoham was almost certainly the rise of the third great Southwestern agricultural tradition, the Anasazi…which began to emerge around 100 BC. Its heartland was an arid area of high mesas and deep canyons…during the first stage-known as the ‘Basket Maker’, because of the high quality of the basketry found at sites dating from that period…About AD 400…they were beginning to live in permanent villages.” (Wilson pp. 178-179) These statements by different authors exactly mirror the points being made here. The general archaeology data accumulated for all of the area supports our interpretation. Of recent great importance was the discovery in 2008 of chewing QUIDS found during excavations of early Basketmaker sites. The forensic analysis of the Quids indicated the chewers were from Mexico. (Erickson 24’03’08) This DNA supports all of the above..  


Is it possible that many of the older cultures surrounding the “Empty Lands,” were descendants of Jaredites? This possibility has not been taken up by any archaeologists as yet, but Ford’s study (see especially Ford’s Chart 1 which establishes regional correlations, Ford p. 116) of the Formative period in the Americas demands just such consideration. No doubt eventually it will be given some. Perhaps in time we will turn some of our research in that direction. There is a distinct tendency for Mormon archaeologists to identify the JAREDITES with the OLMEC civilization. (Allen p. 27; Sorenson p. 118) There are many good reasons for doing this. Even though archaeological data has been increasing slowly in the recent decades, it was predictable that a culture dating back to before 2000 BC would be found in Central America. At the same time as the OLMEC “…builders of the great cities of La Venta and San Lorenzo in c. 1200 BC” (Phillips p. 10) there were contemporary developments in North America, (see Charts l and 2 in Ford) as well as in the main northwestern regions of South America. The Olmecs [rubber people] are considered to be America’s First Civilization. (Coe p. 6)  Coe is one of the prolific writers on the Olmecs. (Sharer pp. 349-350) Another writer, a Mormon, one whom Coe often quotes, is Gareth Lowe, some of whose field work and studies were financed by the Church and published by BYU. (Lowe pp. 116-129; Sharer pp. 361-362) Lowe and I enjoyed more that twenty trips in the 1950s into the Southwest getting familiar with the region, especially the so called Fremont and Basket Makers.

The accumulating evidence establishes the Olmec in the Gulf of Mexico before 2000 BC. (Luckert p. 37) So far, one of the most informing texts regarding the Book of Mormon Chronology and the relationship to modern archaeological discoveries is the book by Allen. (Allen 2003, pp.14-15) The Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon suggests the JAREDITES spread all across the land having arrived in the Americas before or about 2200 BC. Evidently they spread into North, Central and South America.     

The field workers have not yet established the beginning of the Olmec Culture. The Book of Mormon suggests that they should find evidence of what they call the Olmec as far back as 2200 BC or a little more. One student of this period, trying to establish an acceptable chronology, is Carrasco, he writes: “one common and long-standing periodization system separates the period into three subperiods. Early (or Lower, 2000-1100 BCE), Middle (1100-500 BCE), and Late (or Upper, 500 BCE-250 CE); a variation of that system utilizes four subperiods, separating the 500 BCE-250 CE period into Late (500-BCE-150 CE) and Terminal (150 BCE-250 CE) segments. A second system often employed in Central Mexico, replaces “Preclassic” with the term “Formative” and, using somewhat different artifact criteria, has defined Early (2000-900 BCE), Middle (900-500 BCE), and Late (500 BCE-100 CE) stages. A third system….has not gained much acceptance among scholars.” (Carrasco p. 236) Book of Mormon students will recognize the close correlation between these time periods as a very close fit to the chronology of the Book of Mormon. It couldn’t be much better if a Mormon had told Carrasco what the time line should be! For more than 170 years the chronology in the Book of Mormon was there for any one to see, but ignored because it was a religious book, now it must be seriously considered. Those who neglect it, do so at the peril of their intellectual integrity. Allen has correlated the time systems with great and important sites, IZAPA, (Allen p. 21) MONTE ALBAN   (p. 84) TEOTIHUACAN (pp. 89-91), and other important sites. His effort to identify certain cities with those of the Book of Mormon will await verification from excavations which some day will be engaged in, though in some specific areas it is now in progress.   

The Book of Mormon would push back the “Early” period to at Least 2200 BC, even more when we actually find out exactly when the Olmecs-Jaredites arrived. Whatever Carrasco used as sub periods, the Olmecs and Jaredites both seem to have continued on down to about 200 BC, which he calls the Late period. This was about the time the Mulekites discovered the last surviving king of the Jaredites, Coriantumr, about 200 BC. (Omni l:21) Allen has summarized this correlation nicely. (Allen pp. 78-79) The “Late” period with the significant contributions to the culture of the region by the Nephites, slightly modified to express this as: 600 BC to 250 CE, when the Nephite nation fell apart. Carrasco does mention, however, “Two candidates for possible pre-2000 BCE pottery-Pox pottery from Puerto Marquez, Acapulco, Guerrero (2440 CE) and Purron pottery from the Tehucan Valley of Puebla (2200 BCE)—are equivocal, because of their small sample sizes and inadequate radiometric dating.” (Carrasco p. 237) They are slowly getting there; eventually more excavations will fit everything into place and the Book of Mormon will be vindicated. Carrasco continues to write: “In the several centuries after 500 BCE, in almost every area of Central and Southern Mesoamerica, the older regional settlement patterns of dispersed agricultural villages clustered around small centers, evolved into a new regional organization characterized by large populations settled around a single large regional or subregional centers.” (Carrasco p. 241) Bernardino de Sahagun, the Spanish priest who translated early Indian chronicles, (Hunter p. 30) writes, “it follows that this land [the ancient land of TOLLAN] was populated at least five hundred years before the Incarnation of our Redeemer.” (Sejourne p. 85) Sahagun and his work will be dealt with in PART III of this series. By 200 BCE, Cuicuilco [an early city in central Mexico] was one of the largest settlements in Central Mexico, with a population estimated at 20,000. (Carrasco p. 241)  I wonder which Lamanite city this may have been, because a little more than 100 years later, this city was destroyed,  “flows of molten lava from the eruption of nearby Xitili volcano buried much of Cuiluilco, leaving only the top of the city’s 27 meter, (90 feet), high circular pyramid exposed.” (Carrasco p. 241) Shades of 3 Nephi!


Some 30 miles northwest a new city, Teotihuacan, was emerging, covering nearly 4 square kilometers and evolved into one of the major cities of the Classic Period, (after 400 AD) the ruins which are still there, show the great splendor of the time. (Carrasco p. 241)  Which city of the Nephites was that center since it was not destroyed as 3 Nephi indicates so many cities were? (See Allen 2003, pp. 90-93)  Members of my family and I have visited this ancient city several times and were amazed at its magnitude and immensity. Later, the mapping of Teotihuacan was a staggering undertaking with more than two thousand individual buildings involved in detailed measurements. It was finally found that the city actually covered 12 square miles. “It was one of the largest urban centers in the world, [for that time] with a population estimate at nearly 200,000.” (Pohl p.52)  It was “master-planned by an extremely powerful centralized elite from its beginnings [expansion] around the first century AD.”  (Pohl p. 52) Evidence suggests the earlier phases of the city date back to before 400 BC. Before 1979 the archaeologists believed there was little evidence of any major Pre-Classic [before 200 AD] ceremonial centers. That changed when a team of Brigham Young University archaeologists began excavation of the remote site of El Mirador, 40miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Tikal in the Tikal Basin. Before long the team was excavating one of the world’s largest known building constructions, El Tigre, a 57,000 square foot 917,200 square meters pyramid complex.  El Mirador was determined to have been a major ceremonial center that dominated the central Petan region between 150 CE and AD 150. (Pohl p. 33)  Ten years later, linked by a causeway, or highway, to El Mirador, eight  miles long, the site of Nakbe yielded dates of occupancy between 1200 and 450 BC. The main center of Nakbe dated at 300 AD. (Pohl p.33) Those dates span the last half of the Jaredite history and the beginning-through to the major events of the Nephite histories. Allen has discussed this ancient site as well. (Allen pp. 80-91)  


At the great site of El Mirador, Richard Hansen, one of those who started digging there thirty years ago, recently uncovered huge panels “which are about 26-feet long and date to about 200 BC…It took three months to uncover the panels.” (Bawaya p. 9) They ‘uncovered two large panels …[that] depict a scene from the POPOP VUH, the Maya creation story.”  (Bawaya p. 9)  The Popol Vuh explains how the Maya gods created the world, and the panels portrays its protagonists…The original Popol Vuh [the Peoples Book, because the original had been lost] which was likely written in Maya hieroglyphic script, no longer exists…Friar Francisco Ximenez translated the Maya script into Spanish in the early 18th century…scholars [had] suspected that the translation was corrupted by insertion of Christian metaphors. But the panels, Hansen says, prove the general authenticity of the ancient texts.” (Bawaya p. 9) In a later entry we will discuss in detail the POPL VUH. There are more panels to be excavated. It also shows the Popol Vuh is much older than originally thought. It contains knowledge of  the creation by the Supreme God and two others, after the creation of the world, one of the two co-creators becomes the first father on earth; the Fore-father. There are accounts of migrations to America, second colonizers, the Giron-Gagal director, crossing the great ocean, account of a flood, a white God is described; Tulan [Bountiful] settled by seven tribes, Mayas of Guatemala originally white people, colonizers came from Near East, original record lost and so forth. (Hunter p. 442)  Sound interesting? It is! So who is working on it now? “The contents were based on an ancient book that contained “light” from across the sea…The Rulers of the K’iche’s consulted the Popol Vuh in times of national distress as a means of seeing the future.” ( Christenson p. 4)  It was filed with prophecy, a knowledge of famines, quarrels, wars; it was a key to the future. Tune in to a later entry of this series for more details.     


MAP 7 shows most of the region we are interested in before 200 BC. Most of the region was empty, but soon the entire region became occupied by the Paiute, Shoshone (the Numic speakers) and the Anasazi, they were surrounded on three sides by Archaic peoples who persisted centuries after the influx of the migrating groups came north out of  the Mexico-Guatemala regions. This observation has only recently been specifically recognized or noted by archaeologists working in the field, but is little understood. If you draw almost a straight line from Mt. Whitney in Owens Valley, California northward to Boise, Idaho “The land (east of that line) belonged to the Shoshone and west of it lived the Paviotso, or NORTHERN PAIUTES.” (Houghton p. 30) A line drawn almost straight from the Kern River in California to the Sweetwater River in Wyoming separates the SHOSHONE on the west from the SOUTHERN PAIUTES to the south. The use of the name PAVIOTSO, for the NORTHERN PAIUTES, has not become prevalent in the literature. In most of the literature the usage of NORTHERN PAIUTES is preferred.

We have engaged in extensive surveys and mapped along the Santa Clara River just west of St. George, Utah, where there are many villages and debitage sites of the Anasazi, which are next to and mixed in with the easily identified sites of the Paiutes. One obvious thing they were extravagant users of obsidian, wasting much of the material they had; large pieces of chips are found on their sites. The Anasazi were miserly with their obsidian. Fagan thinks it will require new blood in the field. “The key to understanding the southwestern Archaic will be new generations of research that evaluate changes in Archaic land-use patterns that explain gaps in the archaeological record.” (Fagan p. 310) We agree with him, and hope that this present study is of sufficient clarity as to suggest areas to be explored and verified. Can we conclude that all of the villages and sites we have found along the Muddy River into the Alamo and Hiko to Nine Mile Peak and near by regions, along the Virgin River from Lake Meade northward, along the Santa Clara into the vast obsidian fields of westerm Utah and eastern Nevada where we have found 125 volcanic sources of obsidian that was collected and traded all over; along the benches and river area of the Virgin into the east fork beyond Elephant Butte to the flats south and east of Pipe Springs, and all over the Kanab and Saddle Mountain Wilderness areas and the entire northern Kaibab Plateau, were those of the peoples who buried their weapons? We think so. At the time this entry is being prepared I am still preparing and submitting  to the Kaibab Forest archaeologists the final 117 reports on large villages and sites that were found in the last year we were engaged in research in those areas. Renfrew, in his recent books refers to the presence of the ancients and the present inhabitants, very much supporting the contents of this presentation. (Renfew  pp. 56, 72 -73) After 1150 and in some areas after 1300 AD, most of the peoples of the areas of our activity joined with the Hopi. At one of the annual meetings at Williams Arizona, with the Forest Service archaeologists and specialists, when we submitted more than 124 reports of discoveries made, one of the archaeologists mentioned he had met with the HOPI representatives who learning about our discoveries, wanted to visit some of the larger village sites because they believed their traditions identified propritory villages in the region from which peoples had left and joined them across the river. While we hoped this would take place it did not happen. Our activity represents more than 6,000 sites in and around more than 125 volcanic sources from which obsidian was obtained and incorporated into a vast linked trade network. We are still active in finding new volcanic sources, and expect to find a new obsidian source south of Barkley, Nevada in June 2009. Work done earlier this spring showed an air fall of Apache Tears (violently blown out obsidian in droplets from the size of a pin head to the size of a football) that was two miles wide, we have several volcanoes in the area that might be the source, we need also to find the end of the fan of blown out obsidian. One such source had blown obsidian for more than 14 miles.     

When the Paiute, Shoshone and Anasazi groups arrived, empty land was just that, without inhabitants. They settled slowly, expanding as their population expanded, across the lands, and remained there in spite of the later Spanish attempt to disrupt them, to be discussed briefly in PART 3. They remained there until the main thrust of white man came, which finally reduced them by disease and conquest to but remnants and small reservation areas. (Parker pp. 16, 17, 21, 141, 147, 188)  PART III will deal with the contact with white men and the disposition of the HOPI, and others the past 500 years.


The Shoshone occupied a large swath through central Nevada as indicated on MAP 6 and then “Moved out of the Great Basin through the mountains of Utah, [Idaho] and Wyoming onto the Plains ….after the 15th century. They may have occupied most of the northwestern Plains from Wyoming to the Canadian border before the introduction of the horse. Two other groups of Numic speakers lived on the High Plains in the 16th Century, [they were the]--Ute and Comanche. The latter split off from the Shoshone after their migration onto the Plains. Some of them continued to move south, eventually re-entering Mexico from a different direction and continued conquests to the central valleys of Mexico where they as AZTECS subdued the region. They then rewrote their history. (Phillips p. 19) “The details of the Aztecs’ origins are shrouded in myth, for this proud people told many tales that legitimized their supremacy, their use of human sacrifices [Mormon 4:14, 21] and their devotion to the tribal god HUITZILOPOCHTLI. Their mythologized history told how the first Aztecs or Mexica found their origin in the island town of Aztlan, from which they set off on a long hazardous migration across northern landscapes…before they came to the place on Lake Texococo at which they were destined to found their capital, another island site identified by the divinely ordained vision of an eagle perched on a prickly cactus making a meal of a writhing serpent…They were known as Aztecs because of their place of origin, the mysterious island-city of Aztlan …’white land’….or ‘land of the cranes’…Their second name, MEXICA, [now MEXICANS]  was given to the wandering tribes by their patron god HUITZILOPOCHTLI…The tribe was also called Tenochinas after Tenoch, the ruler who led it under the guidance of [the tribal god] in the final parts of its wandering journey.” (Phillips p. 36) For a time they split into three groups, then converged when they conquered central Mexico. The rest is history. (Phillips pp.36-41) Though we will continue, in PART 111, with more comparative details on their religion.


“The Utes expanded out of the Rockies at about the same time as the Shoshone did.” (Fagan 138) Perhaps at the time they emerged out of northwest Mexico, a small group split off to inhabit the lower Colorado River and Baja California; these became Yuman speakers. (Fagan p. 297) The YUMAN was certainly not from those who buried their weapons because they were skilled warriors. (Fagan p. 297) Lakes Bonneville and Lahontan, greatly influenced the earlier archaic peoples covering “one-fifth of the entire Basin area.” (Houghton p.32) The sources of water provided more than 100 lakes, but when they dried up long before the NUMIC SPEAKERS arrived, the environment had drastically changed. They were a hunting-gathering people, and with the advent of pine trees with their precious yield of pine nuts, some 40 nuts per pine cone, the region was a tolerable place to live. One pound of pine nuts yields 3,000 calories, and the same amount of protein as a fillet mignon. (Lanner pp. 101-5) Their life ways have been described by Dixon. (Dixon p. 13) We have found sites where gatherings, and no doubt ceremonies took place, these are one million to two million square feet and littered with debitage and surviving human debris. One of my great-grandfathers, Neil Anderson, fought in what in Utah is called the Blackhawk War against Ute Indians. Blackhawk was a Chief among the Utes. Dixon relates this war. (Dixon p. 112) Blackhawk died from wounds and tuberculosis September 26, 1870, but the war continued for another two years. The Utes, no doubt, were part of the contingent of 5400 or so, but were not those who buried their weapons. The 5400 included many others not of this disposition.


On the Colorado Plateau and Anasazi country, more recently archaeologists no longer use the designation of Basketmaker I, for the pre-agricultural stage. This was part of the original Pecos Classification. (Fagan 302) They now use “Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) [referring to the time period before the time of Christ]  ?AD l to modern times). The Ancestral Pueblo…subsumes the Basketmaker-Pueblo development scheme.” (Fagan p. 302) The question mark before AD l is because they still do not know what happened about that time when all of these peoples entered the region, or how to close the gap on the Archaic peoples who seem to have all but disappeared before l AD. It seems that the entire region to be occupied by the people including the Numic-speakers and Anasazi as shown on MAPS6 & 8 , was vacant territory. The migrating peoples from the south did not meet with any resistance in moving into and occupying the territory that was theirs for the settling. And then all of them, for the most part, interfaced, intermarried, and traded and lived without much hostility, if any, for more than 1500 years. We have found sites in Utah and Nevada where it was clear from the pottery found on the site that there was brown Paiute thumb-nail incised pottery, the gray thick Shoshone pottery, and the black on white and other decorated pottery with some gray ware of the Anasazi, and that they had intermarried and were interfacing in every degree. The pottery normally goes with the women, so the suggestion is that the sites found in western Utah, eastern Nevada and central Nevada were occupied by Anasazi men who had married into the Shoshone and Paiute peoples and were traversing the region with their wives and trading with all groups that were present, sharing in the deer, antelope, rabbits and other hunting activities and especially the pine nut collecting, having obtained wives from the other groups. Perhaps this was a political move, a smart one, but they also had to make sure wives were not related to their mothers, often tribes with little kinship ties were sources of wives.   

The equivalent of a “Pioneering” effort is evident in all of these areas. Things began to happen at the end of the Late Archaic period, which is considered to have ended about 200 BC. In less than 200 years most of these areas were evaluated as fit for settlements and were settled rapidly.


Nevada has established the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, which over the years their effort has resulted in the publication of many historical tribal books about each of the Northern  Paiute tribes, obtaining information a long time ago from oral interviews of old members of the tribes, and others. (Holmes p. i-ii-1-3) “A group of Northern Paiute Indians called themselves the Kuzedika, or “fly-Larvae Eaters.” after a distinctive element of their diet.” ( Fletcher p. 32) This was the large larvae of a brine fly (Ephydra hians) which they collected from shallow waters and dried. (Fletcher p. 4) Paiute and Shoshone tribes are generally named after the main element in their diet.

The Southern Paiute Bands originally comprised sixteen tribes, fifteen of these are shown on MAP 12 , (Bunte pp. 2-3) and before 1830 comprised nearly 100,000 members. By 1980 these had been reduced to only five recognized tribes others are engaged in lengthy disputes in an effort to be recognized; these totaled less than 1200 members. Most had been killed by diseases in 1833-37, and many were sold into slavery to work in the Spanish patio process in Mexico to extract gold and silver by tromping liquid mercury into crushed precious metals ore, slowly killing vast groups of people over several centuries. It started with Cortes in 1525 and was ended by Jacob Hamblin in 1859. Cortes was given a title of nobility, the first in the New World, as Marques of the Valley of Qaxaca. His estate stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, nearly one-quarter the size of Spain. He had gold and silver mines, rich plantations, productive mills, 22 villages, and some 23,000 slaves. He was a very rich man. (Wepman p.105)


Archaeologists have YET to explain the presence of the SEVEN Numic speaking groups, (see MAP 6 ), including Comanche, (Miller p. 98), but exclusive of the related Aztecs. Could they have all once been one group that originated in the Guatemala regions, migrated northward, eventually spread out into the territory once occupied by a vanished Archaic people? The Comanche eventually ended back in the Mexican valleys as Aztecs?  There has not as yet been developed an acceptable explanation of the presence of the Anasazi groups in the southwest and their origins, especially to the satisfaction of the Indians. Why, as noted in PART I, are the Indians ignored when Indian sources suggest archaeologists take a serious look at Guatemala and Central America for their origins? (Ladd in Judge p. 63; Pike p. 13)  

“In 1902, George H. Pepper of the American Museum of Natural History formalized the “Basket Maker” concepts.” (Morris p. 1) By 100 AD the Basketmaker 1 Pioneers had identified most of the preferred land they considered worth while to settle throughout the west and southwestern areas. The cultural aspects of Basketmaker 11 and 111, life improved and gradually expanded from pit houses and caves to surface construction of habitation features, and about 600 AD had developed what became PUEBLO 1 characteristics. By 900 AD the PUEBL0S  developed corrugated pottery styles, and wherever that was used became PUEBLO 11. The villages seldom exceeded 25 rooms, though some were larger, but when they expanded to 100 rooms or more and developed three-color ceramic styles, called polychrome, mostly red-orange-black, though other colors became involved, so about 1150 AD they became PUEBLO 111. These are the most used terms for designating the cultures of the Southwest. Some archaeologists are trying to sophisticate things even more, but are having a struggle to introduce new concepts. All of these Pueblo cultures and their successors, to the present, were originally called “Anasazi” by the Witherwills, and the name has stuck. In Navajo the name means “enemy ancestors’. Was there an ancient, very old, tradition of fighting between the Navajos and the HOPI.? The Book of Mormon would suggest there was. “The HOPI  call themselves HOPITU “The Peaceable people” and peace-loving they have always been.” (Curtis p. 41) “From the time of the Conquistadores, they have been commonly known as MOQUI, originating, perhaps, from the Zuni word Amu-kwea…the HOPI….heartily dislike the designation…which, they believe, originated in the error of the first Spanish visitors…[who] mistook the HOPI word, Moki, “dead”, for their tribal name.” (Curtis 42) They made sure after 1800 the use of MOKI was dropped. The whole Book of Mormon is about the ancient conflict. But “The ACOMAS have a name for themselves. We don’t call ourselves Anasazi because, as Jenkins says, Anasazi is a Navajo word. We would rather call our ancestors Enote:que, “our ancient ones, our ancestors.” We would much rather call them that than Anasazi.” (Ladd in Judge p. 35) “ANASAZI, more correctly spelled ‘anaasazi’ (anaa-war, alien, enemy, and saziancestor, ancestral) is of Navajo origin and meansancestral aliens or enemies”.” (McPherson p. 78) Some recent books use ‘Enemy Ancestors’, as a title for what once was called Anasazi. But old traditions take a long time to die, even among archaeologists!  The Hopi insist they are “the peaceable people”, that is the meaning of Hopi. But the sophisticated archaeologists are embarrassed to listen to the Indians. Why would they be a source of knowledge about their origins and names?


“Anasazi influence began to be exerted on the Mogollon culture … about 850 AD to 1000 AD.  The Mogollon culture (See MAPS 3 & 10) became thoroughly submerged within the Anasazi tradition during Mogollon 5, (AD 1000-1100). (Fiedel pp. 226-227) By then extensive Anasazi migrations were getting into full swing.  It was during “(A.D. 1230-1300 that Mesa Verde population was peaking. Multistoried cliff dwelling such as Kiet Siel and Betatakin rose in the canyons of the Tsegi-Kayenta region of northeastern Arizona.” (Fiedel p. 26) This was the main ancestral home of the HOPI. Archaeologist think that because there are “Narrow tree rings  [which] attest to a particularly severe drought that lasted from A.D. 1276 to 1299…failing climate…accelerated erosion…arroyo-cutting, had begun by A.D. 1100, and become worse in the 1200’s.” (Fiedel p. 228) By 1300 the Anasazi had abandoned the Plateau pueblos and moved to the south and southeast. They certainly had physically moved.  Why did they move? “The archaeological answers are almost the same, they moved because….they were hungry…thirsty-water ran out…But we know why they moved: Because they were looking for the CENTER PLACE. And when they found the CENTER PLACE, that’s where they settled. That’s where Zuni is today…where Hopi is…where Acoma is…where San Ildefonzo is…where Santo Domingo is. And these are the Anasazi, where Santo Domingo is…” (Ladd in Judge p. 35)  They all have a name for themselves. “Anasazi is a Navajo word…”our ancestors Enote:que, “our ancient ones, our ancestors.” …I am Zuni, “I am Shiwi, and my people are the A:shiwi.” (Ladd in Judge p. 35) Most Indians, when they set up a camp of some sort, or built a structure, would designate a place in the center called Hocoka, or their name for a center place, as a symbolic reminder of their expectations. (Curtis, Natalie p. 49) As noted in PART 1, the HOPI moved to their present place because their three white brothers told them to do.  See PART 1 for details on this. And the HOPI are still waiting for further instruction from these three white brothers, or at least one of them.


A little history and a few beliefs of the Aztec may help in becoming aware of their status in the scheme of things. “Alfonso Caso, in particular, has recreated the essence of the Aztec concept of the Universe…the various cosmic beliefs of the Nahuas revolved around the great solar myth which enthroned the Aztecs specifically as the “people of the Sun.”…myths and beliefs constitute the primary attempts to solve the mysteries of the universe.”  (Leon-Portilla p. 3)  “The Nahuas first expressed their doubts in the form of short poems:  What does your mind seek? Where is your heart?...The poet first asks himself what the mind and heart can discover of real value here on earth…the heart alludes to the person….who seeks and desires something. In Nahuatl, yollotl, (heart) is derived from the same root as ollin (movement) which may be defined as the dynamic quality inherent in the human being.” (Leon-Portilla pp. 4-5)  We come only to be born...our home is beyond…I suffer…Happiness and good fortune never comes my way…The Nahuas sought with equal anxiety an explanation of life and of man’s work.” (Leon-Portilla pp 4-6)

Here are the familiar words of a midwife to the newborn: “My well loved and tender son…know and understand that thy house is not here…This house wherein thou art born is but a nest, an inn at which thou has arrived, thy entry into this world; here dost thou bud and flower…thy true house is another…Oh precious stone, oh rich feather…thou wert made in the place where the great God and Goddess which are above the heavens…they mother and they father, celestial woman and celestial man, made and reared thee…thou has come to this world from afar, poor and weary…Our Lord Quetzalcoatl, who is the creator, has put into this dust a precious stone and a rich feather.” (Sejourne pp. 55-56)  Here, stone means ‘body’ and feather means ‘spirit’.  The informed Mormon will resonate very well with the summary of the midwife. The three books by Sejourne,  Brundage and Leon-Portilla, were utilized in a much more detailed discussion in four of my CD’s, 13, 14, 15, and 16, dealing with the religion of ancient Mexico the Aztecs and others.  These CD’s will permit one to realize just how complete the unique ancient doctrines are so like the restored gospel of the LDS.

In AZTEC cosmogonic account, there have been four historical ages, each called Suns: “Earth, wind, fire, and water-and each have been destroyed; the present epoch was that of the Sun of the Movement, Ollintonatiuh.  (Leon-Portilla p. 6) This is called the Fifth Sun. It is the present. “During this sun, their elders said; there would be earthquakes and famine, and finally mankind would vanish forever. “(Leon-Portilla p. 6) “Earthquakes will swallow all things, and the stars will fall from the sky, this will be the final end, and it will occur ‘when the earth has become tired, when already it is all, when already it is so, when the seed of earth has ended’.” (Brundage p. 29)  Again, Book of Mormon themes are hinted at in a familiar way to Mormons. More will be included in PART III of this series. The AZTEC universe was described throughout Mesoamerica in terms of five directions the center (where Xolotl’s archer stood) and the four cardinal directions…This centrality gave the Aztec a sense of urgency and importance; things of moment could take place only in the center…The four directions and the center assured him of the frailness of the entire structure…there were thirteen ascending levels which made up the whole.” (Brundage p. 7) The lowest level was centered on the surface of the earth. This was the hub from which all directions, including the upward directions emanated, the levels ascended through the heavens, sun moon an stars, etc., each aspect being given designation by a presence or one of the great Gods…”the uppermost tier was Omeyocan, [a place name, not a gods]the seat of divine authority.” (Brundage p. 7) The colors for the cardinal directions in Central America are the same for those of the Hopi, and some other southwestern groups.  


Special games were a way to express history, doctrine, and divine intervention and hope, the games were ceremonies in themselves, elaborate and often with dire consequences.

At all ruin areas of significance, even among the Hokoham, there was the ball court and the unique game, with its attendant myth, tlachtle, recounting how in the course of the present eon, the Fifth Sun, was changed, the game once having been played between the gods Quetzalcoatl [Christ?]  and Tezcatlipoca [Lucifer?], which was to decide who of the two would be the god of this earth, the Sun God, “Tezcatlipoca changed into a jaguar, thus achieving victory…Like a dark current [time] sweeping man along, and their complaints mean nothing to it. What men object to is its tragic directionality. They know that the essence of time is change and that this indeed is the structure of life, but they are shattered when they contemplate the fact that what begins in vigor marches on and always toward decay [death].”  (See Brundage pp. 11-12)  Tezcatlipoca’s power on earth was limited, and it frustrated him. See the CD’s 13, 14, 15, & 16.

Quetzalcoatl…had been sent down from heaven to reform men and turn them from their impious ways…he formed a special group of priest with voices like trumpets, who called the people to penance and the new light…Mankind’s guilt was gradually being purged. But sloth and envy crept in…doom descended over the land…Sorcerers, all of them transfigurations of Tezcatlipoca appeared…their object was to reinstitute the cult of human sacrifice. Quetzalcoatl’s outstanding characteristic was his holiness…derived from his priestly office…He was the one who first taught men to invoke [pray to] the gods properly, to erect temples and to institute rituals.  Fasting, chastity…penances were the core of his teaching…unless the priesthood…was penitentialy involved at all times the gods would withhold abundance and leave men defenseless.” Brundage pp. 114-115)

Quetzalcoatl disappeared for a time into the underworld…[he] was not fully divine but had once been a living man…he {introduced} a new and a revealed religion.” (Brundage pp 112-113)  And of course there is much, much more.


“The destiny of America was divinely decreed.” (Ezra Taft Benson) Wouldn’t that include all of South, Central and North America? “Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed….[Men] mocked me and laughed…But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” (Columbus in McConkie Vol. l, p. 91) For nearly 1500 years the various Indian groups occupied their lands, then as their histories predicted, the white men came. “And I looked and behold a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many water, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” (l Nephi 13:12.) Some one has said: “The heavens have their timetable and it is not for man to hurry the season of harvest.” Columbus was destined in the providence of God to establish the union between the Old and the New worlds. (McConkie p. 185)  When he did and how he did, led by the HOLY GHOST, he made four voyages, he saw the people of Nephi in the promised land, Yucatan to Barbados; essentially Central America. In a letter to the King of Spain Columbus wrote in 1494 of the people he saw: “They believed that all power and glory come from Heaven. Further more, they believed confidently that I had arrived from Heaven with my ships and my men. They therefore honoured me.” (Kornfuehrer p. 35) They had been expecting him! Doesn’t this justify the concentration of effort to find Book of Mormon lands, ancient peoples, and doctrines in Central America, and perhaps in the records and traditions of those who left Central America?

PART 3 will summarize the encounters with the white man, summarize and tell how origin and creation stories and myths of the Indian groups have changed over time, and compare some items with the Book of Mormon histories and doctrines in general.  PART 4 will continue with this same theme.





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BRUNDAGE, Burr C., The Fifth Sun: Aztec Gods, Aztec, World, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1079

BUNTE, Pamela A.& R. J. Franklin,  From the Sands to the Mountain, Change and Persistence in a Southern Paiute Community, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1987

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