Thursday, August 17, 2017

How Ancient is Metallurgy in the Americas?

In the Land of Promise there is a long history of metallurgy among both the Jaredites and the Nephites.“And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance“ (2 Nephi 5:15)
And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work“ (Ether 10:23)
And we…became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war” (Jarom 1:8)
they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north” (Helaman 6:9).
    Yet, there is and has been much controversy among Land of Promise theorists, especially those of Mesoamerica where no metallurgy has been found by archaeologists for more than a hundred years of looking dating prior to about 800 A.D., despite so many comments in the scriptural record that both the Jaredites (around 2000 B.C. to 600 B.C.) and the Nephites (600 B.C. to 385 A.D.) were heavily involved in metallurgy.
Ancient metallurgy

It should be noted that one of the oldest applied sciences, whose history can be traced back to its rudimentary beginnings around 6000 B.C., is Process Metallurgy, with there currently being 86 known metals, but before the 19th century only 24 of these metals had been discovered and, of these 24 metals, 12 were discovered in the 18th century. Therefore, from the discovery of the first metals - gold and copper until the end of the 17th century, some 7700 years, only 12 metals were known. Four of these metals, arsenic, antimony , zinc and bismuth , were discovered in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, while platinum was discovered in the 16th century. The other seven metals, known as the Metals of Antiquity, were the metals upon which civilization was based. These seven metals were: gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron (smelted) and mercury, and were known to the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
    Of the seven metals, five can be found in their native states, i.e., gold, silver, copper, iron (from meteors) and mercury. However, the occurrence of these metals was not abundant and the first two metals to be used widely were gold and copper.
    Iron oxides have been used extensively in the Americas from the Paleoindian period up to the ethnographic present, and the oldest site is that of the Andes Mountains of northern Peru and southern Ecuador. In fact, not everyone is acquainted with the literal richness of these lands, with Peru today grabbing the top 6th spot in terms of gold production in the entire world, producing 150 metric tons of gold in 2014 alone, making it the largest gold producer in all of South America. Peru, which saw the birth anciently of the Norte Chico civilization, the Cupisnique and Chavín cultures, the Paracas, Nazca, Mochica and Chimu civilizations, growing eventually from a similarly small ethnic group, the Quechuas, into what was known as the Incas in the early 1500s.
Iron mine in ancient Peru, dated to 100 B.C.

At least 3000 years before the emergence of metallurgy in Mesoamerica, the riches of the Andes was well known. Due to a recurring tectonic process known as the Andean cycle, the mountain range holds some of the world’s finest mineral deposits, of which gold, copper, silver and lead are included. As such, placer mining became fairly common during B.C. times, with gold found largely in the rivers flowing from the Andes.
    When explorer Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian geographer, naturalist and scientist, traveled extensively through Ecuador and Peru (1799-1804), he noted how the Ecuadorian people “live poorly amid incomparable riches.”
    The land, he found, whose gold was concentrated mostly in the southern areas of the country, was rich with gold, and along with Peru, Colombia, and Chile, are today some of Latin America’s wealthiest countries in terms of mineral output, including gold, silver and copper (Peru 6th, Colombia 18th, Chile 20th, Ecuador 35th of the top 100 countries in the world; and in the Western Hemisphere, Peru is 2nd, Colombia 7th, Chile 8th, and Ecuador 10th, of 40 countries.
Vaughn working on a National Geographic funded project on prehispanic mining on the south coast of Peru, here shown at Mina Primavera, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Heinz Foundation

Despite the fact that mining is an extractive industry, according to Kevin J. Vaughn, an archaeologist and Professor of anthropology at Purdue University, claims that “it destroys archaeological evidence making the finding of ancient mines rare discoveries,” yet, mines have been found in the Andean regions of South America dating to B.C. times.
    As an example, in Peru, an ancient Iron ore mine was discovered in the Andes, high in the mountains of Peru, dating back to the last century B.C. The mine, which is nearly 700 cubic meters, is in a cliffside facing a modern ochre (iron) mine, and has an estimated 3,710 metric tons extracted during more than 1,400 years of use (Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Pittsburg, PA, December 2008).
The find offers proof that an ancient people in the Andes mined hematite iron ore many centuries before the Inca Empire. In fact, the extraction occurred at an average rate of 2.65 tonnes per year, suggesting regular and extensive mining prior to Spanish conquest. Such a find demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations. Vaughn also added, “Some evidence suggests that ancient Andeans smelted metals like copper to make ‘prestige goods’ for the elite classes” (Kelly Heam, National Geographic News, 2008).
    Ion addition, anvils, gold foil, and stone hammer were found at a site in south-centeral Peru that dates to around 1400 B.C., and drops in mercury content shows as usage of metallurgy through heating and volatilization.
    In Chile, an ancient mine at San Ramón, located on the arid coast of northern Chile, is a prehistoric mine with associated tailings and mining debris exploited during the Late Archaic (2300 B.C.), representing the earliest known mining activity in the Americas. This discovery has important implications, including (1) the record of undisputed mining activity in the continent is extended by several millennia, showing the first insights into Early Archaic mining techniques and technologies; (2) the earliest inhabitants of the Pacific Coast of South America had a well-developed mining knowledge, that is, they were hunter-gatherer-fisher-miner communities; and (3) mobility patterns of early nomadic maritime adaptations in northern Chile were influenced by repeated access to iron oxide pigments used mainly for symbolic purposes.
In Colombia, mining of kaolinite and hematite strted in the period shortly after the Last Ice Age, and  ancient goldmaking dates to at least 500 B.C. with finds of hammered gold funnery masks, and Colombian metallurgists fashioned gold into some of the most visually dramatic and sophisticated works of art found anywhere in the Americas before European contact (Ancient Colombian Golkdmaking,” South America Before European Colonization, Khan Academy, The British Museum, 2017). And copper is found mined in Colombia in the last century B.C.
    In North America, natives mined copper on the shores of Lake Superior in prehistoric times between 4,000 and 1,200 B.C. Copper jewelry and implements from Wisconsin and Upper Michigan were part of a trade network that stretched from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf Coast, giving rise to the name "Old Copper Culture," also known as the Old Copper Complex. Made up of early inhabitants of the Great Lakes region during a period that covered several thousand square miles. The most conclusive evidence suggests that native copper was utilized to produce a wide variety of tools beginning in the Middle Archaic period circa 4,000 BC. The vast majority of this evidence comes from dense concentrations of Old Copper finds in eastern Wisconsin. These copper tools cover a broad range of artifact types: axes, adzes, various forms of projectile points, knives, perforators, fishhooks and harpoons. By about 1,500 BC artifact forms began to shift from utilitarian objects to personal ornaments, which may reflect an increase in social stratification toward the Late Archaic and Early Woodland period (Pleger 2000)."
    According to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Anthropology and museum Studies website, there has been little dispute over the last century that the primary copper sources that were exploited by the Old Copper Complex manufactures came from natural ore deposits spanning 120 miles along the southern shores of Lake Superior on the Keweenaw Peninsula. This native metal has an exceptional ratio of pure copper, typically over 95%. The most heavily utilized mines were discovered at Isle Royale, Keweenaw and Ontonagon. The following is an excerpt from the turn of the last century by Mr. J.T. Reeder of the Tamarack Mining Company in Calumet, Michigan, as he describes the ore deposits in this region: “Around the Victoria location, the old Minnesota (now Michigan), the Rockland, the Mass and Adventure, and Winona, are hundreds of old Indian copper pits. To say that there are thousands would not be exaggerating. They extend from a few feet to as much as thirty feet into the gravel and solid rock" (Brown 1904:54).
The difference between metallurgy and hammering is considerble in ability and technique as well as result: Left: Top and Bottom--Copper Metallurgy; Right: Top and Bottom--Copper Hammering and Annealing 
    It should be kept in mind that this is not metallurgy per se, since it does not involve the use of iron and normal smelting procedures, but rather simply hammering and annealing.
    The first iron works in North America, called Hammersmith, began operation in 1647 A.D. in Saugus, Massachusetts. Some of the most important ironmaking regions of the country in colonial America were in eastern Pennsylvania near the Delaware River, western Pennsylvania around the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, and the Hudson River valley in New York and New Jersey. In the Great Lakes area, the Gogebic Range is an elongated area of iron ore deposits in northern Michigan and Wisconsin. It extends west from Lake Namakagon in Wisconsin to Lake Gogebic in Michigan or almost 80 miles. Though long, it is only about a half mile wide and forms a crescent concave to the southeast. Not discovered until 1848, ore was not produced until 1883.
    Thus, the earliest true metallurgy was found in South America, specifically Ecuador, Peru, Chile, etc., dating to 2155-1936 B.C. (Mark Aldenderfer, et al, “Four-thousand-year-old gold artifacts from the Lake Titicaca basin, southern Peru,” PNAS, Vol 105 (13), 2008, pp 5002-5005).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part IV

-->Continuing from the previous post regarding the horse in the Americas and how it was claimed to have been extinct during Jaredite and Nephite times, and also a discussion here of the fascinating breed called the Curly Horse found in both North and South America.
Curly Horses of both North and South America, genetically connected to the ancient Equus of North America

In fact, mustangs from the curly horses in the Pryor Mountains are believed to have been here since at least the late 1600s, and most of the animals have only five lumbar vertebrae (common in primitive horses), and many often have a curly winter coat (Fran Lynghaug, The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide). The presence of only five lumbar vertebrae is also found in the American Curly Horse, a breed well known to the Lakota and other tribes at least as early as 1800. Curlies were made famous by the Damele family in Nevada, who first saw Curlies running with wild mustangs in Nevada around 1900. When they discovered that the Curlies were especially well adapted to surviving very cold winters that killed other horses, the family started raising the Curlies as ranch horses, and still breed them today. Curly Horses were seen running wild in southern Alberta as recently as 50 years ago, and can still be seen in wild herds of the American west. Wildlife photographer Barbara Wheeler has photographed many Curly Horses in the wild in Nevada and Wyoming.
    In fact, according to Dale Wooley, author of The Dameles and the American Curly Horse, “When the Dameles first began catching Curly horses out of the Mustang herds, they were big, coarse-looking horses with non-refined heads, bodies, and legs.”
    The point is, curly horses were seen running wild in southern Alberta as recently as 50 years ago, and can still be seen in wild herds of the American west, many of which have been filmed in the wild in Nevada and Wyoming. Perhaps the Curlies are living proof that the genes of the ancient North American horses still exist in modern horse populations, which would mean that they were here before the arrival of the Spanish horses introduced into the Americas after the Spanish conquest. After all, the distinctive genetic marker that separates them from other horses today is the gene for the curly coat.
These ancient horses have also been found in South America. According to author Felix Azara, who wrote in his Natural History of Quadrupeds in Paraguay (1802), “I have seen many curly-haired horses, ones which are called “Pichai” in Paraguay. Their hair is kinky.” In addition, Charles Darwin reports seeing Curly Horses in Paraguay in a book published in 1868. It is very possible that the curly hair of the North American and Paraguayan horses both show a link to the original Equus of North America—a species that never went extinct after all.
    Of course, the question arises, how did these horses survive Noah’s Flood? The simple fact is, that the Curly Horse is a breed akin to the Russian Lokai, a breed of horse indigenous to the Asian Steppes area in Tajikistan. According to Azara, these horses have a connection to pre-Columbian Curly Horse of the Americas found in both Alaska and Paraguay (also Northern United States). Now, Tajikistan, previously known as Tajik, is a mountainous country just to the east of the Caspian Sea where the people currently known as Iranians first populated, making them concurrent with the area where Noah’s Ark landed along the Turkey-Armenian border (an area that was ruled by the Turks) and would have been in the area where many of the animals of the Ark would have filtered into upon being released. Such Curly horses would have been available to the Jaredites, and as the scriptural record tells us they had the horse when in the land of promise (Ether 9:19).
    The point is, the Curly Horse, whose curls shed moisture and contract in winter, giving them a resiliency against the cold, and have gentle temperaments, and a calmness that makes them excellent family horses that are highly intelligent, with good memories and the ability to assess situations and figure things out, existed anciently in only two known places in the world, 1) the Americas, and 2) the Asian Steppes (next door to Mesopotamia) and possibly as far east as China. The Europeans and Spanish who came to America and brought horses, would not have had access to the Asian Steppes horsesanimals that are not indigenous to Europe or the Middle East, Africa, etc.
There is also a mention of a Curly Horse in China in 161 A.D., in both artwork and bas-relief statues in the tomb of Emperador Taizong Tang (28 January 598 – 10 July 649), a T’ang dynasty emperor who died in 649, and includes a yellow curly horse.
    For those who deny the Flood, claiming American horses were extinct by 13,000 to 12,000 years ago, the Curly Horse existed in the Americas some 5,000 years later, consequently, would have been in the Americas in pre-Columbian times; for those who accept the Flood, the Jaredites would have had access to the Lokai Curley Horse of the Steppes, and could have brought it to the Americas among their many herds (Ether 9:19), again, and either way, the horse was in America in pre-Columbian times.
   It should also be of interest that Dr. Steven E. Jones, in an article entitled “Were There Horses in the Americas Before Columbus?” Because his comments on this subject are critically important, we list them here extensively:
    “About twelve years ago, I began a project to seek horse bones from sites in North America and Mesoamerica for the purpose of radiocarbon dating. In this research, I was joined by Prof. Wade Miller of the BYU Department of Geology, archaeologists Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales and Shelby Saberon, and Patricia M. Fazio of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center…we secured horse bones for dating, some directly from the field. Then state-of-the-art radiocarbon dating was performed at Stafford Laboratories in Colorado, the University of California at Riverside, or Beta Analytic in Miami, Florida, employing Accelerator Mass Spectrometer dating methods.”
    The time frame sought extended “from 10,000 BP (thus after the last ice age) to 500 BP (when Spaniards soon after Columbus brought horses to America). The prevailing paradigm holds that there were no horses in the Americas during this time interval; the Book of Mormon and a number of native American oral traditions hold otherwise. The samples in this study can be divided into two categories according to their origins: Mexico, and the United States.”
It should be noted that this study, was sponsored and funded by FARMS (Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) and ISPART (Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts), both BYU academics organizations, and included only North America and Mesoamerica. No part of the study included South America.
    Dr. Jones continued: “Forty-five Equus samples were obtained in Mexico. Based on AMS dating, there was one sample from the Ice Age period, and six from the post-Columbus period. Other samples had insufficient collagen in the bone to permit dating—collagen protein locks in carbon-14, permitting accurate C-14 dating. Thus, the laboratories require a certain minimum amount of collagen in order to proceed with the dating. There were no Equus samples found in this study in Mesoamerica for the time interval 14,700 BC to 1650 AD.”
    On the other hand, “in North America, there are found Equus samples which do indeed appear in the time frame between the last ice age and the arrival of Columbus. The first of these was found in Pratt Cave near El Paso, Texas, by Prof. Ernest Lundelius of Texas A&M University. Prof. Lundelius responded to my inquiries and provided a horse bone from Pratt Cave which dated to BC 6020 – 5890. This date is well since the last ice age, into the time frame when all American horses should have been absent [extinct] according to the prevailing paradigm.”
    In addition, other bone specimens were identified in the “extinct horse” time frame, as Dr. Jones points out: “Another Equus specimen was identified by Elaine Anderson, an expert on Equus identification, at Wolf Spider cave, Colorado. It dated to 1260 – 1400 A.D., again clearly before Columbus. Dr. Patricia Fazio of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, has joined our network of researchers in this field…and alerted us to a horse bone found at Horsethief Cave in Wyoming which dates to approximately 3,124 BP, i.e., 1124 BC, using thermoluminescent methods…Dr. Fazio also pointed to a publication, The Wyoming Archaeologist (Vol 38, pp55-68), where results of a horse bone found in Wyoming were dated to 1426 – 1481 A.D. (one sigma calibrated dates) using AMS methods, well before Columbus.”
    It can also be pointed out that a paper by Dr. R. Alison notes evidence for horses in Canada dating 900 and 2900 years ago, and it should be kept in mind that the European horses arrived on the new-world mainland with Cortes in 1519 A.D.--only 500 years ago [Henry, Marguerite and Wesley Dennis. All About Horses. Random House, 1962].
Dr. Jones adds, “Thus, there are a half dozen dated Equus samples that date in the time frame 6,000 BC to 1481 AD, well since the last ice age and all before Columbus. Note that all of these radiometrically-dated Equus remains were found in North America.”
(For sake of better understanding Dr.  Jones, he was a Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University where he served for over 21 years before his retirement in 2007. He conducted doctoral research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 1978. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from Brigham Young University in 1973, where he held a David O. McKay Presidential Scholarship—his research interests include studies in archaeometry, fusion and solar energy).
    Thus, when combining all this information, it is extremely difficult for any critic or appeaser to suggest that the horse did not exist in the Americas prior to the coming of Columbus, the Spanish  conqjuistadors and later the Europeans.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part III

Continuing from the previous post regarding the horse in the Americas and how it was claimed to have been extinct during Jaredite and Nephite times.
Eqquus ferus looked similar to the wild Asiatic horse which had a reddish-brown bodyh with a black upright mane and black tail and legs

Despite a great deal of variability in the size of the Pleistocene equids from differing locations (mostly ecomorphotypes), a study conducted at the Ancient Biomolecules Centre of Oxford University shows that the DNA evidence strongly suggests that all of the large and small caballine samples belonged to the same species. The author states, “The presence of a morphologically variable caballine species widely distributed both north and south of the North American ice sheets raises the tantalizing possibility that, in spite of many taxa named on morphological grounds, most or even all Americas caballines were members of the same species” (emphasis added; Jaco Weinstock, et al, “Evolution Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World,” PLOS research article, 2005).
    The work of Michael Hofreiter examining the genetics of the so‐called E. lambei from the permafrost of Alaska, found that the variation was within that of modern horses, which translates into E. lambei actually being E. caballus, genetically (M. Hofreiter, M., Serre, D. Poinar, H.N. Kuch, M., Pääbo, S., Ancient DNA. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2(5), 2001, pp353-359). Thus, as Hofreiter adds, “the molecular biology evidence is incontrovertible and indisputable, and is also supported by the interpretation of the fossil record, as well.”
    More recent work (Ludovic Orlando et al., “Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA,” Paleogenetics and Molecular Evolution, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, National Science Foundation, 2009) that examined the evolutionary history of a variety of non-caballine equids across four continents, found evidence for taxonomic “oversplitting” from species to generic levels.
Australian Center for Ancient DNA (ACAD), University of Adelaide, Australia, which does research on DNA in Australia and across the Southern Hemisphere

This oversplitting was based primarily on late-Pleistocene fossil remains without the benefit of molecular data. A co-author of this study, Dr. Alan Cooper, of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, stated, “Overall, the new genetic results suggest that we have underestimated how much a single species can vary over time and space, and mistakenly assumed more diversity among extinct species of megafauna.”
    Work of this nature even confirms the similar social organization of those early horses, and reveals that E. caballus originated from very few males and many females, a pattern consistent with the species’ social organization today (N.C. Lau et al., Abundant primary piRNAs, endo-siRNAs, and microRNAs in a Drosphila ovary cell line, Genome Res, 2009).
    According to Kirkpatrick,"the fact that horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced matters little from a biological viewpoint. They are the same species that originated here. As has been pointed out, the key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. caballus did both, here in the Americas. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”
"The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock"
As an example, a few years ago a helicopter friend flew a BLM contingent up onto a mountainous area in Southern Utah to get rid of a large herd that couldn’t be driven off the mountain. They did not belong there, were not indigenous to the area though they had been there for a number of years. The BLM group went up and shot them all because they were not “natural” to the area.
    Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock‐gone‐loose” appellation (J. F. Kirkpatrick, Revised May 2010. Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings)
    Another example of horse classification is Ann Forstén’s (Zoological Institute at the University of Helsinki) analysis of E. lambei, the Yukon horse, which was the most recent Equus species in North America prior to the horse's disappearance from the continent. Her examination of E. lambei mtDNA (preserved in the Alaskan permafrost) has revealed that the species is genetically equivalent to E. caballus. That conclusion has been further supported by Michael Hofreiter, of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, who has found that the variation fell within that of modern horses.
Thus, the wild horse in the United States is generally labeled non-native by most federal and state agencies dealing with wildlife management, but the two key elements for defining an animal as a native species are where it originated and whether or not it coevolved with its habitat. E. caballus can lay claim to doing both in North America. Thus, it cannot be said that the American horse became extinct, but continued on through the centuries. What happened to it, why the native cultures did not use the animal as later native Americans did, is unknown, or in fact, not known that they did not use the horse. We do know from the Book of Mormon that it was in the Land of Promise, thus in South America—an area so large, most has still not yet been discovered, whether or not such animals existed when the Spanish arrived will never be known.
    As time has passed since the original concept that all horses disappeared from the Americas by 12,000 B.C. or so, new scientific discoveries, according to author Terry McNamee, kept pushing the supposed date of extinction of America's horses closer to the present day. Now it seems clear that there probably was no such extinction at all (The survival of Horses in Pre-Columbian America, 2013).
    Recent DNA analysis of a frozen Yukon Horse carcass found in the Alaskan permafrost in 2009 showed that horses were still living in North America as recently as 7,600 years ago (5600 BC), according to researcher Ross MacPhee, the American Museum of Natural History's Curator of Mammology.
    According to Terry McNamee in The Survival of Hores in Pre-Columbian America, “The idea that horses could have survived into more recent times in areas south of Alaska and the Yukon was suggested 40 years ago by archaeologist Paul S. Martin, a former anthropologist and archaeologist and lifelong associate of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, specializing in pre-Columbian cultures of the southwestern U.S. He said that there was no reason why horses could not have survived in isolated areas of North America as late as 2000 B.C. (Paul S. Martin, "The Discovery of America," Science 179, 1973). But more recent discoveries are revealing that horses may have been present in North America much longer, even right up to the time when Europeans “reintroduced” horses to the Americas.
(See the next post, “Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part IV,” for more information about the horse in the Americas when it was claimed to have been extinct and the fascinating breed called the Curly Horse found in both North and South America)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding the horse in the Americas and how it was claimed to have been extinct during Jaredite and Nephite times. 
    According to Richard Gillespie in "Updating Martin's global extinction model" (Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol 27 (27-28) 2008, pp2522-2529), there are some inconsistencies between the current available data and the prehistoric overkill hypothesis. For instance, there are ambiguities around the timing of sudden extinctions of Australian megafauna. Biologists note that comparable extinctions have not occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia, where the fauna evolved with hominids" (humans and their ancestors).
Megafaunal animals claimed to have lived in the Americas

In fact, it is believed that post-glacial megafaunal (large or giant animals) "extinctions in Africa have been spaced over a longer interval."
    Yet, despite all the discussion of some catastrophic event that wiped out every single horse on the face of the North and South American continents, the idea of such is illogical and hard to envision under any circumstances but one. And that reasonable possibility is the single one that science will not even consider—Noah’s Flood.
That means horses, and all animals and living things would have been destroyed and have to be reintroduced by man—Noah’s descendants. Enter the Jaredites, and the importance of their colonization of the New World, or Western Hemisphere soon after the Flood and directly after the separation of lands that took place in Peleg’s lifetime.
    When the Lord told the Brother of Jared that He would meet him, his brother, and their friends in a valley to the north (Ether 1:42) named after Nimrod (Ether 2:1)probably the best known individual of his dayhe told him, “Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families” (Ether 1:41), they also caught fowls of the air and fish of the waters (Ether 2:2); and honey bees (Ether 2:3).
    When the Jaredites reached the New World, or the promised land, they had within their eight barges, numerous animals, herd animals of every kind, which, according to sociobiologists (social behavior resulting from evolution) and behavioral ecologists (animal behavior resulting from the proximate causes of ontogeny, survival value, and phylogeny of behavior), include grazing animals, such as goats, sheep, cattle, elephants, camels, horses, asses, bison, boars, caribou, deer, moose, oxen, pigs, antelope, etc.
    Of course, with probable space requirements in the barges they would not have had to have many large adult mammals, if any, for they could have brought young animals that could finish their growth after landing, thereby saving space in the barges for people and supplies.
    The point is, with these herds and flocks, they repopulated the animals in the Western Hemisphere. The animals that were wiped out by the Flood began to repopulate from those the Jaredites brought—no doubt others, not included by the Jaredites came with the Europeans when they arrived.
“And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms”
(Ether 9:19)

Assuming the Jaredites brought horsessince it is listed in the Ether record we can accept that they didthe question paleontologists propose is "were the wild horse of the Americas truly wild?" This was the concluding question in the previous post.
The horses we call wild, from the mustangs to the Exmoor ponies to the "wild" horses of the Camargue marshes are technically all feral horses, descendants of domesticated horses that have been living on their own and reproducing for decades, or even centuries, without significant influence from people. The one single sub-species of horse that is still entirely wild, having never been domesticated by humans is the endangered Przewalski's horse, which is native to the steppes of Mongolia

Of this, Dr. Jay F. Kirkpatrick, director of the Science and Conservation Center, Billings, Montana,   and Dr. Patricia M. Fazio, environmental history from Texas A&M, in "Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife" (The Science and Conservation Center, Montana, Billings, Revised January 2010) ask: "Are they truly “wild,” as an indigenous species in Americas, or are they “feral weeds” – that is, barnyard escapees, far removed genetically from their prehistoric ancestors?" The question at hand is, therefore, whether or not modern horses, Equus caballus, should be considered native wildlife. At first glance, it may not seem like it, but the question is legitimate, and the answer important.
"Wild" American Horses are actually ferel horses, descended from domestic breeds

As Kirkpatrick and Fazio continue: "In North America, the wild horse is often labeled as non‐native, or even an exotic species, by most federal or state agencies dealing with wildlife management, such as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The legal mandate for many of these agencies is to protect native wildlife and prevent non‐native species from causing harmful effects on the general ecology of the land. Thus, management is often directed at total eradication, or at least minimal numbers. If the idea that wild horses were, indeed, native wildlife, a great many current management approaches might be compromised. Thus, the rationale for examining this proposition, that the horse is a native or non‐native species, is significant."
    Obviously, then, these recent findings have an unexpected implication. It is firmly believed that domesticated horses were introduced into North America at the time of the Spanish conquest--obviously, some of these horses would have escaped captivity, either during battles where the riders were killed or at other times. It is also believed that these escaped horses subsequently spread throughout the American Great Plains. As Kirkpatrick and Fazio claim (Live Science, 2008), "Based on today's terminology, such escaped wild horses that survive are designated "feral" and regarded as intrusive, exotic animals, unlike the native horses that died out at the end of the Pleistocene." This was a time, according to Bjorn Carey (Live Science, 2006) about 12,000 years ago that a global cooling event caused the extinction of many large mammals in North America. However, as Kirkpatrick and Fazio add, "whether or not horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced matters little from a biological viewpoint. Indeed, domestication altered them little, as we can see by how quickly horses revert to ancient behavioral patterns in the wild."
    The genus Equus it is said, which includes modern horses, zebras, and asses, is the only surviving genus in a once diverse family of horses that included 27 genera. When the genus Equus originated is not known, though experts claim that evidence of their dispersal from North America to Eurasia is documented.
Left: E. Lambei; Right: E. Caballus. Both are the same animal as has been shown by recent DNA testing and analysis

The relatively new field of molecular biology, using mitochondrial‐DNA analysis, which is mainly used for identification of protected species and genetic diversity of wildlife, has recently revealed,  that the origin and etymology of caballine (caballinus), or our modern horse, E. caballus, is genetically equivalent to E. lambei, a horse, according to fossil records, that represented the most recent Equus species in North America prior to extinction, as Kirkpatrick and Fazio have pointed out and that not .only is E. caballus genetically equivalent to E. lambei, also known as the Yukon horse, but, according to Ann Forstén of the Zoological Museum in Helsinki, Finland (Mitochondrial-DNA time-tablke and the evolution of Equus, Finnish Zoological Publishing board, 1990/1992) there is no evidence existing for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except in North America.
    It should also be noted that a mitochondrial-DNA-based timetable for the branching of the extant species of the genus Equus as compared with the record of dated fossils of that genus was conducted in Forstén's research and covered in her article her quoted only in part.
(See the next post, “Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part III,” for more information about the horse in the Americas when it was claimed to have been extinct)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part I

It is believed that the last prehistoric North American horses died out between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago, at the end of what is called the Pleistocene (Ice Age). It is also assumed that by then the animal Equus (horse) had spread to Asia, Europe, and Africa. Of course, no one knows, or even has a workable idea as to why horses would have died out in North America.   
One of the questions regarding this disappearance of the horse in the Americas is “Did humans have a hand in their demise, or did climatic changes and altering vegetation trigger it?” If not, what did?
    Naturally, climate change, which has reached a new untenable and certainly unverifiable high in modern thinking, is one of the factors blamed for such changes or eradications of large mammals in the past.But another question also arises in this scenario.
    “How did the Equus get from North America to Asia and Europe before it met its untimely doom in the Americas?”
    Enter the infamous and so-called Siberian Land Bridge. While it is claimed that man came across that Land Bridge, which the anthropologist claims is a fact, but in geology has not been so proven, for there is no solid indication that a land bridge ever existed. But that does not stop the scientist from claiming that while man came from east to west across it, that the horse went from west to east across it.
The Ice Age Cordilleron sheet covered all of the western area of Canada, and the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered the rest, hardly allowing for any movement through them from east to west or west to east

A totally interesting and certainly unverifiable opinion when one considers, according to Stephen C. Lougheed and Natalie Morrill, of the Department of Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario Canada, that during the Ice Age at this time, it was solid ice throughout Alaska and Canada, and the northern part of the U.S. (“Quaternary History of Eastern Ontario: Impacts on Physical Landscape and Biota,” Reviewed by Paul Handford (Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolution Group, Biology Department, University of Western Ontario, and Professor Scott Lamoureux, Ph.D (Queen’s University, Geography and Planning, involved in research in the High Arctic,  climatology, paleoclimatology, geomorphology and sedimentology)
    According to Dale Guthrie, in Nature, the International weekly Journal of Science, “About 70% of North American large mammal species were lost at the end of the Pleistocene epoch,” and the causes of this extinction—the role of humans versus that of climate—“have been the focus of much controversy.” He further adds, “Horses have figured centrally in that debate, because equid species dominated North American late Pleistocene faunas in terms of abundance, geographical distribution, and species variety, yet none survived into the Holocene epoch” (“Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction,” Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska).
    Yet, the $64-million question asked by Neil Clarkson, a Berigia Land Bridge advocate, is: “Why could the continent that gave rise to the horse in the first place no longer provide a suitable home?” But not just unsuitable, it was completely incapable, according to paleontologists. But even if an acceptable answer were to rise concerning this, one would have to ask why did the horse not simply migrate further south where it was already warm? What would draw the horse, one of the heartiest of large mammals in the wild, into the frozen tundra to weave its way haphazardly across a land bridge it could not possibly have known existed?
    One interesting, though highly speculative suggestion is that a cadre of comets exploded over North America about 12,900 years ago, as claimed by the University of Oregon researchers, causing the extinction of ice-age mammals and perhaps even the Clovis people in North America.
The hardy horse that once covered the entire landscape

It is interesting that after 25 million years of stable living, growing, expanding, improving and increasing, suddenly, without warning, or evidently without any suggestable reason, they simply disappeared. Yet, it is interesting that somehow, those who sought a home elsewhere, over the “land bridge” and in Asia and Europe, “were able to readily adapt to their new environment even though they could not survive in their own natural habitat” but the ones that stayed in North America could not adapt to whatever changes that had to have occurred, yet are not recorded in any type of modeling scenario. They evidently “faced a changing climate, altering vegetation, and the arrival of man.”
    According to the universityh of Colorado in Boulder, in a period known as the Clovis-age, man showed up in the area of present-day Colorado, arriving it is claimed over the so-called Beringia land bridge. “Biochemical testing of 13,000-year-old stone tools in Colorado show that some were used to butcher ice-age horses and camels that roamed North American until their extinction.” The cache of tools from the period were recently unearthed within the city limits of Boulder.
    All 83 artifacts were shipped to anthropology professor Robert Yohe, of the Laboratory of Archaeological Science at California State, Bakersfield, for the protein residue tests, who commented: “I was somewhat surprised to find mammal protein residues on these tools, in part because we initially suspected that the cache might be ritualistic rather than utilitarian.”
    There are so few Clovis-age tool caches that have been discovered that no one really knows very much about the culture. Anthropology professor Douglas Bamforth, who led the study at the University of Colorado, said the discovery of horse and camel protein on the tools was the clincher for him that the tools were of Clovis origin. “We haven’t had camels or horses around here since the late Pleistocene.”
    The artifacts that showed animal protein residues were each tested three times to ensure accuracy.
Stone tools claimed to be 13,000 years old

According to Bamforth, “The study is the first to identify protein residue from extinct camels on North American stone tools and only the second to identify horse protein residue on a Clovis-age tool.” As the University report pointed out, the collection of 83 stone implements has been named the Mahaffy Cache after the Boulder resident and landowner, Patrick Mahaffy, on whose property the items were found by a landscaping crew, headed by Brant Turney who dug up the items. The collection is one of only two Clovis caches—the other is from Washington state—that have been analyzed for protein residue from ice-age mammals.
    Another possible claim of change that resulted in the extinction of large animals was climate change—an “escape all” that is often cited for otherwise unexplainable events in science. In this case it is a little more elaborate. The extinction of the woolly mammoth, it is suggested (by whatever cause, perhaps by humans) changed the extensive grasslands to birch forests, and subsequent forest fires then changed the climate. As one scientist put it, “We now believe that immediately after the extinction of the mammoth that birch forests replaced the grasslands and that an era of significant fire began.”
(See the next post, “Are Wild Horses Native to the Americas – Part II,” for more information about the horse in the Americas when it was claimed to have been extinct)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

More on the Malay Geology and Prehistory

Regarding the Malay Peninsula, which at least one reader seems to champion beyond the level of reason, fact, and reality, the Titiwangsa Mountains (Benjaran Titiwangsa) are part of the Tenasserim Hills system, a suture joining together along a major fault zone, of separate terranes; tectonic units that have different plate tectonic metamorphic and paleogeographic histories that form the backbone of the Peninsula. The northern section of the range in southern Thailand, where it is known as the Sankalakhiri Range, runs north to south for 300 miles and acts as a natural divider, dividing peninsular Malysia, as well as southernmost Thailand, into east and west coast regions. These mountains are not recent, being granite and limestone dating to the Permian, Triassic Period. 
   This mountainous backbone of the Malay peninsula shows a solid connection from far into the mainland clear down to the southern tip of the peninsula and that, as geologists point out, would not have allowed for the peninsula to have ever been separated.
Top: Titiwangsa Mountains running along the backbone of the peninsula; Bottom: The Kra Isthmus, the narrowest and lowest point along the peninsula in southern Thailand and Myanmar

The Kra Isthmus, with the east part of the land bridge belonging to Thailand, while the west part belongs to the Tanintharyi division of Myanmar, runs between the Andaman Sea to the west of the isthmus, and to the east the Gulf of Thailand, with the narrowest part located between the estuary of the Kra River and the Bay of Sawi near the city of Chumphon. At this point, the width is 27 miles, and the Phuket Range (a continuation of the greater Tenasserim Range, forming one of the southern sections of the central Indo-Malay cordillera, the mountain chain which runs from Tibet through all of the Malay peninsula extending southwards for over 125 miles) having an elevation of 246 feet above sea level.
    This means that the ocean in Indonesia, which would include the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean would have had to have been about 260 feet higher than today for this separation of the southern peninsula to have been an island at any time, and that would leave only an island 840 miles long across the Malacca Platform—hardly sufficient for the entire history of the Jaredites, Nephites and Lamanites to occupy.
    However, what geologists tell us is that the Indonesian area was actually higher at one time with ocean levels much lower than now. In fact, according to T. Tomascik, et al, Sundaland, or the Sundaic region, land bridges connected the islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra to the Malay Peninsula and mainland Asia, corresponding to a larger landmass that was exposed throughout the last 2.6 million years during periods when sea levels were lower. It includes the Malay Peninsula on the Asian mainland, as well as the large islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra and their surrounding islands (T. Tomascik, J.A. Mah, A. Nontji, and M.K. Moosa, M.K., The Ecology of the Indonesian Seas – Part One. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, Hong Kong, 1996, pp580–581).
    In fact, the area of Sundaland encompasses the Sunda Shelf, a tectonically stable extension of Southeast Asia’s continental shelf that was exposed during glacial periods of the last 2 million years (Mark de Bruyn, Björn Stelbrink, Robrt J. Morley, et al, “Borneo and Indochinas are Major Evolutionary Hotspots for Southeast Asian Biodiversity,” Systematic Biology, Vol 63 (6), 2014, pp879-901)
The Sahul Shelf and the Sunda Shelf today. The area in between is called Wallacea—at one time, shown in the grayed area, far more land was above water, forming a connecting land bridge between several of these major islands and the Malay Peninsula, as well as between Australia and Papua New Guinea

In fact, greater portions of Sundaland were most recently exposed during the last glacial period ending about 12,000 years ago (Lawrence R. Heaney, "Mammalian Species Richness on Islands on the Sunda Shelf, Southeast Asia," Oecologia, Vol 61 (1), 1984, pp11-17), when land bridges connected the islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra to the Malay Peninsula and mainland Asia (Till Hanebuth, Karl Stattegger, and Pieter M. Grootes, "Rapid Flooding of the Sunda Shelf: A Late-Glacial Sea-Level Record," Science, Vol 288 (5468), 2000, pp1033-1035).   
    Geologic studies have shown that entire submerged river systems are observable beneath the oceans of the Siam River System, Malacca Straits River System, North Sunda River System and the East River System, all at one time flowing above the surface on the ancient lands.

Drawing of the raised coast lines in South-East Asia and now submerged river systems—the river beds are based on the surface contours of the sea bed in the area 

    In addition, according to Harold K. Voris: The Paleo River Systems of the Sunda Shelf are vast submerged river systems that extend present-day river systems and may be interpreted to follow topographic lows in a down-slope direction. During the driest of the Pleistocene era, about 17,000 years ago, some four distinct catchment areas formed the Malacca, Siam and Sunda River Systems ("Maps of Pleistocene sea levels in Southeast Asia shorelines, river systems and time durations," Journal of Biogeography, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, Vol 27, 2000, pp1153–1167). 
    It should be noted that at one time Borneo and Sumatra were continuously connected as a single landmass to the Malaysian Peninsula except for a possible brief period when the land bridge to Borneo may have been temporarily severed. Java would not have become fully connected to Sumatra until much later when the deep, narrow channel through the Sunda Straits existed. In fact, as is the case today, the highland areas of Sundaland occurred as a long arc of volcanic mountains fringing the southern and southeastern margin of the continent in Sumatra, Java and Bali, as extensive highlands in central and northern Borneo, and down the spine of the Malaysian peninsula. 
The Indonesian Throughflow is a current movement of warm water off the tropical Pacific Ocean moving westward through Indonesia and between Malay Peninsula and Sumatra and into the Indian Ocean

One of the things that seems lost on the supporters and proponents of the Malay theory is that the rise in water levels surrounding the Indonesian area, and the Indonesia Through Flow (from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean), is that this rise only submerged the land bridges between the Malay Peninsula and these numerous islands to basically what they are today. In fact, according to Michael I. Bird, of the School of Earth and Environmental Science and Center for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, the Malaysian Peninsula has been subsiding, and the land bridge south of the Malaysian Peninsula across the Straits of Singapore to the Riau Archipelago was never submerged prior to the Last Interglacial, and since that time had been submerged only for short periods (Micael I. Bird, et al, “Palaeoenvironments of insular Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period: A savanna corridor in Sundaland, 2005).
    These connections relate to several interstadial sea-level highstands or lowstands following the Last Interglacial and during the last glacial period. Of particular note is the existence of a flat widespread surface, interpreted as a marine abrasion terrace, identified in the vicinity of both Banka and Karimata Islands, that is, along the axis of the land bridge to Borneo (G.J.J. Aleva, “A Contribution to the Geology of Part of the Indonesian Tinbelt: the Sea Areas Between Singkep and Bangka Islands and Around the Karimata Islands,” Persatuan Geological Malaysia, 1972).

Friday, August 11, 2017

Calling the Kettle Black

It always amazes us when we get information or comments that are so far outside reality or take such license with available factual data that it boggles the mind.
The first-ever drawn map of a separate Asia, by Sebastian Münster in 1550 A.D., taken in part from the travels of Marco Polo in 1275 A.D., whivh changed Europe’s ideas and views of Asia—like all maps of its time, the cartographer extends the continent off the eastern edge of the map, so as not to commit on whether Asia was or was not connected with North America, despite his own map of America showing it as a separate land mass. Note the large island in red, which is Sumatra, and to its right, the Peninsula of Malay (Malaqua);Java to the right of Sumatra is shown separate, as are numerous other islands in Indonesia

One of our readers in a long running  debate that has been going on for many weeks wrote: “This is what I don't understand about you. You can look at something that is one thing and say it is another…What puzzles me is how you can look at one thing and say it is another, and then claim that your skewed view is proof that others are wrong.”
    Now, when I was young, my mother used to tell me, “That’s the pot calling the kettle black,” meaning of course that someone was guilty themself of what they were accusing another of doing. It is beyond belief that this reader can make this statement with a straight face—twice—when, in fact, he has ignored just about every point we have shown to him and yet act like they don’t even exist, and then counter with information from theorists rather than non-involved researchers and experts.
    Most of what has been sent us, which we always check out, is information, drawings, etc., from the very people who promote his ideas. One might wonder if he can tell the difference between information from people who have an axe to grind or irons in the same fire, and those who are not involved with the Book of Mormon, LDS Church, or any of this type of philosophy, but who research, study, and perform in a strictly academic world--it is hard to know since almost no checkable references or support data is included in his speculative statements.
    And despite these absolute denials (without any support at all), that Madagascar, as we outlined once in a rebuttal to a point of the Malay Peninsula being an island, was anciently referred to by historians as the Island of Malay, not the peninsula, and also throughout history, to separate the peninsular Malay from the Malay on the island of Borneo, the latter was referred to as the Island of Malay.
Reader’s submitted site showing an unreadable and unverified map as his proof the Malay Peninsula was once an island

In addition, in checking out the recent reference he sent (above), it typically does not provide any useful information toward any type of discussion. The sight, (, is simply a cloud storage/deposit/sharing site and as such, has no credibility toward any source material placed on it, such as the image the reader submitted, which is merely an enlarged triangular island in the midst of the sea (shown above) without a single word readable in all five written blocks and on the land mass itself. A lot of good such a link is to send.
An actual map of this island, shown with south at the top, and located off the coast of Indiae Pars, that is, the country of India. The island is clearly labeled “Taprobana,” which is the name often given to ancient Sri Lanka. Note the clarity of the map available—one can only wonder why a map of this island was sent to us (referred internet address) that was unreadable (Mare Indicum is the term for the Indian Ocean, and Mare Di India means Sea of India and Indiae Pars means Part of India) 

In fact, there are good maps available showing this “claimed” island in the Arabian Sea or Indian Ocean, however, there is a lot of controversy over it, but when taken as a whole, it first appeared on Ptolemy’s map from 150 A.D. in which it is, according to the vast majority of historians, etc., a mis-drawing of the island of Sri Lanka, referred to by Ptolemy as Taprobane, a name first reported to Europeans by the Greek geographer Megasthenes around 290 BC., and first appears on a map by Eratosthenes (276 to 196 BC) and was later adopted by Ptolemy (139 AD) in his geographical treatise to identify a relatively large island south of continental Asia.
    To be complete, on this, there are those who claim Taprobane was a large island that collided with India around 690 A.D. to become the sub-continent’s lower section. There are also those, like Javan hydro engineer Dhani Irwanto, who claims that the ancient island was really Kalimantan, known today as Borneo, an island upon which the main part of Malay is located (not peninsular Malay, which is on the Malay Peninsula). But despite all the hyped confusion about this ancient island, none have claimed it was the Malay Peninsula unconnected to the mainland.
    Also there are far better maps showing this particular separation.
Ptolemy’s 150 A.D. map; Top: Yellow Circle around the Malay Peninsula; Bottom: Blow-up of the area, showing not only the Malay Peninsula (called Aurea Chersonesus by Ptolemy) but also the famed island our reader claims is the Malay Island, when in fact, it is Sri Lanka (what used to be called Ceylon, and by Ptolomy, called Taprobane—printed above the lower orange line). Note that India (printed above top orange line) is clearly listed on the map above Taprobane, which distorts considerably Sri Lanka’s size and placement, but is that island in Ptolemy’s map

On Claudius Ptolemy’s world map (above) shown in Ptolemy's Geography (circa 150 A.D.) indicating "Sinae" (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of "Taprobane," which is Ceylon (oversized) and the "Aurea Chersonesus" (Southeast Asian peninsula), which is the Malay Peninsula. This term Χρυσῆ Χερσόνησος, Chrysḗ Chersónēsos; Latin: Chersonesus Aurea, means the Golden Peninsula, the name anciently used for the Malay Peninsula by Greek and Roman geographers in classical antiquity, including Ptolemy’s famed Geography (Geographical Guidance), also known by its Latin names as the Geographia and the Cosmographia, which is a gazetteer, or atlas, and a treatise on cartography, compiling the geographical knowledge of the 2nd Century Roman Empire. It was originally compiled by Ptolemy in Greek at Alexandria around 150 A.D., and was a revision of a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre (a Hellenized Greek geographer, cartographer and mathematician who founded mathematical geography; and in addition to Ptolemy, was cited by the Arab geographer al-Mas’ūdī) and using additional Roman and Persian gazetteers and new principles, including his careful study of the works of his predecessors and the diaries of travelers.
In fact, there are several maps of the area available from ancient sources—not modern claims, and they all show not only the peninsula of Malay connected to the mainland, but also geological maps show that the land beneath the surface extends out several miles in all directions and that this ancient land area was much larger! Ptolemy’s map (the earliest actual map found in any ancient atlas (or set of world maps drawn anciently) of around 150 A.D. shows the Malay peninsula connected to the mainland as do all the others including those claimed to overlap the Nephite period.
As we stated above, it is interesting that theorists love to point the finger at other people’s opinions and ideas and dismiss them as not knowledgeable or uninformed, when in reality they forget the other three fingers are pointing back at themselves. Theories based on supposition, speculation, opinion, belief is rarely going to trump ideas based on independent facts that are supported by numerous people who study, research and write in the fields under discussion. It is one of the reasons we try to give sources to most of what we write to show the backing such ideas have in the scientific communities under discussion. As an example, one might want to check out J. T. “Han” van Gorsel, Bibliography of the Geology of Indonesia and Surrounding Areas, 5th Edition, 2013, The first chapter of the bibliography contains 212 pages with over 2100 titles of papers on the regional geology of Indonesia and adjacent southeast Asia-Pacific, including Indonesia Regional Geology, SE Asia Tectonics, Paleobiogeography, Volcanism, Volcanic rocks geochemistry, Modern environments, Oceanography, Carbonates, Coral Reefs, and Indonesia Regional Geology)