07 November 2015

Daniel's article on evidence for horses in Ancient America has been published by BYU Studies!

It has taken a lot of time, research, editing, revision, and revisiting, but Daniel's article on horses in Ancient America has officially been published by BYU Studies Quarterly, entitled "Hard" Evidence of Ancient American Horses. It is in their latest issue, vol. 54, no. 3. Initially, the editors objected to the original title, saying that the evidence wasn't all that hard. Daniel explained that it really was a play on words, since the evidence presented consisted of bones and teeth, which are hard substances. Putting the word in quotes finally satisfied them.

We are very excited to have this information available to a wide audience. Some of it comes from the chapter on the Caves of Loltún from An LDS Guide to the Yucatán, which was further refined in Daniel's presentation on the subject at one of the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum's annual conferences. More information was gathered during the research and preparation of this final paper, which contains images of rarely-seen artifacts from various museum collections and a graphic prepared by Daniel that visually explains the surprising findings of stratigraphic digs from sections of the Loltún Caves. We wish to thank Jack Welch for the initial suggestion and for all those who participated and assisted in bringing all this information together in final form for the publication of this article.

Click here to read the full article online from BYU Studies.

18 September 2015

New YouTube content

Daniel has been figuring out how to organize his YouTube channel recently, and our videos are now organized in playlists. His presentations at the BMAF conferences are available, as well as videos of our first trip to the Yucatán Peninsula. He has been working lately on editing videos from our trip to Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras to format it for YouTube. That work is still in progress, but should be up soon.

Watch Daniel's presentations on metals/plates and ancient horses.
Watch a video of our 2006 trip to the Yucatán.

04 July 2015

Getting closer to publication

With editing help from others, Daniel has finished rewriting his paper on evidence for horses in ancient America. The original text from his BMAF presentation has been formatted and updated to make it appropriate for inclusion in a scholarly journal. The last step was getting permissions for all the images included in it. Currently, it is schedule to be printed in the September issue of BYU Studies Quarterly.

Also, Daniel will be giving a fireside this Monday evening at the Rohnert Park chapel near his home. Anyone in the area that is interested is invited to attend.

28 March 2015

First post of the year: horses and silk

Greetings once again. Daniel is currently revising his paper on ancient horse remains in America, based on his presentation given at the BMAF conference a few years ago. Jack Welch had asked him to submit it for publication in BYU Studies Quarterly. They have been on it for a while, but finally sent back a reviewed version asking for changes. Writing a scientific paper to meet their standards is a big job, but he is tightening up some of the assertions and looking for more source material to back it all up. When it is ready, he will resubmit it. We will let you know how it progresses.

While doing more research for it, Daniel was reading sections of Prescott's Conquest of Mexico, an important work in this field, based on the reports of early Spanish chroniclers. Quite unexpectedly, he came across a passage that could be significant to the Book of Mormon mention of silk, long held by critics to be an anachronism and major goof. The account describes Hernán Cortés' meeting with ambassadors from the Aztec empire, who brought him precious gifts. Some of the items were clothing, described as "robes of cotton, fine as silk, of rich and various dyes, interwoven with feather-work that rivalled the delicacy of painting." Peter Martyr describes a curious fabric made of the hair of animals, feathers, and cotton thread, interwoven together.

More than likely, the 'silk' described in the Book of Mormon was not the kind we know, a product of Asian silkworms, but rather some costly, luxurious fabric used by the wealthy classes. 'Silk' may be the best translation into English that makes sense. We see that such cloth was had by later Mesoamerican people like the Aztecs. The fact that it came from Moctezuma shows its importance, status, and cost.

Daniel will be giving a fireside on Book of Mormon and archaeological similarities this Sunday evening at the LDS chapel in Petaluma, his first presentation of the year. Interested parties are always invited.

(For those interested in the reference to the silk-like fabric, see William H. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico vol. I (Philadelphia: David McKay, Publisher, 1892), p. 295.)