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Archaeology
Aerial view of Tel Motza and drawing of Nephi's Temple by Jody Livingston.
The Book of Mormon reports that Nephi and his followers built a temple “after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things” upon their arrival in the land of promise ( 2 Nephi 5:16 ). As explored in a past KnoWhy (#31, “Did Ancient Israelites Build Temples Outside of Jerusalem?” ), the Book of Mormon was criticized during Joseph Smith’s lifetime...
Image by Matt Cutler, Book of Mormon Central
When Lehi embarked on his journey around 600 B.C., little did he know that millions of people would read and wonder about his story thousands of years later. While there is still much to learn about the people and stories in the Book of Mormon, some of the best archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon comes from Lehi’s journey to the promised land. Seven notable locations are...
Water gushing from Wadi Tayyib al Ism via Google Maps.
Two months ago, in November 2019, a colleague and I visited the best (actually only credible ) candidate for the River of Laman and the Valley of Lemuel in Saudi Arabia. We were astounded to find that the small year-round stream flowing down wadi Tayyib al Ism had extended several hundreds of yards beyond its usual limit, this time reaching to within about 40 yards of the Red Sea coast...
Image of the Dead Sea via Wikivoyage
At the turn of the new year, the BYU Studies Quarterly officially removed its paywall, making all its content available free immediately upon publication. This is a blessing to those Latter-day Saints studying 1 Nephi 1–7 right now for their Come Follow Me study. The latest issue—which would normally be behind a paywall for non-subscribers—includes an excellent article by Warren Aston,...
Neal Rappleye discusses the new archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon name Sariah.
New evidence for the Book of Mormon name Sariah ( 1 Nephi 2:5 ) was published today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship . In the paper “Revisiting ‘Sariah’ at Elephantine,” Neal Rappleye, a research project manager here at Book of Mormon Central, explains that scholars have identified a Jewish woman named ŚRYH, which can be translated as ...
Image via Book of Mormon Central.
Researching a topic is infinitely more complicated today than it was before the advent of the internet. Back in the day, if we wanted to look into something, we had to go to libraries and bookstores and actively seek out the “best books”. There were librarians and professors to help know where to look and which sources to trust. Today, we can almost accidently fall into a “...
Neal Rappleye on Egyptian Writing in the Book of Mormon
Nephi says he wrote using “the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 1:2). This idea was disputed almost the moment the Book of Mormon came off the press. In 1831, one critic wrote: “The plates were inscribed in the language of the Egyptians …. As Nephi was a descendant from Joseph, probably Smith would have us understand, that the Egyptian language was retained in the...
Bethlehem Christmas by Joseppi via Adobe Stock
The opening lines of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” romantically capture the image of a small, quiet town where something wondrous has just happened. Every year around Christmas, families across the world reenact the story of Joseph and Mary traveling the difficult journey to Bethlehem, only to find no room in the inn (see Luke 2). The wise men, too, are remembered for first going to Jerusalem only...
A 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which potentially belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. (Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar)
A new archaeological excavation at the south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has just barely uncovered an 8 th century seal impression that might have belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah, revered by Nephi and other Book of Mormon prophets.
Book of Mormon with Gold Plates
Supporting evidences of the Book of Mormon are broadly identifiable. The volume has long invited scrutiny from all branches of science. Archaeology itself can be divided and subdivided into numerous disciplines. I couldn’t possibly cover every Book of Mormon correlation in one sitting. In this post I wanted to emphasize physical evidences—stuff you can touch, see, feel. Though there are many more than five, I've tried to present a few as a thoughtful cross-section.