SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE SUGGESTED READINGS
This letter from the Smithsonian’s
Department of Anthropology is in response to your inquiry regarding the Book of
The Smithsonian considers the Book of
Mormon a religious document and not a scientific guide. The Smithsonian
Institution has never used it in archaeological research and has found no
archaeological evidence to support its claims.
You might wish to consult the following
Coe, Michael D. and Rex Koontz. Mexico.
5th rev. and expanded ed. Thames & Hudson, 2002. (A well-written, authoritative
summary of Mexican archeology.)
Coe, Michael D. The Maya. 6th fully
rev. ed. Thames & Hudson, 1999. (A general summary of the archeology of the
Coe, Michael D. and Richard A. Diehl. In
the Land of the Olmecs. 2 vols. Univ. of Texas Press, 1980.
Fagan, Brian. Ancient North America: The
Archaeology of a Continent. 3nd ed. Thames & Hudson, 2000.
________. Kingdoms of Gold, Kingdoms of
Jade: The Americas Before Columbus. Thames & Hudson, 1991.
Freidel, David, Linda Schele, and Joy
Parker. Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand years on the Shaman’s Path. 1st
Quill ed. William Morrow & Co., 1995.
Hammond, Norman. Ancient Maya
Civilization. Rutgers Univ. Press, 1982.
Hunter, Milton R. and Thomas S. Ferguson.
Ancient America and the Book of Mormon. Kolob Book Co., 1950. (The
Mormon point of view is presented.)
Jennings, Jesse D. Prehistory of North
America. 2nd ed. McGraw Hill, 1989.
Jennings, Jesse, editor. Vol. 1.
Ancient North Americans. Vol. 2. Ancient South Americans. W. H.
Lamberg-Karlovsky, C. C. and Jeremy A.
Sabloff. Ancient Civilizations; The Near East and Mesoamerica. 2nd ed.
Waveland Press, 1995. (Chapter 4 discusses the first Mesoamerican civilization
and its origin. Very readable.)
Larson, Stan. Quest for the Gold Plates:
Thomas Stuart Ferguson’s Archaeological Search for The Book of Mormon.
Freethinker Press, 1996.
Marcus, Joyce. Mesoamerican Writing
Systems: Propaganda, Myth, and History in Four Ancient Civilizations.
Princeton University Press, 1992.
Papers of the New World Archaeological
Foundation. Brigham Young University, 1952-. (Published results of archeological
investigations in Mesoamerica by the Foundation, supported by the Mormon
Riley, Carroll L. et al., editors. Man
Across the Sea: Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts. Univ. of Texas Press,
197l. (A collection of articles, mostly by well-qualified specialists,
concerning transoceanic contacts.)
Sabloff, Jeremy A. The New Archaeology
and the Ancient Maya. Scientific American Library, 1994.
Sabloff, Jeremy A. Cities of Ancient
Mexico: Reconstructing a Lost World. Thames & Hudson, 1990.
Schele, Linda, and David Freidel. A
Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. William Morrow & Co.,
Schele, Linda. The Inscription on Stela
5 and Its Altar. Copán Mosaics Project, 1987.
Wauchope, Robert. Lost Tribes and
Sunken Continents. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974. (Chapter 4 covers Mormon
theories, setting them in the context of other nonscientific schemes. Author is
a well-qualified specialist on Mexican archeology.)
Williams, Stephen. Fantastic
Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory. Univ. of
Pennsylvania Press, 1991. (See the chapter "Archaeology and Religion: Where
Angels Fear to Tread.")
Thank you for your interest in
the Smithsonian Institution.
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