Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Possible Mulekite City in Ancient Mesoamerica
A problem in dating ruins in Central America is that its ancient inhabitants built new structures over existing ones. In order to take a look at structure in the land of Zarahemla dating to 300 B.C, for example, one would have to demolish its superstructures that were built perhaps over the next thousand years. That is not an attractive proposition. When we visit these sites today, therefore, we may be looking at Muletkite sites that were built over several times by subsequent civilizations.
However, I know of at least one exception to the rule. For some reason, an ancient site in northern Belize was not built over. New structures were built adjacent to it and the city grew in the southern direction. On visiting that ancient city today, one sees a structure that was actually built in Mulekite times. Adjacent structures were built by the Nephites and Lamanites and finally, by their descendants, all of which groups archaelogists call Maya. The city thus contains a temple dating to 300 B.C. On the outer temple wall appears the face of a man perhaps a Mulekite.
This same city is one of the few that the Spaniards never conquered. It was difficult to access during the Spanish conquest, and it is equally difficult to access today. Since the Spaniards didn't capture the city, they didn't kill the inhabitants. They also didn't rename the city, as they did other cities. Nor was its ancient name forgotten, as were other names. It has the same name today that it did before-Lamanai, which sounds like a variation of Book of Mormon name (Lamoni).