|"Laws of Eshnunna" tablets found at |
(Tell Harmal) Baghdad, Iraq.
Other old world ancient civilizations appear to have used a similar code of conduct for their wages and barter system. This can be seen in the "Laws of Eshnunna" which consists of two tablets found at Shaduppum (Tell Harmal) Baghdad, Iraq. They were unearthed in 1945 and 1947 and are copies of an older source that dates back to 1930 BC. Similar to the barter system established among the Nephites the Laws of Eshnunna allowed people to deal confidently with barley, silver, oil, lard, wool, salt, bitumen and different forms of copper. Both appear to have been instituted by kings and established daily wage value as well as penalties.
Because the Laws of Eshnunna predate the Book of Mormon by over 1300 years some antagonists would be quick to call for more evidence like this dating to Book of Mormon timeframes (600BC-400AD). Although less than 2% of all known ruin sites in Mesoamerica have been excavated we do have some promising leads of archaeological evidence especially in the area of a site known as El Zotz. El Zotz is a Mayan archaeological site in Guatemala just west of Tikal. In 2010 Stephen Houston of Brown University led the excavation of a tomb that roughly dated between 350-400 AD. According to partially deciphered hieroglyphics on the tombs walls the occupants name translates into "Red Turtle" or "Great Turtle". Inside the tomb were found many relics and objects. Of particular interest was a pile of 15 hematite cubes or ingots precious pigment. Kristina Cheung, in her peer review of the findings entitled, "Inferring Ancient technology and Practices of the Elite Maya Kingship Through the Application of Materials Engineering Characterization Modalities" states the following,
|Hematite Ingots found in tomb at El Zots Guatemala |
(top right hand corner)
Stephen Houston himself stated, "I would also note what came as a great surprise to me was the presence of balls of basically cubes of precious imported pigment which was remarkably uniform in height and these appear to be literally a kind of trade ingot of a precious substance that's been heaped like so much gold in a Swiss Bank vault in the corner of the tomb. And it's some of the first evidence we have ever seen of systems of measurement used by traders in the Maya lowlands."
So these precious hematite uniformed sized ingots appear to be some of the first evidences we have of a uniform system of measurement that would have been used by traders throughout the area when dealing with specific materials. Future excavations throughout the area will hopefully be able to support these findings. This would line up great with the claims quoted above by King Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and would have been something that would have been considered ridiculous by naysayers of the Book of Mormon at the time of its translation in the early 1800's. It goes to show that with a little time and patience things that at one point may have seemed outlandish such as a civilization in the new world that was on a level of sophistication that it would allow for it's own monetary system, may not be as absurd as once thought. In fact it seems to be logically right on target with the original suggestion of the Book of Mormon.