Book of Mormon anachronisms/Chariots and Wheels

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Book of Mormon anachronisms: Chariots and wheels

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Question: Why does the Book of Mormon refer to chariots, when it is known that there were no wheeled vehicles in ancient America?

We do not know what type of chariots the Nephites used, nor do we know if what they called chariots had wheels

The Book of Mormon refers to the use of chariots, yet there were no wheeled vehicles in ancient America.

The nature of "chariots" is not clear in the Book of Mormon text. The text nowhere states that wheels were a part of these devices. Their purpose and role are not entirely clear, but they do not act as chariots did in the Bible, or as those in Joseph Smith's day would have understood chariots from classical Egyptian, Roman, or Greek sources.

We do not know what type of chariots the Nephites used, nor do we know if what they called chariots had wheels.

An LDS author wrote, "In detailed accounts of movements during the wars, the mode of transportation implied is foot travel." [1] The same LDS author also wrote, "If wagons were built, they would have been made from wood and could not survive in most climates for two thousand years." [2]

It appears that most chariots during Book of Mormon times did not survive, just like during the Exodus which the "six hundred chosen chariots"( Exodus 14:6) and "all the chariots of Egypt " (Exodus 14:6) did not survive in the sea. (Exodus 14:26-28)

Wooden wheels, if used at all, would not survive the high humidity of Mesoamerica

As one author suggested:

If the wheels in general use at that time were wooden, which is most likely, we would not expect to find evidence of them today because of the poor preservation factor caused by the high humidity of Mesoamerican lowlands. [3]

But, this statement presupposes that "chariots" used wheels—something never stated in the Book of Mormon text.



To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here

Notes

  1. David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah: New Evidences for the Book of Mormon from Ancient Mexico (Bountiful: Horizon, 1981), 67.
  2. David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah: New Evidences for the Book of Mormon from Ancient Mexico (Bountiful: Horizon, 1981), 67.
  3. David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah: New Evidences for the Book of Mormon from Ancient Mexico (Bountiful: Horizon, 1981), 122.