Question: What is the focus of Latter-day Saint research regarding the Maya?

Table of Contents

Question: What is the focus of Latter-day Saint research regarding the Maya?

Latter-day Saint research of the Maya concentrates on the Preclassic period

Latter-day Saint research of the Maya concentrates on the Preclassic period, since this is the time period which correlates with most of the Book of Mormon record. Therefore, the simple argument that the "Maya" do not correlate with the time period covered by the Book of Mormon is an inaccurate statement. The research of the Preclassic Maya becomes complicated, however, since the constructions of the Classic period were built upon the rubble of those constructed during the Preclassic period. In essence, to research the Preclassic Maya, you have to dig through the evidence of the Classic Maya. An example of this is the lowland Mamom culture (700 B.C. to 400 B.C.), Dr. Coe notes,

The lowland Maya almost always built their temples over older ones, so that in the course of centuries the earliest constructions would eventually come to be deeply buried within the towering accretions of Classic period rubble and plaster. Consequently, to prospect for Mamom temples in one of the large sites would be extremely costly in time and labor.[1]:54

Needless to say, this complicates the task tremendously if one is attempting to uncover evidence of the earlier cultures. In addition, the hot and humid Mesoamerican climate is not conducive to the preservation of artifacts or human remains.

Notes

  1. Michael D. Coe, The Maya, 6th edition, (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1999).