Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C.

Your recent inquiry concerning the Book of Mormon has been

received in the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology.

The book of Mormon is a religious document and not a scientific

guide. The Smithsonian Institution does not use it in archeological

research. Because the Smithsonian Institution receives many inquiries

regarding the book of Mormon, we have prepared a "Statement Regarding

the Book of Mormon," a copy of which is enclosed for your information.

This statement includes answers to questions most commonly asked about

the Book of Mormon.






1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in

any way as a scientific guide. The Smithsonian archaeologists see no

direct connection between archeology of the New World and the subject

matter of the book.

2. The physical type of American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being

most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and

northeastern Asia. Archeological evidence indicates that the

ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World -- probably

over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region

during the last Ice Age -- in a continuing series of small migrations

beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

3. Present evidence indicates that the fist people to reach this

continent from the East were the Norsemen who who briefly visited the

northeastern part of North America around A.D. 1000 and then settled

in Greenland. There is nothing to show that they reached Mexico or

Central America.

4. One of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific

finding that contacts with Old World civilizations, if indeed they

occurred at all, were of very little significance for the development

of American Indian civilizations, is the fact that none of the

principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the

dog) occurred in the New World in pre-Columbian times. American

Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs,

chickens, horses, donkeys, camels before 1492. (camels and horses

were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, mastodon, but all

these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time the early

big game hunters spread across the Americas.)

5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before

1492 (except for occasional use of unsmelted meteoric iron). Native

copper was worked in various locations in pre-Columbian times, but

true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region,

where its occurrance in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver,

copper, and their alloys, but not iron.

6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across

the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America

began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any

such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of

accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by

no means certain that even such contacts occurred with the ancient

Egyptians, Hebrews, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near


7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World

archeology, and no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or

confirmed any relationship between archeological remains in Mexico and

archeological remains in Egypt.

8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old

World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have

frequently appeared in newspapers, magazines and sensational books.

None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable

scholars. No inscriptions using Old World forms of writing have been

shown to have occurred in any part of the Americas before 1492 except

for a few Norse rune stones which have been found in Greenland.

9. There are copies of the Book of Mormon in the library of the

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.


NOTE: This article is an exact reproduction of a letter compiled by

The Smithsonian Institution that was received by Computers for Christ,

and has been graciously provided free of charge by them.

For your own copy, write to:

The Smithsonian Institute

National Museum of Natural History

Department of Anthropology

Washington D.C. 20560


Computers For Christ, Panama City, Fl.

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