Alan C. Miner

Desire de Charnay, a traveled Frenchman, published Ancient Cities of the New World. In his visits in Mexico he had excavated a number of ancient burials found on the slopes of Popocatepetl in which he had found a number of small clay objects that had the appearance of pull toys, but more importantly had wheels and axles connecting the wheels. On page 175 Charnay also quoted and commented on a statement by an early Indian historian who used an ambiguous word meaning both chariot and transport. He further referred to a drawing in the writings of Father Duran, which showed a "rude chariot with clog wheels, drawn by a multitude of Indians."

According to Verneil Simmons, we have no idea what these "chariots" looked like. They could have been two-wheeled carts or even flatbed bodies on four wheels which would have been practical for moving their goods. The toys come in two-wheeled and four-wheeled models and indicate that both types were possible. Since we assume they would have been constructed of wood, it is unlikely that no evidence would survive until today. [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places And Prophecies, pp. 134-135]

Verneil Simmons also writes about an interesting phenomenon of archaeological "scholarship." He comments that until very recently, almost the first thing one read in a textbook or was told in the classroom was the supposed fact that the principle of the wheel was unknown to the ancient inhabitants of this continent. . . . However, as excavations increased more wheeled toys were found in the state of Veracruz and in other areas of Mexico. Eventually the cumulative evidence reached the point that the books had to be rewritten and public confession made that the wheeled toys had been hidden in museum storage rooms for decades (because it was a well known fact that the principle of the wheel was unknown in ancient America!). [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places and Prophecies, p. 134]

Alma 18:12 Ammon . . . went in unto the king ([Illustration]): Ammon before King Lamoni. Artist: Gary L. Kapp. [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ensign, February 1998, inside back cover]

Alma 18:12 Ammon . . . went in unto the king ([Illustration]): Ammon before King Lamoni. Artist: Gary Kapp. [Thomas R. Valletta ed., The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families, 1999, p. 319]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary