“Many Roads Made Which Led from City to City and from Land to Land”

Alan C. Miner

In 3 Nephi 6:8, Mormon notes that there were "many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place." An interesting find was made on the Coba-Yaxuna sacbe: an ancient road roller, a stone cylinder (now broken in two), twenty-eight inches in diameter, thirteen feet long, weighing five tons. That sacbe is sixty-seven miles long, averaging thirty-two feet wide. For most of its length it is two to three feet above terrain. Where crossing bajos the roadbed is more than eight feet high with sides of roughly dressed stone. (see illustration)

Bancroft also recorded, "the remains of ancient paved roads, or calzadas, have been found in several parts of the state." He quoted Spanish travelers, such as Cogolludo, as saying, "In his time, were to be seen vestiges of calzadas which cross the whole kingdom." [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, p. 191]

3 Nephi 6:8 There were many highways cast up, and many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place ([Illustration]): In recent years, hundreds of miles of roads have been found radiating outward from major population centers throughout much of Mesoamerica. Built-up roads (the Mayan language term was sacbe, "white road") like this remnant at the site of Labna in Yucatan were not primarily for travelers but were routes for ceremonial processions although they were used for routine transport where they were available. Mostly, however, well-worn trails served the surefooted human burden bearers. [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 56]

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