The City of Gaddiandi and the City of Jacob All These Have I Caused to Be Sunk and the Inhabitants Thereof Have I Buried

Alan C. Miner

According to Warren and Ferguson, between two architecture levels at Teotihuacan appears a layer of volcanic ash probably blown in from that eruption. By radiocarbon dating, that eruption dates to A.D. 34 (plus or minus a few years).

According to Warren and Ferguson, Cummings studied ancient volcanic eruptions at the site of Cuicuilco, near the National University on the southern end of Mexico City. He also studied another site, about five miles away, called Copilco. Copilco has a lava flow thirty feet thick, covering architecture, burials, and pottery vessels. This layer of lava dates from the time of Christ. Further confirmation of the dating is that Cuicuilco and Copilco are on the west side of the Valley of Mexico where the volcano Xitle is located; and about thirty miles northeast is the huge site of Teotihuacan. [Bruce Warren and Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Messiah In Ancient America, p. 44]

3 Nephi 9:8 All these have I caused to be . . . buried up in the depths of the earth ([Illustration]): Lava flow overlaying the ruins of Copilco. The stone construction of the ruins comes up to the position indicated by David Palmer's left hand. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 104]

“All These Have I Caused to Be Buried Up in the Depths of the Earth”

According to David Palmer, one of the significant ash layers found in ruins near the Tuxtlas, Veracruz, is at Tres Zapotes. The site is of special significance since it is in the shadow of the Cerro Vigia (the proposed Hill Cumorah). The site was explored by Matthew Stirling (1943) and was excavated by Drucker (1943) and Weiant (1943). One of the extraordinary features of the excavations was the discovery of a pronounced ash layer between several cultural strata. The dating of the site has been very uncertain for two reasons. The excavations were carried out a decade before discovery of radiocarbon dating. Furthermore, the principal investigators could not agree on the interpretation of the results. Covarrubias (1957) criticized their work and Coe (1965) ignored their interpretations. Coe used only their raw data and developed a new interpretation consistent with materials from other sites.

The famous monument found at Tres Zapotes had a bar and dot style date pertaining to the so-called "Mayan Long Count" calendar system. Because of the style of carvings on the back of the monument Coe locates it in the cultural horizon below the ash layer. If interpreted according to the Goodwin-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation the date on the stela is 32 B.C.

From this information we can draw the tentative conclusion that the ash layer could have been laid down in A.D. 34 at the time of destructions spoken of in the Book of Mormon. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, pp. 101-102]

3 Nephi 9:8 All these have I caused to be . . . buried up in the depths of the earth ([Illustration]): Stela C from Tres Zapotes, Veracruz. It is on display in the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. The upper part of the monument was discovered more recently and is displayed in the town of Tres Zapotes. This monument recorded a date of 32 B.C. and appears to be from the period of cultural development found below the thick layer of volcanic ash that fell on Tres Zapotes. Chase has indicated that the eruption occurred in late spring when prevailing winds would have carried the ash from volcano San Martin over Tres Zapotes. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 102]

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