Why is there no archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, when there is so much evidence for the Bible?
There are two separate issues here. First, let’s look at the Bible, whose historicity is hotly debated by the “minimalist” and the “maximalists.” The minimalists see little if any evidence for the Bible from archaeology and even consider that some of the inscriptional evidences may be modern forgeries, while the maximalists believe that the Bible is essentially an accurate history. However, very few of the maximalists accept some things, such as Moses and the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, the patriarchs, and the like. Some of them believe there was no kingdom of David and Solomon, and there is no archaeological evidence for Solomon’s temple or a city of Nazareth in the time of Christ. (Read More)
Unlike the Bible and other cultures, no Book of Mormon cities can be identified by name in anywhere in the New World.
The question of identifying sites is a rather complex one, for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Only 55 percent of the sites mentioned in the Bible have been identified to the satisfaction of scholars, and many of these are guesses only. In the last century, three different archaeological sites have been identified as the biblical city of Debir, which was conquered by Joshua. (Read More)
The mention of “highways” in the Book of Mormon is anachronistic (Helaman 7:10; 14:24; 3 Nephi 6:8; 8:13). The first roads in America were constructed after colonization of the New World by Europeans.
Though the term “highway” has come to denote in our time well-paved roads for automobile and truck traffic, its use predates the modern era. Indeed, the term used 25 times in the King James version (KJV) of the Bible, which was translated nearly four centuries before the invention of the automobile. Unlike our modern use of the word, in these scriptures it can refer to trails or paths used for foot or animal traffic, though they may refer to improved roads. Some of the highways mentioned in 3 Nephi were destroyed and broken up at the time of Christ’s death (3 Nephi 8:13), so they may not have been recognized by European colonists. Extensive networks of excellent roadways are well known throughout Central and South America, some of which date well into Book of Mormon times. (Read More)
According to Alma 18:9-12; 20:6 and 3 Nephi 3:22, Book of Mormon peoples used chariots, but there is no evidence of actual wheeled vehicle usage in ancient America.
These are the only passages that mention “chariots.” There is no evidence that they were widely used among Book of Mormon peoples. Indeed, the chariots mentioned in Alma 18:9-12 and Alma 20:6 were owned by a Lamanite king and were probably unique to royalty at the time. Wheeled toys have been found, along with paved roads, suggesting some sort of conveyance. At least one Aztec codex shows a ruler being pulled on a type of sled, with no wheels, which may be what was intended in the Book of Mormon. (Read More)