The Archaeological Record of the Destruction Around Cumorah
It is the opinion of numerous scholars that western New York was the scene of a terrible exterminating battle. It was said
“There is more evidence of a well-planned defensive warfare in that locality than there is in any other region on the American continent. It is the opinion of most scholars that the defenses on the drumlin hills were prepared by a people more civilized than the Indians and were exterminated by the inferior race who were still in possession of the country when Columbus discovered the land.” (1)
- Turner did not hesitate to consider all the fortified hills in western New York as having been erected by “a race which peopled this country before the Indians ” He went on to say:
“. . . there is perhaps no portion of the United States where ancient relics are more numerous. Commencing near Oswego River, they extend westward all over the western counties of the state. . . . The evidence that this was one, at least, of their final battlefields, predominate. They are the fortifications, entrenchments, and warlike instruments of an extinct race. That here was war of extermination we may well conclude from the masses of human skeletons we find indiscriminately thrown together, indicating a common and simultaneous sepulchure from which age, infancy, sex and no condition was exempt. “(2)
Henry Clyde Shetrone -1876
Henry Clyde Shetrone was another who noticed that the people of this region:
” . . . once presented a scene of war, and war in its most horrible form, where blood is the object, . . That it was here that a feeble band was collected, a remnant of mighty battles fought in vain, to make a last effort for the country of their birth, the ashes of their ancestors and the altars of their gods. That the crisis was met with fortitude, and sustained with valor, need not be doubted. . . . But their efforts were vain, and flight or death were the alternatives.(3)
Ephraim George Squire (1821–1888)
In his research of the region for the Smithsonian Institute, E. G. Squire found hundreds of fortified sites extending from the counties of St. Lawrence on the north, to Chautauqua in the far southwestern corner of New York–all lands the archaeological record suggests were the lands of the Nephite populations. Numerous fortified sites were found “embracing the counties of Jefferson, Oswego, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Livingston, Orleans, Niagara, Erie, and Genesee, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny.” More than 1,000 sites were found in Ontario, Livingston, Genesee and Monroe Counties alone,with Ontario County the location of the Hill Cumorah. Nearly 500 sites were found in Monroe County not far from Palmyra, and over a 100 fortified hilltops and strongholds in neighboring Genesee County, all no doubt part of the Nephite’s land of Cumorah.
The various counties Squire identified pretty much outlines book of Mormon territory. Book of Mormon Geography, along with numerous similar testimonials, suggests the lands around Cumorah in western New York are the genuine lands of the Book of Mormon–a land all but forgotten through time, but thankfully, found at last!
- H. Roberts -LDS Historian-(1857-1933)
” . . These described fortifications and burial mounds make it clear that western New York at some time has been the scene of destructive battles; and the fact constitutes strong presumptive evidence of the statements of the Book of Mormon that great battles were fought there. (4)
1-McGavin & Bean, Geography of the Book of Mormon, pp. 78-78.
2-O. Turner, Pioneer History of the Holland Land Purchase of Western New York , p. 20.
3-McGavin & Bean, Geography of the Book of Mormon, p. 84.
4-B.H.Roberts, New Witness for God, vol. 3, p. 73.
- The Promised Land
- Mormon’s Description of Book of Mormon Territory