Metals in Ancient Mesoamerica

Metals are mentioned frequently in the Book of Mormon. Gold, silver, iron and copper were important parts of the material culture during both Jaredite and Nephite times (Eth. 10:23, Hel. 6:9). There have been few metal artifacts, though, recovered archaeologically from Mesoamerican sites. This has led some specialists to insist that metallurgy was unknown in the region before late classic (A.D. 700 to 900) times.

In a brief essay, “Reconsideration of Early Metal in Mesoamerica,” John L. Sorenson attemptes “to lay out enough evidence to keep expert minds from prematurely locking shut pending further research.” Dr. Sorenson lists dozens of examples of early metals known from Mesoamerica. Some have problematic origins. Others were recovered under controlled conditions and are well documented. All are provocative since they counter prevailing Mesoamerican theory and point to the presence of metals during the times required by the Book of Mormon.