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Parallels of the Hopewell Culture and Nephites

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Journal of James E. Talmage:
Parallels of the Hopewell Culture
as described by William C. Mills, Chief Archaeologist of Ohio, with the Book of Mormon

“[May 20, 1917; Sunday] Attended Sunday School and afternoon service in Hawthorne Hall, and was a speaker at each assembly. Evening meetings here, as also in Brooklyn, have been discontinued for the summer. The attendance both at Sunday School and afternoon meeting was surprisingly large in view of the fact that many of the Utah college students have left for the vacation period. This evening at the hotel I had a long and profitable consultation with Professor Wm. C. Mills, State Archaeologist of Ohio. He is continuing his splendid work of exploration in the Ohio mounds, and I went over with him again the remarkable agreement between his deductions and the Book of Mormon story. He has reached the following (10) conclusions: The area now included within the political boundaries defining the State of Ohio was once inhabited by two distinct peoples, representing two cultures, a higher and a lower.

These two classes were contemporaries; in other words, the higher and the lower culture represented distinct phases of development existing at one time and in contiguous sections, and furnish in no sense an instance of evolution by which the lower culture was developed into the higher.

These two cultural types or distinct peoples were generally in a state of hostility one toward the other, the lower culture being more commonly the aggressor and the higher the defender.

During limited periods, however, the two types, classes, or cultures, lived in a state of neutrality, amounting in fact to friendly intercourse.

The numerous exhumations of human bones demonstrate that the people of the lower type, if not indeed both cultures, were very generally affected by syphilis, indicating a prevalent condition of lasciviousness.

Their (are) two peoples or cultures…the lower culture was most commonly the assailing party, while the people of the higher type defended as best they could but in general fled.

As a further consequence of this belligerent status they buried their dead, with or without previous cremation, in such condition as to admit of expeditious covering up of the cemeteries by the heaping of earth over the sepulchers [sic], in which hurried work the least skilled laborers and even children could be employed.

From a careful collating of data it is demonstrated that the general course of migration through the area now defined as the State of Ohio was inward from the west and outward toward the east.

Professor Mills states that no definite data as to the age of these peoples have as yet been found, but that the mounds may date back a few hundred years or even fifteen hundred or more.

Several years ago I placed a Book of Mormon in the hands of Professor Mills and, while he is reticent as to the parallelism of his discoveries and the Book of Mormon account, he is impressed by the agreement.”

James E. Talmage
20 May 1917

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