American Metal Tablets In Stone Boxes (Utah; Manti Cave)

MrRING

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#1
While trying to find info on ancient oversize cities for another thread, I came across this story of a stone box with inscribed metal plates in them.

http://www.ancientamerican.com/article28p1.htm
Link is dead. The MIA (multi-page) web article can be accessed at the Wayback Machine:


https://web.archive.org/web/20090505000713/http://www.ancientamerican.com/article28p1.htm

Sometime after the turn of the last century, young George Keller and a lad named Lone Eagle were playing among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains above the farm owned by George's father near Manti, Utah. The Kellers were the descendants of freed black slaves, who migrated to the American southwest following the Civil War. Coming to a massive overhang, the Indian boy pointed to a hole in the mountain side and explained, "This is a special place, the Cave of the Great Spirit. My father says it is the holy place of a people who are dead, and that a great chief protects those who are buried there. My father was shown this place by his father when he was a kid. You are the only person other than our people who knows about this place. You must promise not to tell anyone of our secret! Follow me and I will show you inside."

The friends explored the site together, and from the cave floor George picked up a few flint heads to play with in his room back home. Over the years, he kept his promise and never told anyone about the chamber guarded by the spirit of a great Indian chief. Lone Eagle eventually moved away, and George worked on the Keller farm. He lived in a hillside shed above the farm, not far from the cave of his boyhood experience, to the east. But he rarely visited the site again and took no further interest in it, until he met John Brewer, many years later.


What do people make of this? Too archaeologically removed from it's resting place to establish anything?
 
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Anonymous

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#2
I am not sure if this is related, but thought it worth mentioning. Having just read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by John Krakauer I now know more about Fundamental Mormanists they I ever cared to. The story of the religion begins in the hills of western New York State where a young poor fellow, John Smith(?) gets a message from an angel Morioni to go into the hills and find a box with golden metal plates in it. The gold plates, in an anchient language only the angel could help him translate and transcribe, told the story of what is the Book of Mormons (the Mormon Bible) today. After many years of recruiting felllow mormons this John Smith and his followers eventually ened up in the masses in Utah, but no one has ever found the box. Maybee this box was an attempt to create an example to stir religious faith? All of this began in the mid 1800's I believe, before Utah was even a state.
 

Sertile

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#3
Yeah, one of the most important religious artifacts of all time and they lost it... I don't don't buy that story, simply because I'd like to believe Smith would've had the presence of mind to hang on to something like that a little tighter. There was supposed to be some sort of golden armor unearthed at the same site, but it was also lost (of course).

Nevertheless, there have been lots of similar stories coming from all over the US, all during the 1800's. Maybe it was a fad? One interesting tidbit is that most, if not all, such relics were found within earthen mounds. There are still hundreds, if not thousands, of similar mounds in this country that have yet to be properly excavated. Perhaps there are still golden tablets buried out there, waiting to be uneathed. It's entirely possible that it could happen again anytime in the future, but that doesn't mean anyone would believe in their authenticity.
 

EnolaGaia

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#4
This 2017 local newspaper article demonstrates the Manti Cave artifacts have continued to be the subject of interest and debate ...
Historian hopes there is truth to story of Book of Mormon-era artifacts found in Manti cave

Artifacts discovered in a cave behind the Manti LDS Temple may have been left there by an ancient people that figure significantly in the history of the American continent as believed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, woman asserts, despite academic non-consensus about the origins of the items.

Utahna Jessop, a field researcher and teacher with the Ancient Historical Research Association, presented her ideas at a presentation delivered at Manti City Hall on Sept. 20. Jessop said believed that a cave full of Indigenous American artifacts found by John Brewer in 1955 was actually a repository and tomb for ancient Jaredites, a people mentioned in the Book of Mormon, a piece of scripture for Latter-day Saints.

Despite the lack of certain items purportedly left in the cave , and despite conflicting conclusions by scholars, which include a charge of possible forgery, Jessup says she hopes parts of the story may still be shown to be true. ...

She relayed the story of John Brewer, a Central Utah man who claimed that an Native American tomb he had found contained tools, pottery, brass bells, ancient records and mummies of people measuring over 8 feet tall.

The records, Brewer said, were carved on metal plates bound together by rings, similar to Joseph Smith’s description of his “golden plates.” Brewer hypothesized that the records were classified according to their importance, with the most important records on gold, then in decreasingly valuable metals, then stone and finally clay.

He described the mummies as large, one male and one female, the man with red hair and a beard, the woman with blonde hair and a golden breastplate. Many of the Brewer plates, as they have come to be called, are in museum collections in Utah.

Jessop discussed the academic response to the Brewer artifacts, namely that of three professors at BYU and the University of Utah who had considered the case, two had decided it was a complete fraud. The third believed there was a possibility that the cave and the plates were what John Brewer claimed they were.

One “gold” plate from the cave had been tested to reveal its age and metallurgy, and was found to be a very recent creation made of brass similar in chemical composition to the metal found in bullet casings. However, in the testing of pieces of bark used to wrap a stone box with metal plates inside, the bark was found to be of the fourth century B.C. ...
FULL STORY: http://sanpetemessenger.com/archives/6697
 

feinman

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#6
I thought there were etchings of the golden plates Smith found, included as a frontspiece in "Pearl" or another book, and the glyphs were gobbledygook.
 

EnolaGaia

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#7
Similar tales of seemingly ancient cave interments containing wondrous artifacts or treasure were told of other areas in the desert Southwest (e.g., the Grand Canyon) during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I can't help but wonder:

- whether there's a discernible 'anomalous ancient interment' meme connecting all these tales, and ...
- if so, which of the various tales seems to have been the meme's origin.

To illustrate with an off the cuff example ...

Did the Manti Cave story represent adoption of a (non-Mormon) meme by a Mormon subculture for whom ancient metal tablets were an MIA doctrinal treasure (akin to the Ark of the Covenant), or did (e.g.) the tale of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the Grand Canyon area represent adoption of a meme originating with the Mormons?
 

feinman

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#8
Right, the Grand Canyon "tombs" further south Ica stones and plates.
 

EnolaGaia

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#9

feinman

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#10

EnolaGaia

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#11
Thanks for moving it! I was just replying to the post about hidden OOParts generally as a meme in the Americas.
Understood ... I'm just trying to avoid proliferation of endless tangents that turn focused threads into giant messy grab-bags of endless tangents.

That's not aimed at you specifically. It's a massive problem throughout the forum.
 
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