I found this article the other day. From the article: “What we found is the only hematite mine, a type of iron also known as ochre, recorded in South America prior to the Spanish conquest. This discovery demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations.” Although this does not prove the Book of Mormon is true, it is another piece of the puzzle to resolve the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I find it interesting that archaeologists have for years said that there were no ancient iron ore mines in the New World and iron was not used here. And this article is from a non-LDS archaeologist. So, if there is one mine in Peru could there be others out there that we haven’t found, yet? Here is another article from a non-Mormon source about copper mining in Michigan. The dating of some of the sites was made well after Joseph Smith died. It was only speculation during his time that the copper was mined anciently. This is from the Book of Mormon:
Mosiah 11: 3, 83 And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain.• • •
Ether 10: 2323 And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.
Jarom 1: 88 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in agold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in cmachinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.
And here is another article that talks about metal coins and the 1000 year smelting history of the Incas. And again from a non-LDS source. It wouldn’t be to hard to figure out that if they can smelt metals for coins and jewelry why not for weapons? The Incans were a waring nation who came from the north into South America. Where did they learn to do these things? And I wonder where Joseph Smith got the strange idea that Native Americans in the New World could smelt metal ores. I also wonder if there were any books written at that time and in the local libraries that said specifically that the Native Americans in South America and elsewhere smelted metal and mined iron ore, at least for jewelry or coinage. Any iron or steel artifacts would disintegrate in a wet climate. As far as I know there was not much explorations done in South America prior to 1800 and archaeology was just beginning to be started. According to the article, this is the first time an iron ore mine has ever been found. So, where did Joseph Smith get his information from? Was it a best guess?
Before anyone starts condemning the Book of Mormon and say that it is just a work of fiction consider for once that maybe this is a true record of an ancient people. Let us wait and see what else non-Mormon archaeologists could find to support Joseph Smith and the LDS Church claims on the Book of Mormon.