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Where would Joseph Smith have found out about execution practices of North and Central American cultures going back to pre-Columbian times?

The torture and execution of Abinadi is recorded in Mosiah 17:13-14

And it came to pass that they took him and bound him, and scourged his skin with faggots, yea, even unto death.

And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:

It seems a rather odd way for Joseph Smith to describe Abinadi’s death. Wouldn’t we expect him to simply say Abinadi was burned at the stake rather than being scourged unto death? 

The Book of Mormon description of Abinadi’s death echoes perfectly what we find in these ancient traditions in Mesoamerica and in Maya iconography.

How would Joseph Smith know this? Where did he find out about this specific form of torture and execution?


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