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Why is there evidence of a great destruction in the land northward at the time of Christ’s death?

3 Nephi 8:5-18 we read of a great destruction at the time of Christ’s death.

Evidence Central describes evidence from Mexican archaeologists of a major volcanic disaster in Central Mexico during the Spring of the early First Century A.D:

Patricia Plunket and Gabriela Urunuela documented a significant eruption of the Popocatepetl volcano. During that event the site of Tetimpa was covered under a massive layer of volcanic ash. The cataclysm created a column of tephra 20 to 30 km high and is believed to have caused “an ecological disaster of unprecedented proportions.”

Plunket and Urunuela argue that this massive eruption was a leading cause of significant demographic changes in the Basin of Mexico resulting in the abandonment of most of the settlements in the southern region of the valley in which between 80–90% of the population became concentrated around the site of Teotihuacan. They estimate that as many as 20,000 people in the Basin of Mexico may have perished in the disaster, while as many as 50,000 relocated further north to the city.

The fires, smoke, lava flows, and other phenomena during the eruption had a similar calamitous effect on the eastern side of the mountains, where populations were reduced by “as much as 30%” and “became concentrated at Cholula and a few other settlements.” This disaster and the relocation and incorporation of as many as one-hundred thousand refugees into major centers like Cholula and Teotihuacan would likely have “accelerated social and ideological processes already underway” in Central Mexico significantly impacting the development of these Mesoamerican cultures.

The archaeologists characterize this Popocatepetl eruption as “one of the largest human catastrophes of the prehispanic period” and think that the trauma of the event may have even left distant echoes in Mesoamerican tales such as the Aztec “Legend of the Suns.”

Book of Mormon Central – Is there evidence for great destruction in the land northward at the death of Christ? 

While it is not compelling proof of the Book of Mormon, what are the odds that we find a great destruction in the right time, and the place which fits the Book of Mormon location? 


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