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Why would Joseph Smith say there were swine in ancient America?

In Ether 9:17-18 we read about the house of Emer becoming exceedingly rich:

Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;

And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.

Wouldn’t it have been risky for Joseph Smith to include swine if they have always been thought to be anachronistic?

However Wade E. Miller explains that it is quite fitting to include swine:

Presently two distinct species of peccary live in Mesoamerica. These include the Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) and the White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari), both of which can be found in the tropical regions near the Tuxtlas Mountains of the Yucatan. The Jaredites as they presumably established settlements in Mesoamerica no doubt would have encountered them. They were hunted and eaten as early as Olmec times. Remains of these animals have been found associated with man for several thousands of years. There is a paleo-Indian carving of an extinct camel sacrum in the shape of a peccary. A Picture of this bone is shown by Evans. The bone of this extinct camel came from deposits in central Mexico, and shows ancient interaction between this extinct animal and Pre-columbian natives. Remains of Pre-Columbian peccary have been found finds in Loltún Cave in the Yucatan and in several other caves in the region associated with human artifacts.There is no question that peccaries (“wild pigs”) and man shared this area since prehistoric times.

Wade E. Miller – Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives

How was Joseph Smith so knowledgeable about animals in ancient America?  


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