MASSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY ON PRE-COLUMBIAN TRANSOCEANIC CONTACTS NOW AVAILABLE
A working edition of John Sorenson and Martin Raish's 900-page bibiiography, Transoceanic Culture Contacts Between the Old and New Worlds in Pre-Columbian Times: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography, is now available. Funded by a F.A.R.M.S. grant, the work ultimately will include accurate bibliographical information on all serious published works on transoceanic cultural transmissions before 1492, each with an abstract of relevant contents.
This working version, in preparation for a later definitive version, contains nearly 6000 citations, of which about one-third already include abstracts. Copies have been sent to a score of non-LDS scholars around the worid for improvements.
Topics range widely through both well-known and obscure literature. A dozen sources show pre-Columbian presence of human parasites which could not have arrived via the cold Bering Strait; a list of words used in eastern Polynesia is specifically paralleled in South America; details of the Mayan "nine lords of the night" have close Chinese and Hindu similarities. Critiques, both pro and con, are included, along with hundreds of references to early boats and sailing (Polynesian, Chinese, Viking, Ecuadorian, etc.), from which it is clear that several types of vessels capable of crossing oceans were available long ago. Further, the opinions, and biases of "experts" on all sides of the issue are documented, ranging from Harvard anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn's surprising closet diffusionism, to H.G. Spinden's bluster against voyages. Serious Book of Mormon studies are also abstracted.
A working edition is available now as F.A.R.M.S. Study Aid S&R-88; later this year the bibliography will also be issued on computer disc. Using Creative Index's Fast Find™ program, the 2-megabyte file can be searched for any desired data: by topic (e.g., what has been said about the sweet potato as evidence for transoceanic travel, or about Old World languages in America), by author, by publication date, etc. Eventually a hard-print edition is planned.
While the bibliography is not yet complete, already it provides scholars concerned with questions of transoceanic movements, including the voyages recorded in the Book of Mormon, an unprecedented trove of data and insights into a complex and controversial subject.