On January 25, 2020, the Vilnius Radiocarbon Laboratory released the first date for connecting a specific object to a specific time in Zarahemla. The place is clear. The time is clear. The radiocarbon date indicates that there was a clambake in an ancient fire at about the time when Mosiah and the people of Nephi arrived in Zarahemla.
The clamshell came from a fire pit located by the SENSYS MX V3 scanning and tested for a time just before the arrival of Mosiah and his people to Zarahemla. The radiocarbon date is 225 BC +/- 30 years. The scientific results are clear and unambiguous. The half-life of the carbon-14 isotope is the clock that connected the clamshell from the ancient fires to the City of Zarahemla.
Last week radiocarbon from the clamshell accelerated to speeds that were a few percentage points less than the speed of light. At that high speed, the radiocarbon separated by weight from stable carbon atoms. After the separation, the radiocarbon landed on a target where the isotopes were counted one at a time.
The ratio of radiocarbon-14 isotopes to stable carbon-12 atoms allowed scientists to determine the dates for the ancient charcoal within a time limit of 30 years. The dates take into account the variation of the sun's radioactivity. Oxford University provides the standards for these calibrations.
For more than 70 years, scientists have used the rate at which radiocarbon isotopes decay to determine the dates of things that come from the ground. Radiocarbon dating makes it possible to place artifacts in their proper place with respect to time. Our understanding of particular circumstances dramatically improves when we position events on a timeline.
In November 2020 the SENSYS MV X3 located 1,000's of ancient fire pits in Montrose, Iowa's cornfields. We know for sure that these fires were burning before European settlement. We know that the density of the fire pits confirms the habitation of a large population.
Because the magnetic scans' coordinates are on digital maps within one-quarter-inch grids, we precisely determined where to drill to find the charcoal from the ancient pits. We made SENSYS scans in November 2020, and we dug 3.5-inch cores in December 2020. We found charcoal 36" below the surface of the field. We found and recorded hundreds of charcoal pieces in our field notes. In other words, in an area of 100's of acres, we can go back to the very square inch where we found the charcoal. We have an exact place from which the evidence came.
Today Vilnius Radiocarbon Laboratory released the radiocarbon date of the clamshell that we took from a field near the River Sidon. The laboratory results are placed on grids of time and place. We are sending more samples and more results will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. There are thousands of ancient fire pits and tens of thousands of samples of ancient artifacts. We have only begun this exciting discovery of the Lost City of Zarahemla.
There is no new revelation in this inquiry. We used modern science to determine the dates of charcoal that ancient people left in their fire pits.
Radioactive carbon-14 has kept time for more than 2,500 years. Senior scientists used the best practices that are widely used in other laboratories around the world. More information will be forthcoming from the laboratory.
Michael Stahlman: This is potentially only the third known large city in North America, apart from meso-America, prior to European contact. There is the famous one at Cahokia in Illinous, near St. Louis. That is a Mississipian period settlement that had as many as 40,000 inhabitants. They lived there from around 1050 to around 1400 AD. Then a couple of years ago the lost city of Etzanoa was discovered south of Witcita, Kansas. The Spanish expedition in the 1500's said it took them 3 days to walk through the city. They counted many thousands of individual family dwellings. Estimates put the population as greater than Cahokia. Some estimates after initial surveys and archaeological exploration go as high as 60,000. The oldest dated material from the site so far is around 700 AD.
Now we come to Montrose. The population density of the ancient habitation is potentially as high as or higher than Etzanoa. And we have a confirmed date that is almost a thousand years earlier. So what we are looking at is the very real possibility that this could be the Oldest and the Largest pre-Columbian city known in the United States. So yeah.....it's kind of a big deal. But once again, I need to stress that much more work needs to be done before such a claim can be made with confidence. We are at the very preliminary stages, but it is still very exciting.