Wayne May - Book of Mormon Geography in North America
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Help Wayne May Find Zarahemla
Large Agricultural Lands Required for Large Armies
Foregive me. My training is as an economic hisotrian. A source of food is basic to any great empire.
World history shows other times and places when societies organized large military forces. Food production is critical to the success of any war. Many farmers have to cultivate large areas of land to feed large armies. There are historical cases when societies were organized to feed and maintain armies of 500,000. In the Tang Dynasty in 900 AD 50,000,000 Chinese supported an army of 500,000 soldiers. The census records for this period of time are available and the geography is known.
In the Gupta Dynasty of 375 AD more than 30,000,000 people supported an army of 500,000. The Roman army, arguably one of most effective fighting forces in military history, grew to a peak of about 450,000 men by 211 AD (33 legions and 400 auxiliary regiments). A population of more than 30,000,000 was necessary to keep these forces in the field.
Land and waterways are required to support the large armies of the pre-modern period. In general, pre-industrial histories show that a population of 30,000,000, living in an area of 1,000,000 square miles that can support military forces of 500,000 men. In these areas of support there are river valleys for food production where the water discharged from the rivers to the oceans is at a minimum 500,000 cubic feet per second or 225,000,000 gallons per minute.
Histories show that these conditions for supporting 500,000 armed forces are satisfied for (1) the Roman Empire of Eurasia in 211 AD, (2) for the Tang Dynasty of China in 900 AD, (3) for the Gupta Dynasty of India in 375 AD, and (4) for the Nephite - Lamanite armies of 380 AD. All these cases involved pre-industrial societies. In all these cases there were armies totaling 500,000 men. Central America has 100,000 square miles. Too little land for Book of Mormon stories. The historic setting for the Book of Mormon is a place which is epic in its size and significant in its location. For hundreds of years Zarahemla was the capital city for this great culture. Let's help Wayne May look for it with modern technology in Lee County, Iowa -- just across the river from Nauvoo.