I’m trying to figure out how come there have been no artifacts found of the final great battle on Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York. My Book of Mormon says that about 4 million total were killed there along with many horses and chariots, spears, bows, armor. I’ve actually searched the area myself but I couldn’t even find an arrowhead.
Gordon, from Battle Ground, Washington
Let’s see, two great battles of extermination took place near the Hill Cumorah. The first occurred sometime before 600 BC in which some two million warriors were, along with their wives and children. The second occurred in 385 AD, in which 150,000 warriors were killed. And you did your search I would imagine somewhere near the year 2000 AD. The area that you searched has been gone over by others for the last 200 years or more, and do think 1) that those arrow heads would still be on the surface after that period of time, and 2) that by searching around the area you could pick up a bunch of arrow heads that all the others who have poured over the area for the last 200 years have missed?
You should have been there when the place was first settled when the American frontier was expanding. At that time there were arrow heads all over the place.
Here’s a statement by President George Albert Smith who reported in 1906 of visiting the Hill Cumorah and of hearing the reports of farmers finding arrow heads while plowing in the region. He reports that he obtained a few himself.
“We visited the Hill Cumorah and were accorded the courtesy of going thereon by the wife of Mr. George Sampson, a brother of Admiral Wm. Sampson, who before his death owned the property. When we went up there and looked around, we felt that we were standing on holy ground. The brethren located, as near as they thought was possible, the place from which the plates of the Book of Mormon were taken by the Prophet. We were delighted to be there. Looking over the surrounding country we remembered that two great races of people had wound up their existence in the vicinity, had fought their last fight, and that hundreds of thousands had been slain within sight of that hill. Evidence of the great battles that have been fought there in days gone by are manifest in the numerous spear and arrow-heads that have been found by farmers while plowing in that neighborhood. We were fortunate enough to obtain a few of the arrowheads” (Conference Report, April 1906, p.56).
Further, Elder Claude Taylor and others visited the area in 1901, and Susan Young Gates recorded the following:
“Outside the farmhouse Elder Taylor and myself noted several bushel baskets filled with arrow heads and I asked Mrs. Samson (local resident) what they were. She said they had just begun to plow up the hill Cumorah and around the hill, to plant some crops, and they turned up these arrow heads by the basket full” (J. M. Sjodahl, An Introduction to the Study of the Book of Mormon , p.7)
So it looks like you were a little late in doing your search. However, I have no doubt that if someone were to dig deep enough and in enough places in that region he would be amply rewarded with artifacts yet remaining from those great battles.