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Becan: Book of Mormon Warfare Pattern
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In accordance with the best information presently available on Book of Mormon geography, this line of fortified Nephite cities extended across the Yucatan Peninsula from the Laguna do Terminos on the Gulf Coast of Campeche to the southern part of Belize (fig. 1). Even though we know the land southward experienced great destruction and upheaval around A.D. 34, we can reasonably expect some evidence today of General Moroni's Inspired fortifications because the land southward was not as disturbed as the land northward (3 Nephi 4:10).

Although most of the life of ancient peoples is not recoverable through archaeology without written records, the sheer size of the ditches and the banks should insure enough preservation to be recognizable today. The ancient Maya site of Becon (bay-KAHN) does have such evidence (Webster, 1974, 1976).

BecanBecan is located in the center of the Yucatan peninsula about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of the well-known Maya site of Tikal (fig. 1). (Tikal also has evidence of fortifications. A 9.5 kilometer or 5.7 mile ditch protects its northern side.) Becan is easily accessible, being only 500 meters from the road which runs east-west across the Yucatan Peninsula. Before this road was constructed, Becan was as inaccessible as most of the sites in the rainforests of the southern Maya lowlands.

Becan was first brought to the attention of the modern world by the Third Campeche Expedition of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1934 (Ruppert and Denison 1943). Webster's report on the fortifications are the result of his work with the three-year Becan Project which began in 1969 and was co-sponsored by the Middle American Research Institute of Tulane University and the National Geographic Society.

Becan is a compact site. The ditch around the site is 1890 meters (about 1.2 miles) long. While the site is considered small (46 acres), the fortifications represent one of the largest earth moving projects presently known in Maya archaeology.

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