Tuesday, September 27, 2005

THE LAMANITES

In 51 BC, Coriantumr led a Lamanite army into the heart of Zarahemla. The Nephite armies were deployed on the frontiers. So by plunging into the heart of the region and moving with great speed, Coriantumr met little resistance. He captured the capital, the city of Zarahemla and killed all who opposed him.

Coriantumr was no stranger to Zarahemla. He was born there. He was a dissenter; a renegade, who fought against his own people. He also had a royal lineage. Coriantumr was a descendant of Zarahemla for whom the city and region were named. Zarahemla was the last descendant of Mulek to rule as king. Mulek was a son of Zedikiah who was a descendant of David; the King of Israel. Coriantumr's link to this line was probably through a maternal ancestor. Zarahemla had no known sons. If he had, they probably would have succeeded him as king instead of Mosiah.

Coriantumr was also named after the last king of the Jaredites. Centuries later scholars would speculate that more than a name linked Coriantumr the renegade and Coriantumr the king. Among these scholars was B H Roberts, president of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He concurred that the last Jaredite king may have sired children while he lived with Mulek's people. If that were true, Coriantumr might have inherited two royal heritages; one of them an ancient American lineage that had once come very close to extinction.

After capturing the city of Zarahemla, Coriantumr marched toward Bountiful. Before he reached the northern territory, his army was surrounded by Nephites. They had returned from the frontiers. In a bloody battle, the Lamanites were defeated and Coriantumr was killed. The war ended and the surviving Lamanites were allowed to depart in peace.

This was a great loss to Tubaloth, the Lamanite king. He held Coriantumr in high regard. For a Nephite to be given charge of a Lamanite army was rare and indicated high status. Coriantumr would have had ample opportunity to take wives and sire children with Lamanite women. Thus, his lineage would be forever linked to the Lamanites. The mystery of that lineage is what this blog seeks to explore.

In 1996 a team of Stanford researchers led by Peter Underhill calculated the age of the primary Native American lineage group Q3 using an observed mutation rate of 2.1 per 1,000. This mutation rate gave them a date of 2147 years before present (BP). In other words, most Native Americans were descended from a single man who lived 2147 years ago. Underhill did not accept his own findings and plugged a theoretical mutation rate into his equation. This gave him a date of about 30,000 years BP. He found this date acceptable at the time.

From studies of father/son pairs researchers know that the average Y-chromosome mutation rate is 2.8 per 1,000. This, however, presents a problem for them in their study of Native Americans. The female lineages are very ancient, but the primary male lineage Q3 is only 2100 to 2500 years old if observed mutation rates are used to determine its age.

Of course, a near extinction event could explain this. An analogous phenomenon is seen in cheetahs. Cheetahs have been around for millions of years, but all living cheetahs are descended from one or two females who lived 10,000 years ago when the species had come very close to extinction. Native Americans with the Q3 lineage appear to be descended from a single male who lived between 2100 and 2500 years ago, but it is possible for that to be true and also for the Q3 lineage to be 10,000 years old.

The ancestral lineage of Q3 is Q-P36 and that appears to have entered America shortly before Q3 arose. Q-P36 is found in dozens of ethnic groups in Asia and Europe. It is scattered across a huge triangle roughly defined by Norway in the West, Mongolia in the East, and the Middle East in the South. Among the groups where this lineage is found are Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews and Iranian Jews. Yemeni Jews have a rare strain of Q called Q-M323. Like Q3, Q-M323 is a branch of the Q-P36 bough.

...If you are interested in obtaining a copy of my new book, The Lamanites, use the contact information below...
email - dougtheavenger@sbcglobal.net
phone - (317) 364-8983
mail - 808 Whispering Trail, Greenfield IN 46140