Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Effigy Pipe: Ancient Warning

The Hopewell people lived in North America about the time of the Nephites and built an advanced civilization of millions in the heartland of the United States. The Hopewell culture flurished in North America for over a millennium and then suddenly vanished about 400 AD. All that is left of this great civilization are massive earthworks and mounds filled with bones and artifacts. The burial mounds are why this culture is often referred to as the "mound builders".

One way archaeologists identify and verify a Hopewell burial site is because effigy pipes are characteristly found with Hopewell remains. Effigy pipes were used by Hopewell to smoke a mixture of medicinal herbs and bark called kinnikinnick. But it the end, kinnikinnick was replaced by Nicotiana rustica, a tobacco with more powerful and hallucinatory effects than our Nicotiana tabacum. This fact says something to me.

The mounds and artifacts of thr Hopewell give us a snapshot of their culture right before their complete annihilation. If drug abuse and smoking was a major part of their culture leading it to destruction, do we want to be following in their footsteps?

The Book of Mormon and the Bible illustrate the pride-cycle of mankind.  Civilizations rise based on faith, temperance and industry.  Eventually, because of technology and specialization, food is produced for a large population by a small minority of the  population.  The general population stop being self-reliant, and tend to seek neuro-chemical rewards via drugs instead of productive behavior and spiritual fulfillment.

The weak, dependant, addicted population is then vulnerable to be destroyed by their enemies. When their enemies simply disrupt the food production, the society collapses and the dependant population just plain starve because they do not have the skills to feed themselves except by reverting to being a hunter-gatherer.

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