I think the average LDS person still has little appreciation for recent discoveries in the Arabian Peninsula over the past couple of decades that provide interesting evidence for plausibility of the Book of Mormon account. These discoveries also strengthen our understanding of the text. For those following such Book of Mormon issues, take a look at Warren Aston’s article in the latest issue of Wildlife Middle East (vol. 6, no. 4, March 2013). Warren’s article, “Arabia’s Hidden Valley: A Unique Habitat in Dhofar Captures Arabia’s Past,” does not mention the Book of Mormon or LDS issues, but the site he treats in his secular article is also a leading candidate for ancient Bountiful that is found nearly due east of the ancient burial place Nehhem/Nahom, as Nephi wrote in his First Nephi account of crossing the Arabian Peninsula.
His article, the cover story for this edition of the publication, includes some great photos of the Khor Kharfot site at the mouth of Wadi Sayq, and also discusses biodiversity in this region. Photos of native figs and dates are included, as are some photos of the large freshwater lagoon that would have been a big part of why a weary band of travelers might call that spot Bountiful. Knowledge of the biodiversity there helps us better appreciate what Lehi and Nephi may have found, though some things have certainly changed since 600 B.C.
I had some trouble downloading the PDF file for the newsletter, and if you also have trouble, let me know and I can email you the PDF file directly.
You can also access current and past articles from Wildlife Middle East at http://www.wmenews.com/newsletters.php.