Don Woodward called my attention to an impressive detail in support of the recent discovery of one or two excellent candidates for the place Bountiful in the Book of Mormon (a topic I emphasize on my Book of Mormon Evidences page). The article is “‘Lord, whither shall I go that I may obtain ore?’ Geologists Discover Iron in Region of Nephi’s Bountiful by BYU geology professor Dr. Ron Harris, published in Meridian Magazine at LDSmag.com. The article refers to the discovery of iron ore in the region of Salalah in Oman, one of the leading candidates for the place Bountiful.
I was surprised to learn that the discovery involved far more than just finding rocks with some iron content, a feat that I felt would not be particularly impressive. Rather, several geologists searched for and found true iron ore that could be converted into tools using ancient techniques, including the use of a wood-fired furnace. Such iron ore generally is found in igneous rock, which is not abundant in the Arabian Peninsula (at least not readily accessible to humans). Further, most iron ore requires higher temperatures than a wood-fired furnace provides in order to convert it to workable metal. The discovery of the rare iron ore that can fulfill Nephi’s description is an impressive find indeed.