A NEW MODEL FOR
BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY
By James Lee Warr
The Land of Desolation.
Criteria for the land of Desolation.
It joined the land of Bountiful to the south (Alma 22:31).
It began at the narrow neck of land (Alma 22:32).
The City of Desolation was located near the narrow neck, on the border with the land of Bountiful (Morm. 3:5-7).
There were few trees in the land during Book of Mormon times (Hel. 3:3-11).
It was the southern limit of Jaredite habitation (Ether 10:21).
The land of Desolation was lower than the northern wilderness of the land of Zarahemla (Morm.4:19).
The seashore city of Teancum was nearby, and north of the city of Desolation (Morm.4:3).
The city of Angola, and the lands of David and Joshua, as well as the lands of Jashon and Shem were in the northern part of the land of Desolation, or north of that land (Morm. 2:3-6, 16-7, 21).
There were many evidences of the Jaredite wars in the land of Desolation during the early part of the Nephite occupation.
Assuming that the Isthmus of Rivas is the narrow neck of land, the land of Desolation would have begun near the current Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. It would have joined Bountiful to the south, and would have extended for an unknown distance northward into Nicaragua and possibly Honduras. There was a city Desolation, the land Desolation surrounding this city, and the greater land Desolation which encompassed the entire area north of the narrow neck of land. The Jaredites had also built a city in the land of Desolation near the narrow neck of land (Ether 10:20). Through recent research, I believe I have identified the ancient site of San Dimas (13) on the Costa Rican side of the border as the probable location of the city of Desolation. This site is located on the banks of the Sapoa River, near the village of Copalchi on the Pan American Highway. It was situated strategically to defend the southern portion of the "Narrow Pass".
Northward from the city of Desolation lay the city of Teancum, which I believe was the ancient site of San Jorge (19), which is east of the city of Rivas, on the lakeshore. North of Teancum lay the cities and lands of Angola, David, Joshua, Jashon, and Shem to which the Nephites retreated during one of their last battles with the Lamanites. And northward from these areas, at an unknown distance, lay Cumorah.