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The recent finding of a 19th century silver bracelet in Alamo Mocho, in the desert of Baja California, represents the first material evidence of presence of the Mormon Battalion, which camped at the site before integrating to the 1847 Mexico-United States War (Mexican War).


The discovery took place after a sandstorm uncovered archaeological material. Specialists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) began exploration at the site afterwards.

The jewel represents a clear testimony for Mexican and American historians that Mormons camped in Alamo Mocho approximately for 3 days, before their integration with the 1847 war, fact only stated in documents until now.

Archaeologist Antonio Porcayo Michelini declared this at the Baja California Archaeology Analysis Table that took place recently in Tijuana, Baja California. He detailed that a bifacial stone knife was found as well, which could be more than 8,000 years old. Other material found consists of Yumana ceramics, fish bones and other mammals’ rests.

Archaeological research conducted in December 2009 counted on with participation of students of the National School of Anthropology and History (INAH), Mexico City, and resulted in the finding of the silver bracelet.

“A sparkling object caught my eye: it was an exquisite silver bracelet, with the Ten Commandments in ancient English and the front and back covers of the Bible carved; 2 angel hands adorned the fasteners”.

“Apparently, the owner of the bracelet was a Mormon soldier part of the battalion. Looking for water, the contingent integrated by 500 men, in charge of Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cook, camped at Alamo Mocho in January 1847, on their way to San Diego, to help United States Army invade California. The government offered to award them with terrain in Utah and Nevada where they could freely live according to their religion”.

Alamo Mocho, near Mexicali, Baja California, has been studied by INAH since 2007, but it was in December 2009 that systematic and extensive exploration began, which consists of covering the zone, collecting superficial archaeological material and conducting first excavations.

Other material found in the nearly 6-hectare site, according to Porcayo, is evidence of the passing of human groups attracted by the water wells that allowed survival.

During the next months, the bracelet will undergo research that might determine who the owner was, by consulting archives such as rosters and detailed registers made by Mormons, concluded the archaeologist.