Michael D. Coe (born 1929) is a U.S. archaeologist, anthropologist, epigrapher and author. Primarily known for his research in the field of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican studies (and in particular, for his work on the Maya civilization, where he is regarded as one of the foremost Mayanist scholars of the latter 20th century), Coe has also made extensive investigations across a variety of other archaeological sites in North and South America. He has also specialized in comparative studies of ancient tropical forest civilizations, such as those of Central America and Southeast Asia. He currently (as of 2005) holds the chair of Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Yale University, and is Curator Emeritus of the Anthropology collection in the Peabody Museum of Natural History, where he had been Curator from 1968 to 1994. – Wikipedia 1


Excerpt from a Dialog article by Michael Coe ‘Mormons and Archaeology: An Outside View’ (1973): 2

“The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.”


In a PBS television documentary broadcast in 2007, Michael Coe reiterated his view when he said: 3

“In the case of the Book of Mormon, you’ve got a much bigger problem. You really do. We have another part of the world where the archaeology is really very well-known now; we know a lot about people like the Maya and their predecessors. So to try to find unlikely evidence in an unlikely spot, you’ve got a problem. And of course none of the finds that biblical archaeologists are rightly proud about, no finds on that level have ever come up for Mormon archaeologists, which makes it a big problem.”


Also in 2011 the Mormon Stories podcast interviewed Michael Coe reaffirming his earlier statements:268-270: Dr. Michael Coe – An Outsider’s View of Book of Mormon Archaeology –



1 Michael D. Coe, Wikipedia –
2 Mormons and Archaeology: An Outside View, Dialogue 8 (Summer 1973) –
3 Transcript of the 2007 PBS interview with Michael Coe –