Part 1: International Archaeological Team Explores Where Nephi Built the Ship

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The original article is on by Scot and Maurine Proctor and is Part 1 of a special series by Meridian Magazine.

In the next few days, Meridian will be running a series of articles, photo essays and 21 different short video segments in a series that is one of the most intriguing we’ve run in our nearly 16 years of publishing Meridian. In April 2014, Meridian and The Khor Kharfot Foundation took an international team of three archaeologists and a Cambridge-educated geologist to explore an unforgettable place that is extremely significant for Latter-day Saints—the best candidate for Nephi’s Bountiful in Arabia where he built the ship that carried his family to the New World.

This expedition entailed a level of investigation on this pristine site in Oman that has never happened before, and we hope is the beginning of a much bigger investigation. In April our archaeologists and geologist assessed and carefully mapped many of the extensive archaeological remains on the site—and this fall we are bringing in a substantial team of botanists to begin to assess the vegetation and ecology of the area. This is all a prelude to obtaining permits to take core samples of vegetation and dig to better understand the archaeology and dating for the site.

As you travel with us in the next few days, you’ll have your mind opened to a world and time quite beyond our own. We hope, too, you might choose to be a part of an important initiative we’ll tell you about. But first, spin the globe far away from home. We want to take you someplace that you have thought about a thousands times in scripture and is many thousands of miles from home.

On the Arabian Sea, near the border of Oman and Yemen, is a beach, surrounded by mountains, so remote, so utterly obscure that few people in the ancient or modern world have heard of it and certainly not set foot there. Even up to a few years ago it was grueling to get there, with a dirt road that off-road vehicles had to bump over and wind along for miles, eating dust, before coming to a forgotten fishing village several miles to the west of this beach.

Yet, to all those places Latter-day Saints call sacred, they might add this spot. It is called Khor Kharfot where an ancient river called Wadi Sayq (pronounced wa dee sake) empties into the sea. This forgotten place is the best candidate for Nephi’s Bountiful where he built the ship that we’ve read about so often in our scriptures.

To read more about Meridian Magazine’s archaeological exploration, visit

Whitney studied Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism at BYU. She also served as Miss Utah 2009 and spent her year promoting Children's Miracle Network, fundraising for anti-bullying/suicide prevention programs, and speaking to mutual groups.