9780190629656

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology

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  • ISBN13:

    9780190629656

  • ISBN10:

    0190629657

  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-02-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

Frauds, myths, and supposed mysteries about humanity's past are moving targets for anyone committed to the scientific investigation of human antiquity. It is important for anyone interested in the human past to know, for example, that there is no evidence for a race of giant human beings in antiquity and no broken shards of laser guns under Egyptian pyramids. Debunking such nonsense is fun and useful in its own way, but more important is the process by which we determine that such claims are bunk.

Now published by Oxford University Press, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, Ninth Edition, uses interesting--and often humorous--archaeological hoaxes, myths, and mysteries to show how we can truly know things about the past through science. It is not just a book about how we know what isn't true about the human past--it's also about how we know what is true.

Author Biography


Kenneth L. Feder is Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of several books, including The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory, Seventh Edition (OUP, 2016), and Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology, Second Edition (OUP, 2007).

Table of Contents


Preface
Pseudoscience Cheat Sheet

Chapter 1. Science and Pseudoscience
Belief in the Unbelievable
The Morning of the Magicians
Pseudoscience and Archaeology
Why I Wrote This Book
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercises

Chapter 2. Epistemology: How You Know What You Know
Knowing Things
Collecting Information: Seeing Isn't Necessarily Believing
Collecting Information: Relying on Others
Science: Playing by the Rules
There Is a Real and Knowable Universe
The Universe Operates According to Understandable Laws
The Laws Are Immutable
The Laws Can Be Understood
The Workings of Science
The Case of Childbed Fever
Science and Nonscience: The Essential Differences
A Rule in Assessing Explanations
The Art of Science
Where Do Hypotheses Come From?
Testing Hypotheses
Skeptics, Not Cynics; Doubters, Not Deniers
The Human Enterprise of Science
Science and Archaeology
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercises

Chapter 3. GIANTS! Anatomy of an Archaeological Hoax
The Cardiff Giant: The Goliath of New York
The Discovery
The Beginning of the End
Hull's Confession
The End of the Giant
Why Did They Do It?
Real Deal Archaeology: How We Recognize Frauds When We See Them
The Rules for a Successful Archaeological Hoax
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercises

Chapter 4. Dawson's Dawn Man: The Hoax at Piltdown
The Skeleton-More Precisely, the Cranium-in the Closet
The Evolutionary Context
The Brain-Centered Paradigm
A Remarkable Discovery in Sussex
Unmasking the Hoax
Whodunnit?
Suspect: Charles Dawson
Were There Co-conspirators?
The Lesson of Piltdown
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Human Evolution
A Rising Hominin Star
A Neandertal in Your Family Tree
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 5. Who Discovered America?
America's First People
A New World-To Europeans
Biblical Exegesis and American Indians
American Indians: From Israelites to Atlanteans
Tracing the Source of Native Americans
Out of Asia
The Beringian Highway
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About the Earliest Human Settlement of America
Tracing People by Their Morphology
Tracing People by Their DNA
Tracing People by Their Archaeology
Frequently Asked Question
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 6. Who's Next? After the Indians, Before Columbus
Artifact Trails: Evidence of Visitors to the New World
The New England Model
The Archaeology of Columbus
The Spanish Entrada into the American Southeast
A Chinese Discovery of the New World?
Africans in Ancient America?
Other Europeans in the New World Before Columbus?
America B.C.?
Mystery Hill: A Convergence of Evidence?
The Archaeological Verdict
Inscriptions
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About The Norse Discovery of America
A Newfound Land
Norse Discovery of America: The Physical Evidence
L'Anse aux Meadows
Other Evidence of the Viking Presence?
Frequently Asked Question
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 7. The Myth of the Moundbuilders
The Myth of a Vanished Race
Who Were the Moundbuilders? Identifying the Vanished Race
The Archaeology of the Myth
The Moundbuilder Mystery Solved
Rationale for the Myth of a Vanished Race
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About the Mound Building People of America
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 8. Lost: One Content-Reward
Atlantis: Where Are You?
Atlantis: The Source of the Legend
The Timaeus Dialogue
The Critias Dialogue
The Source and Meaning of Timaeus and Critias
Who Invented Atlantis?
Where Did Plato Get the Details of the Story? A Minoan Source
After Plato
Ignatius Donnelly: The Minnesota Congressman
The Lost Continents of Theosophy
Atlantis: And the Beat Goes On
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Atlantis
Ancient Greece
Archaeological Evidence in the Atlantic: The Bimini Wall
The Geology of the Atlantic
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 9. Prehistoric E.T.: The Fantasy of Ancient Astronauts
Ancient Astronauts: The Source of the Idea
Gods in Fiery Chariots
The Inkblot Hypothesis
The Horny Astronaut Hypothesis
The "Our Ancestors, the Dummies" Hypothesis
Extraterrestrial Calendars?
Extraterrestrial Aliens in the Pacific?
H.P. Lovecraft, Ancient Aliens, and the Cthulhu Connection
A Real Mystery
Real Deal Archaeology: The Bias Inherent in the Ancient Astronauts Hypothesis
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 10. The Mystery of Ancient Civilizations: How Did People Get So Smart?
Ancient Egypt
The Civilization of the Maya
Explaining the Maya
About the Maya Calendar
A Lost Civilization? But It's Not Atlantis. Well, Maybe It's Atlantis.
Stonehenge
Explaining Stonehenge
An Ancient Astronomy?
Circular Reasoning About Stonehenge
Why Was Stonehenge Built?
Primordial Civilization in Bosnia?
Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Pyramid Building
School of (Moving) Rock
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercises

Chapter 11. Good Vibrations: Psychics and Archaeology
Psychic Archaeology
Psychic Site Location
Psychic Cultural Reconstruction
Psychic Archaeology: A Test
Psychic Archaeology: The Verdict
Dowsing for Diggers
Real Deal Archaeology: How We Can Investigate Sites Without Digging in the Dirt
Frequently Asked Question
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Chapter 12. Old-Time Religion, New Age Visions, and Paranormal Predictions
Scientific Creationism and the Claim of Intelligent Design
Creationist Strategies in Education
Intelligent Design
Noah's Ark
Footprints in Time
New Age Prehistory
Crystal Skulls
Real Deal Archaeology: What we Know About the Palatki Site in Sedona, Arizona
A Rant
Frequently Asked Questions
Best of the Web
Critical Thinking Exercise

Epilogue: A Past We Deserve

References
Index

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