About

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ArchyFantasies has over 14 years in the field and lab, with a B.A in Anthropology and a Masters of Science certificate in GIS/Remote Sensing with a focus in Archaeology. She has been debunking bad archaeology and pseudoscience since 2007 and has spoken publicly on the topic frequently. She’s launched a podcast with co-hosts Kenneth Feder and Jeb Card, based on this blog which is available at the Archaeological Podcasting Network and through your favorite podcast app.  Her main goal with this blog is to increase public awareness of archaeology, debunk pseudo-archaeology, and make the field more accessible to the public. 

Contact her at ArchyFantasies@gmail.com, on Twitter @ArchyFantasies, and on Facebook.

If you’d like to support this blog, consider donating on Patreon.

PS. I do enjoy comments, however, if you have a comment about a particular blog entry, please post your comment on that entry’s page. It makes it easier to figure out what’s being talked about. 
31 Comments

31 thoughts on “About

  1. I saw that you were following my blog, so I clicked through to have a look at yours, and I am glad I did. Your entries are interesting, well-written, and fun to read, plus filled with bits and pieces of information that I’d not likely know otherwise. Yours is an excellent blog, I look forward to reading more of your back-entries as time allows.

    -Matt

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  2. Yes, I agree! Great blog! I think I’m inspired to get back into regular blogging.

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  3. zedd

    I watched your youtube on Dropa Stones. The pic you showed was the Phaistos disk. I too am very weary of these stories of ancient aliens.. BUT as the x-files says. “the truth IS out there”
    I am sure it is.. we all want to knoe the TRUTH !
    Kia-ora Koutou Katoa

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  4. I love this site, but please provide a ‘Search’ feature!

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  5. http://chapmanresearch.org/PDF/AncientNorthAmericanAntiquitiesandArtifacts.pdf

    I wouldn’t dismiss everything out of hand because you think you know better thanks to your ‘education’.

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    • The link in this comment seems to be broken. I looked up the group you linked too and am posting the correct link at the bottom of this reply.

      I would like to point out that the artifacts mentioned in said report have all been either been proven as hoaxes, or are obvious fakes.

      I’m not sure why my education level seems to be a point of contention for you, or how it’s relevant to the argument.

      http://chapmanresearch.org/NA_antiqities.html

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      • Hmm, I felt your education was relevant for two reasons. Firstly its quite clear because of your education you have a low opinion of any non-archeologist discussing the subject as they don’t know what they are talking about (a reasonable point I accept within limits.) Secondly, due to said education, you don’t (probably) realise (eng sp) how narrow and prejudiced your vision is.

        Would I be correct in assuming that some artifacts are ‘obvious fakes’ because according to the current paradigm they couldn’t possibly exist?

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      • Ah, that was the response I was expecting.

        But the question was: Why are these ‘Obvious Fakes’?

        Many of these artifacts are found out of context to begin with, they are reported after the fact, and rarely have any records of their actual discovery. Other times they are artifacts that are completely foreign to an area or time period with no other supporting evidence to associate them with any relevant context. Many times, once the artifacts are examined in detail the methods of manufacture are evident and are consistent with modern techniques. Not to mention many times there are reliable records of the hoax being planned or confessed to after the fact.

        Also, once you’ve researched enough of these “mysterious ancient artifacts” you begin to be able to recognize them on sight. It all comes down to evidence, of which there is usually none when it comes to artifacts like the ones mentioned in the paper.

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      • It’s relevant, because you make light of other people’s experience level on this blog, often, incorrectly. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

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  6. Vail

    Great blog and good points.

    One thing I noticed about the Cretaceous “hand print” found in TX is that from the picture you provided and others I have seen the thumb , index and middle finger look like the imprint from a 3 toed dinosaur and the other half looks to be manufactured and not consistent in pressure, design, shapes, mud push…anything. In my eye I can draw a distinct line between the two halves. Looks hoaxy.

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  7. Johanna

    I don’t disagree that there are likely a number of hoaxes here, and countless other ones out there. You’re obviously an educated person. So were Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. I’m not calling you a dictator or a fascist, however, you seem to want to erase everything that possibly contradicts your version of reality, more often than not with irrelevant and uncited “facts.”

    You “debunk” everything, but the part that really astounds me, is that I’ve never seen you express what your true beliefs are. You seem to be just someone who’s itching for an argument, who gets off on being the smartest out there, or who just likes to create controversy.

    Maybe I’m just biased by the numerous people in my life who will fight you to the death when you contradict them, if they say there’s not a cloud in the sky when it’s pouring rain or snow, when they say that a teaspoon is appropriate for ladling pasta sauce, or that a dog is a moose. Or, you simply say that a car just drove by and they need to contradict you, deflect, deflect, and deflect, until they feel that they’re in charge of the conversation. You do seem like one of these people.

    I’d guess that a romantic relationship would do wonders for you.

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    • I wish people would comment things like this on my blog. This is just a nice velvet dose of warm buttery crazy. BTW dog’s are totally mooses hand me a set square and I’ll prove it too you.

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  8. Jacques Maamarian

    It’s very strange that Dr. Hammer a Geologist, as you mention, right a way, and from the beginning that the objects are fake( probably including the disk) but how did she come to that conclusion, if it’s not her field, and as she mentions ” I never classified the disk or any other of these objects to a special cultural period or give any statement of age, which in fact are not part of my competence.” so how can she say it’s fake.,,, Thanks.

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    • Dr. Hammer is a Mineralogist not a Geologist, I correctly identify her as such in my post, and in Dr. Hammer’s own words:

      “Most of the objects include new materials and I told him that this were fakes, but this is not what he wants to hear… Even other scientists from our Museum told the owners of the objects, and Mr. Klaus Dona, that all that stuff is not what they believed. Some of the exhibited objects were curiosities by the nature, others man made new stuff which you can buy in any touristic shop in that areas”

      Dr. Hammer was able to tell from the composition of the objects that they were fakes and other members of her museum, who are qualified to identify artifacts, informed Mr. Dona et. al. that their objects were fakes. Dr. Hammer didn’t attemtp to identify them as cultural or otherwise, as many on the internet try to say she did. She is more than qualified to comment on their makeup, and found them to be fake based on that.

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  9. Mary S. Black

    Great conversation here! Thanks Archy! keep on sluggin’

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  10. mystery abounds throughout the universe. the effort to unveil such is a worthy one, as long as it is done with an open mind. Discovering a fake does not suggest an end to all Mystery, just as discovering a mystery does not deny the fakes. Bias is our greatest burden, whether religious or professional. If ones bias is to prove all mystery a fake, or to deny proven manipulation, then dilemma and paradox awaits both with certainty.

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  11. Well, so far I have to say I like your blog- especially your goal of attempting to educate people on the dangers of pseudo-science and on how frequently absolute nonsense is passed off, then passed around as not only knowledge, but as knowledge that has the weight of the support of one or many (supposed) experts. It’s sad how Television (and the Media in general) is so very willing to not only spin but to set up carefully orchestrated lies in order to present them as truth because THAT truth is the truth that they know their target audience will most want to hear and therefore THAT truth is the “truth” that will, in effect, return the most profit. How very quickly any and all adherence to integrity dissolves when making a show that is no longer made to inform, but rather to entertain- at all costs.

    Let me tell you, archaeology is not alone in dealing with this; you might be surprised just how very many things that are taken by most people as “fact” today simply fall apart upon examination. Not even a close examination; many things simply require one to barely acquaint oneself with the topic to be able to discern its utter invalidity. I even have a book I’ve been working on writing for a few years now that addresses this very thing, among others.

    Having said that, I had a few questions for you that you may or may not feel like answering; if you were to answer them, I would be most obliged.

    Before my questions, though, I would like to address what Ewan was talking about in the previous comments- I looked at the list and while I didn’t actually dive in and look, it seemed to me that there were quite a few “artifacts” and what-not listed. Your answer was that everything on the list had either been “proven as hoaxes” or were “obviously fakes”. As I said, I am not really familiar with much of what is listed but I do know that there are PLENTY of “artifacts” out there that don’t stand up to even the least amount of scrutiny.

    However, it is important that we always keep an open mind- as soon as we start to feel “jaded” about these things we run the risk of missing something because we have already pre-judged it. Also, what I think Evan was saying about “paradigms” DOES have quite a bit of truth to it, IMHO. For example, if one were to find something of obvious human origin which appears to date back to FAR before there were supposed to be humans to originate it, that does not immediately mean that it is a fake or a hoax. It also does not mean, necessarily, that the “impossibility” that it seems to support is necessarily true either- what it does is leave us with an open-ended question that may or may not be answered sometime in the future in light of new evidence, or by the result of somebody’s “eureaka” moment that allows the development of a new theory that explains things more satisfactorily.

    Okay, after that long-winded intro, I’ll now ask my questions. They are not many in number and some should be rather simple for you to answer. Like this one; you have been debunking Ancient Aliens episodes since season 4? or just this last season? (I can’t remember which it is). I was just wondering if you had seen/debunked any of the older episodes, like those in the first season? You have to understand that if Ancient Aliens seems like it’s really “full of it”, well, it IS in its SEVENTH season. The seventh season of a show that I seriously wondered how they were going to have enough material to even fill ONE season. By now they must just be desperate to keep pumping out new episodes so long as the show remains popular… however, when I watched the first season there WERE a few things I took exception to and others where I disagreed with the conclusion they were drawing from the facts but I found the “facts” to be more or less accurate. I would be interested to hear what you had to say concerning the earlier episodes of Ancient Aliens, if you haven’t already broken them down.

    While there are artifacts that DO turn out fake, or are unable to be verified beyond taking somebody on their word, there are others which, at least to my knowledge, defy explanation or are very unlikely to be hoaxes. Of course, I may have been mislead by erroneous information but I really try to get to the bottom of whatever it is I’m looking into so I like to think that I at least have most of the facts right.
    No doubt I will only be able to think of a few of these “artifacts” at this moment so I’ll probably just list the ones I can remember and come back later with some others.

    Mind you, I don’t personally subscribe to the “Ancient Astronaut” theory as it is understood today. Just because a drawing seems to resemble a person with a fishbowl on their head does NOT mean that they must have been space-travelers. That is such a “third-grade” analysis (as I like to call it)… because YOU think that the picture resembles something which OUR astronauts today wear when “astronauting”, that’s what it must be, since you know that EVERY great culture, given enough time, will develop identical solutions to the problem of space travel, down to the design of space suits. Which are also apparently the perfect solution seeing as an alien race that is technologically FAR more advanced than we are concerning space travel (enough to travel here, at least) would still be using technology that even WE came up with while space travel was in its infancy.

    While I don’t see these things as necessarily supporting or disproving anything to do with aliens, they do seem to be saying something about our current understanding of our own history being either inaccurate or simply unknown. So, here are a few things which I would like to know your viewpoint on; if you feel they are fake, or that they are hoaxes, please elaborate on exactly WHY that is… kudos to you if you actually made it this far and much thanks in advance if you actually humor me and take a minute to respond. 🙂
    (As I said, I can’t remember all that many off-hand; I’ll have to come back with a better list.)
    Also, I apologize for my inadequate descriptions; if you’ve no idea what I’m referring to, let me know and I’ll just find a link to the info or something…
    For starters…
    The Kensington Runestone
    The pipes that they found in China
    The “money pit”
    The numerous recent underwater finds
    Ed Leeskankin(sp?) and the Coral Castle in Florida. His paper on magnetism is rather interesting, as well, as he continually gives experiments that anyone can do which, he says, show the validity of his theories.

    Aak, those aren’t even the good ones. A pox on my memory and its conveniently-timed failure. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. 🙂

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    • I’ve already addressed the Kensington rune stone and many others have as well, no one really finds it credible in the least, even Alice Kehoe has pulled her tepid support.

      As to the rest, I’ll have to look them up. “money pit” is a bit vague as is “numerous recent underwater finds”. Maritime Archaeology is a legitimate field and they make discoveries all the time, none have been very controversial to my memory.

      Also, I don’t do regular reviews of Ancient Aliens, but I have started reviews on In Search of Aliens and America Unearthed. Both are renewed for new seasons. AA, is in its 7th season and it basically just rehashes crap from the first few seasons and then makes more crap up. I feel like they aren’t even trying anymore. They’ve never been credible before, I don’t expect that to change now.

      I know it’s currently popular to accuse scientists of being closed minded and trapped by mainstream paradigms. I have found these accusations to be thrown by those who are invested in their own personal alternative explanations and who refuse to see evidence against their viewpoints. The reality of Archaeology is that we change our minds frequently based on new technology and techniques introduced into the field. The other reality is that we’re not that focused on random isolated artifacts as much as we are focused on understanding a site as a whole entity. We’re trying to understand the people, their culture, and how they used their space. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and that is why the “artifacts” that conspiracy theorists bring forward are often ignored. They are usually presented without context and without any record of recovery. Basically, they are useless for analysis because we know nothing about them beyond whatever story the presenter provides, usually void of evidence. Often when pressed for evidence of recovery or authenticity the result is a onslaught of accusations of closed mindedness and paradigms. So, forgive me for not taking it seriously.

      Another reality is that so many of these “artifacts” are obviously fake just by looking at them. When you deal with real artifacts form different cultures you learn to recognize the skill and artwork of the human hand. When you see something that looks like it’s been molded, or chiseled with metal, or stained, or is simply just an ecofact, you make that call. There are lots of natural processes out there that make interesting and fascinating shapes that if you were not trained you may think were made by human hands. But they really are just the result of natural processes.

      The reason I seem so jaded to you is because I’ve seen a lot of things that people are trying to pass off as actual artifacts. It is dismaying to see the same objects put up on television as if they were real artifacts when they have not only been disproven in the past but continue to be disproven in the current century. It’s irresponsibility on the end of the media and willfully misleading to the general public. Especially when its channels like History Channel and Discovery Channel who are supposed to be seen as a thorities and as a reliable source of factual information. It’s understandable but the general public would be confused when they watch a show on this channel saying that aliens are real and here’s an artifact proving it. Basically these television channels just want ratings and they will do anything to get them.

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      • Those views of scientists and in particular archaeologists don’t just appear out of nothing. And they can’t be entirely attributed to the current round of popular fringe science shows. These views arise when one archeologist after the other becomes intransigent when presented with anything that contradicts the current thinking in their field.

        I recently spoke to a fellow at my local college about this and he immediately pointed to many examples of archeologists who openly talked about and worked with findings that don’t easily fit into current paradigms. The thing is, in all his examples they were tweaks or twists well within the paradigms of modern archeology. Nothing that would cause anything more than a buzz or two here or there.

        What never seems to happen is an admission that something is anomalous. That it doesn’t fit any current theory we have. That single admission would be like a breath of fresh air to these folks at the mercy of conspiracy shows.

        In almost all other disciplines you see this willingness to admit to the unknown. Physicists do it several times a year! Archeologists have brought this on themselves mainly due to stubbornness. Or at least that’s how it appears to a great many people.

        People need to hear an archeologist – preferably a well known one – just talk honestly.

        You use the phrase “many times” when discussing things that are fraudulent, fake or misidentified, which implies not all the time. So I would ask you simply. Have you never come across something that can’t be explained? Something that’s a mystery and can’t be categorized? Something that’s actually anomalous? How do such things fit in your view of things?

        Or is it your view that any finding that contradicts current theory is either a fraud or a fake and not worth the time to check carefully? In spite of the tone of that question it’s not meant to be confrontational.

        This is purely for my own understanding. I genuinely have no agenda. I’m just a very curious guy 🙂

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      • I have never found or seen an artifact that didn’t have a logical explanation for it’s existence what wasn’t in line with the culture or context that the artifact was found in. The implication of my use of the term “many times” refers to being willfully misleading (ie frauds and hoaxes) vs misleading via lack of knowledge.

        One of the major points of archaeology and the study of ancient and modern people is to classify and understand the objects they leave behind. This tells us about their culture and their lives. Yes there are objects we’re not 100% sure what they were used for, but that doesn’t make them alien or proof of time travel or any of that kind of speculation. It means we haven’t figured it out yet. I can go through your garbage from last week and probably find several objects that I won’t be able to readily identify the use of, I won’t then assume you are an alien or lizzardman. I will surmise that this particular piece of trash is too far degraded to get anything useful from and focus on the rest of your trash to get a picture of your life. It is the same process with ancient objects.

        Also, focusing solely on individual artifacts is a red herring. No object exists in a vacuum. All artifacts, features, and sites are related to each other and none are evidence of anything by themselves. That’s why professional archaeologists don’t get all that excited when the fringe offers up one artifact and tries to make claims based on it. You need more, you need context, you need records of this context, and you need more than one odd object to make an observation.

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  12. Blair Doweell

    Wow. Nice to find someone who takes the time to analyse the claims of Ancient Astronauts. I always found AA a little bit (racist?) misogynist against ancient peoples who were physiologically indistinct from modern humans and certainly as intelligent – if not more so for surviving the harsh conditions they could be subject to.
    Your blogs remind me of a friend who has a “family meteorite” and proves it by demonstrating that it is heavy, burnt, and drawn to a magnet. My first question was, “Did you find it near the railway tracks?” And he responded, “Yes! There were a bunch of them!!!” It was not well received when I suggested they not take their hunk of slag to a museum.”
    Thanks. I second the request for a “Search” function, and ask if you have discussed the “Wedge of Aiud” from Romania. It is said to be a 5 lb piece of alloyed aluminum (from the 2000 series, alloyed primarily with copper to increase strength) that was found in an excavation with mammoth bones. AA speculates that it is part of a spacecrafts landing gear and cites the thickness of the aloxide layer as proof, neglecting the inherent weakness of 2000 series Aluminum. I have my answer as to what it is (it hardly fell from the sky – newer types can actually be ordered on-line from China) but won’t bias any analysis.
    Any thoughts/links to past blogs are appreciated, Thank you!
    Blair

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  13. Pablo Millan

    I just love what you do keep it coming.

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  14. Nothing to say except I love your Blog. Keep up the good work.

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  15. It’s hard to find a blog filled with so much information that counter so many of the widely circling opinions. This project is impressive and precious.

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  16. genius

    Ancient people were far more intelligent than people give them credit for.
    Because someone can’t prove if an artifact is fake or real doesn’t mean anything. That being the case any comment on the artifact should be I don’t know the answer.
    I have deciphered some of the meaning in the Meso American long count calender’s. The ancients were very intelligent.

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  17. dwarf74

    Oh man, I am so glad your podcast (and by extension, blog) was recommended to me. This is just exactly the kind of podcast I’ve been looking for.

    Maybe ironically, maybe not, I got into skepticism because, in middle school, I was completely taken by Chariots of the Gods and the like. I grabbed a book I can’t quite remember – something about Space Gods maybe? – from the shelf quite by accident, found it to be the work of a *skeptic* … and put it back. But I kept coming back to it, and it just clicked with me.

    So yeah. This feels kind of like coming home. 🙂 Thanks for it.

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  18. Christel

    I apologize but I have to do a little fan gushing. I love the ArchyFantasies podcast and your blog. The work that you and your colleagues are doing is critical. Like many others I came to archaeology through an interest in human antiquity, particularly, the unanswered questions and bizarre claims. I studied and received my degree at UAB/UA and since graduating and joining the workforce I have been pleased to continue to learn about the field and particularly the fields approach to the fringe through your blog and podcast. You guys rock and inspire. Please keep up the excellent work. Just an aside-how super awesome would it be to have a Cosmos type special for Archaeology!?!?!?

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