All posts by ArchyFantasies

An active Archaeologist myself, I've gotten a bit tired of the use of bad science and archaeology to defend and "prove" made up claims. In this vein my videos should help others who are are not familiar with how Archaeology actually works understand the truth and see through the misleading lies of others

The Dirt Takeover Episode, Archaeological Fantasies Ep 116

Dr. Anna Goldfield and Amber Zambelli invade the Archaeological Fantasies podcast in this special cross over with The Dirt podcast. We talk Race, Racism, Movies, TV, and Mutant Frog Overlords.

Show Notes:

The Dirt Podcast
The Dirt Podcast on Twitter

Atlantis Deep Dive Comic 1

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The Archaeology of Giants

Atlantis at Last! In Search of Aliens S01, E01
https://archyfantasies.com/atlantis-at-last-in-search-of-aliens-s01-e01/

Atlantis – Episode 17
https://wordpress.com/post/archyfantasies.com/5961?site=archyfantasies.com

Remix – Atlantis in Sardinia with Dr. Emily Holt – Archaeological Fantasies ep 107
https://archyfantasies.com/remix-atlantis-in-sardinia-with-dr-emily-holt-archaeological-fantasies-ep-107/

Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.
Twitter – @ArchyFantasies
IG – @ArchyFantasies
Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com.

Giants, and Atlantis, and Aliens Oh My!

Originally Posted on The Archaeology of Giants

Gians, Atlantis, and Aliens

We’ve talked about Atlantis on the podcast and the blog before. We’re not here to rehash any of that, the long and short is,

“So, where is Atlantis? It’s in two books called Critias and Timaeus and nowhere else.”

We’re not changing our opinion, so no worries.

Recently I’ve been watching a new YouTube channel called Mysterious Middle East. I’m not sure what the angle for this channel is, in that I can’t tell if it’s a fringe belief channel or fringe debunking channel. However, their videos are visually beautiful, the narrators are quite well done, and let’s face it the topics are interesting too. This particular channel covers a variety of topics, but they all circle back to the Middle East and pseudoscience, the paranormal, and pseudoarchaeology. What I like most about the channel is that this is all being told from a Middle Eastern perspective as the author of these videos is from Syria.

One of the topics that keeps coming up over and over again is the idea of giants in the Middle East. Which of course, giants are one of our perpetual topics here and on our sub-blog The Archaeology of Giants. What I’ve also started to notice is the amount of overlap between the idea of Middle Eastern giants and Atlantis. Which, of course, then leads to an overlap of giants and Atlantis and aliens.

You can’t have Atlantis without aliens, it seems.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I’ve decided to reinvigorate this topic here on the blog and possibly podcast. Not in that we’re going to go try and find Atlantis or work from the idea that there is any physical evidence whatsoever that Atlantis ever actually existed. If you go to the above links when we visited this topic before you’ll see that our opinion is quite solidly in the ‘Atlantis isn’t real’ category.

I do want to look at all the fascinating ways that Atlantis gets interwoven into other pseudo-topics like giants and aliens and the Nephilim. I’m finding it fascinating that all these things are dependent on each other to be accurate, and all built around an idea that has never been proven correct. It leaves a lot of room for speculation across-the-board when it comes to Atlantis theorists and giant hunters, and it’s really just intriguing to me the leaps and jumps and connections that are made.

So when our next few blog posts and crossovers were going to be examining the intersection of Atlantis, giants, and aliens. At times these things being the same, at times than being completely separate. I don’t think I’m necessarily presenting any new information here, I also don’t think I’m introducing new connections, what I am hoping to do is pull everything together in one place as completely as I am capable of doing. Sometimes understanding the thought process behind an idea, and seeing all of the connections laid out in a line, can help us understand the overall argument and the reasons behind that argument.

What we’re striving for here is a better understanding of the fringe and fringe beliefs.
And it’s also fun to look at giant aliens from Atlantis, oh yeah and Lovecraft, Lovecraft is involved.

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Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.
Twitter – @ArchyFantasies
IG – @ArchyFantasies
Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. 
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Resources:

Atlantis at Last! In Search of Aliens S01, E01
https://archyfantasies.com/atlantis-at-last-in-search-of-aliens-s01-e01/

Atlantis – Episode 17
https://wordpress.com/post/archyfantasies.com/5961?site=archyfantasies.com

Remix – Atlantis in Sardinia with Dr. Emily Holt – Archaeological Fantasies ep 107
https://archyfantasies.com/remix-atlantis-in-sardinia-with-dr-emily-holt-archaeological-fantasies-ep-107/

Coming up on Archaeological Fantasies:

In this interesting time…my semester is wrapping up, and I decided to change my thesis proposal with three weeks left in the semester…because reasons.

That said. I do have a stock of podcasts that need tweaking before being posted. I’m going get those up soon, and thank everyone for being lenient with us. I think you’ll really enjoy the topics coming up, we got haunted Winchester house, archaeology and ghost hunting pt 2, race in academia, and the Historical accuracy of the Assassin’s Creed games pt2!

We’ve also got a bunch of collaboration things like the “Hunt for Secret Mysteries” vids and Podcast with Bill Auchter with ArchaeoRPG and ArchaeoThoughts. We’re taking on Skinwalker Ranch right now, and wow, just…its bad yall.

We’re also still working on our own archeology surveys in Elder Scrolls and No Man’s Sky and looking at Aliens, Giants, and the Paranormal on our sub-blogs. 

So hopefully there’s a lot to keep you busy this month while my output might be a little spotty. I have a couple of quick vids planned, but other than that, I need to lay low and convince my Thesis Professor to let me lead a real-life phase 1 survey in Elders Scrolls Online…I have a crew and everything. 

In the meantime, enjoy this throwback from the archives, where Dr. Jeb Card and I talk with Dr. April Beisaw about Ghost Hunting as Historical Archaeology! 

Also, be sure to check out Jeb and Blake Smith’s newest podcast “In Research Of” for a fun and critical look back on Leonard Nimoy’s classic pseudoarchaeology show. 

Show Notes:

April Beisaw on Twitter: @AprilMBeisaw

April Beisaw website 

Lost City, Found Pyramid edited by Jeb Card and David Anderson 

The Hunt For Secret Mysteries: Skinwalker Ranch Pt1 with Bill Auchter.

Today we start a brand-new collaborative project with Archaeothoughts and ArchaeoRPG which is a podcast miniseries we are calling The Hunt for Secret Mysteries. This miniseries will focus on various paranormal TV shows as we are inflicted with them. My cohost will be Bill Auchter of Archaeothoughts and for our first series, we’re focusing on the new television show “The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch”. We hope you enjoy this brand-new miniseries and hope you stick around for the full set.

Bill Auchter can be found:

Twitter – @archaeothoughts

Patreon –https://www.patreon.com/archaeothoughts

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp0zGwylRsKCkxbMSUE2a0Q

Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/archaeothoughts/

Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies

Ko-Fi – https://ko-fi.com/archyfantasies

Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/archyfantasies

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/ArchyFantasies

Twitter – @ArchyFantasies

IG – @ArchyFantasies

Website – https://archyfantasies.com/

Email – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. 

Game Food Archaeology: Major Dunmer Food Stuffs.

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Ashalander Camp Cook Fire. Note the baskets and simplicity of the setup. 

The Dunmer race in ESO can be divided into two distinct cultural groups. One being the Indigenous Ashlanders and the other being the city and town dwelling Dunmer. When talking about the major foodstuffs of these groups, it’s important to keep them separate, as the city Dunmer have a great deal of Imperial influence to their cuisine where the Ashlanders appear to keep to more traditional cuisine.

Despite the separation, there are a few shared foods between both groups. Saltrice and Kwama, in its various forms, especially eggs, are something all Dunmer incorporate into their cooking.

As meats come only in generic terms, all Dunmer eat poultry, white and red meat, game, and small game. Though the sources of these meats are different from other regions in Tameril. Dunmer pulls their meat sources from the local animals, which all appear to an outside observer like myself to be lizard and insect-derived fauna.

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Ashlander Camp Fish Drying Rack. 

Now here is where we start to see a divide in preferred foodstuffs. Ashlanders will eat Nix-hounds, guar, a verity of fish, and mud-crabs. This is what we can pick up from not only recorded recipes but also from examining the food preparation in the Ashlanders camps.

City Dunmer doesn’t appear to eat many kinds of seafood, though there is a recorded crab recipe for the Redoran. Examining the City Dunmer kitchens and pantries, we see meat sources that are not local. Pheasants, ducks, and geese are among the exotic foodstuffs we see. There is a noticeable lack of fish found here. This is clearly explained by the City Dunmer’s access to a wider variety of trade items than the Ashlanders, who are known to be reluctant to deal with outsiders. .

Beyond meats there are several other reoccurring foodstuffs in the City Dunmers’ recipes; melons, seasoning, cheese, pumpkin, tomatoes, greens, flour, radish, potato, Jazbay grapes, garlic, beets, carrots, Frost Miriam plant, perfect roe, scrib jelly, Namira’s rot, Imp stool, and lemons. We can add Bananas to the mix as well, but only when dealing with the southernmost reaches of Dunmer influence, again showing a cultural mixing between the Dunmer and their southern neighbors.

Outside fo the city, we lose the exotic ingredients such as cheese and flour for the most part and many melon dishes. We see the incorporation of more Ashyams and pumpkin to the diet. Though there is evidence of a cheese and bread plater associated with Ashlanders, though it’s such an outlier, it’s authenticity is questionable.

Another distinct difference between Ashlander and City Dunmer cooking is the concept of ‘plated’ meals versus one-pot meals. Ashlanders favor meals that can be cooked in large pots, possibly communal, and eaten with fingers or dipped bits of bread. There is an Ash Yam Loaf recipe and is probably the common bread type among the Ashlanders. Its main ingredients are Potato (Ash Yam) and Flour (unspecified type, but possibly local wild Whickwhaet).

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Dunmer Feild Cooking, not the racks of meat, bread, apples, and cooking pots. 

City Dunmer seems to prefer meals that separate ingredients and are served on individual plates or bowls. They are eaten with typical utensils, knife, fork, spoon, along with an individual drink as opposed to a water skein. Again this appearers to be due to the embracing of outside cultures’ influences.

Now, this all is mostly learned via interacting with the game world. Stepping back slightly and looking at player interpretation of Dunmer food and food culture expands our understating of City Dunmer cooking, while not really expanding Ashlander foodways much.

There is in-game precedence that Dunmer food is considered very spicy. There is also some precedence that Ashlander food is often seasoned with ash, specifically volcano ash. The game only provides “seasoning” as a generic catch-all category, however showing in-game spice markets with a variety of spices. These spice markets aren’t represented in Dunmer territories, and it’s entirely possible these markets only came into game-reality recently with a newer expansion for Northern Elsewyr. It could also be the games subtle way of showing the difference between food being Heat-Spicy versus being Seasoning-Spicy, ie, chilies vs. curry.

Mural of Vivec City

With only “Dunmer food is spicy” and the 27-ish in-game recipes, players and ESO scholars have worked diligently to recreate the ‘taste’ and ‘flavor’ of Dunmer cooking, trying to find a real-world comparison to use aa guides. This has led to some very inters ting discussions about Who the Dunmer are based on IRL.

To my knowledge, ESO officially has never said who or what culture is based on in the real world. Which I think is smart as they appear to take elements from several cultures and weave them together to create a new in-game culture that is *almost* recognizable but still distinct on its own.

Speculation has picked several good IRL influences for the Dunmer. Two cultures that are regularly picked are Japanese and Indian food culture. This is based on the cannon spiciness of Dunmer food and the prevalence of rice dishes, bread, and bugs.

The bugs need a bit of explaining.

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Nix Hound looking noble

Kwama and Nix, the two major meat sources on Vvardenfell, are both fairly insect looking, though both drop either poultry or red meat. Scribs, which are the larva of Kwama, and Kwama eggs, are their own substances. Scribs producing Scrib Jelly and jerky and the eggs being used much like eggs IRL. So it’s not really that Dunmer *eat* bugs, as it is, their food sources look like insects.



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Kwama Eggs in a basket

That being said, it’s not uncommon for IRL food cultures to incorporate bug and larva into their diets. Who likes shrimp? Yeah.

So, what we’ve looked at here is the major foodstuffs available to the Dunmer and Ashlander food cultures. What we’ll look at next time, is the recipes themselves, both in-game, official cookbook, and player-made content.

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Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.
Twitter – @ArchyFantasies
IG – @ArchyFantasies
Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. 
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If you want more on ArchaeoGaming check out the ArchaeoRPG channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi0v2MFRN_1DRXSlkzn4a2w for all your archaeology and gaming needs!

Bro-Ventures with Annelise Baer. Archaeological Fantasies ep 115

Today we talk with Annelise Baer about the Bro-Venture genre of adventure TV. We cover all the classics from Indiana Jones all the way to the most recent Unexplored and Unexplained. We talk about how these shows get made, and how they might evolve as TV switches to Streaming.

Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies

Ko-Fi – https://ko-fi.com/archyfantasies

Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/archyfantasies

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/ArchyFantasies

Twitter – @ArchyFantasies

IG – @ArchyFantasiesWebsite – https://archyfantasies.com/

Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. 

Let’s Play: Archaeologist sets up Data for Excavation in No Man’s Sky.

NMS 1 year later
This episode we’re figuring out how to take grid points from our ship, dream up ways to set up a grid, I wish my mom a happy birthday and clean up animal poop for profit.
Also, my mom calls and I have to defend my life choices.
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Check out Andrew Reinhard’s book ARCHAEOGAMING: An Introduction to Archaeology in and of Video Games https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/R…
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Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.
Twitter – @ArchyFantasies
IG – @ArchyFantasies
Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. 
af line art
If you want more on ArchaeoGaming check out the ArchaeoRPG channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi0v2MFRN_1DRXSlkzn4a2w for all your archaeology and gaming needs!

ArchyFantasies in the time of Covid.

Copy of Light Blue and Grey Foods Plain Collage Instagram Post

 

Hello everyone! This is just a quick message about how we’re navigating the whole lock-down and our content.

Currently, it’s not affecting our production schedule, and so I don’t see a need to alter much here. I may be putting some things out directly to everyone instead of making non-members wait a week, but for the most part, I’m going to maintain things the way they are for now.

That said, I understand some people may not be able to maintain their support at this time, and as much as I hate to lose ppl, I COMPLETELY understand.

It was asked of me what our PayPal is for those who’d like to support us, but can’t do monthly amounts. So if that’s you (it doesn’t need to be) our PayPal email is ArchyFantasies@gmail.com.

Even if you can’t financially support us you can really help us out by liking and sharing our content where ever you encounter it! Reviews and interactions on our Blogs,  Pods, and Vlogs would be immensely helpful.

And lastly, please take care of yourself and the people around you! We’re all in this together.

Lovecraft and Religious Exoticism.

Lovecraft and Religious Exoticism.

Last post I touched on the concept of Orientalism and how it’s used in a lot of Lovecraft’s writing. This post I want to focus on something specific, mainly Lovecraft’s use of religion and superstition in his stories.

When we talked about Orientalism, I also brought up the idea of cultural exoticism, which is the Othering of things outside of our own culture. It’s ethnocentrism in practice, and Lovecraft used it a lot. Jason Colavito in his book Cult of the Alien Gods mentions how Lovecraft was fascinated with the Muslim religion for a brief while. That fascination did not appear to lead to greater education about the Muslim religion for Lovecraft. It seems that Lovecraft merely learned a few tidbits about the Muslim religion and ran with the rest of it in his imagination. We see these details peppered throughout his stories. Of course, there is the mad Arab, the author of the Necronomicon, whose name was also the alter ego of Lovecraft himself for a while. We see Lovecraft’s weave in superstitions of Djin and the mysterious city of Irem, in his short stories.

Lovecraft’s heavy-handed poetic license didn’t focus entirely on the Muslim religion and culture. He was also fascinated with the ancient religions of European countries as well. Several stories highlight this fascination showing the superstitions Lovecraft imagines ancient peoples might have had. He, of course, uses his own cosmic pantheon as stand-ins for any real gods or spirits. Lovecraft was building a brand after all, even if that exact concept hadn’t been developed yet.

Lovecraft enjoyed creating horror in his stories by tapping into the past and weaving it into the future. Unfortunately, so often, the characters he chose to represent this ‘living past’ were foreigners, or economically depressed individuals, or those who would be considered poorly educated. Lovecraft used classism as much as he used racism in his stories to create distance between the reader and those he wished to mark as pitiful or horrifying.

So what exactly am I describing when I say religious exoticism?

Perhaps the best examples that pop into my mind immediately are such things as the lost city of Irem and the idea of the Necronomicon. Irem is part of actual folklore as being a city that existed before the pyramids in the great desert of Arabia. The inhabitants of the city were supposedly giant individuals or even Djin. Some claim that the citizens of Irem where those that built the pyramids, and/or where the Djin enslaved by Solomon to build his temple.

Lovecraft took this story and ran with it in his own tail “The Nameless City.” But Lovecraft, of course, embellished his story with details and ideas that were not originally part of the folk-story.

He did something similar when he created his mad Arab and the Necronomicon. The book of course as many may know is supposed to be a text on how to summon and control Djin, and is supposed to be one of the most powerful and terrifying books ever written. The Necronomicon is completely made up, though there are some texts that may or may not have been the influence for the Necronomicon. There is varying evidence to suggest if Lovecraft would even have been aware of the existence of these old books or even the actual existence of these old books. Neither of these details are important to our conversation today.

What is important is that once again Lovecraft took one particular detail, his fascination with the Pre-Muslim magic and belief in Djin, and ran with it. I don’t think Lovecraft puts any true facts in either his story of Irem or the Necronomicon’s many incarnations. He didn’t need to, he was telling a story trying to create an atmosphere of horror and suspense and danger, and did so by taking just enough reality and then embellishing the crap out of it, without true care for accuracy.

As we have been learning in our shallow deep-dive into Lovecraft and all things he influenced, this religious exoticism of Lovecraft’s did not end when he stopped writing. As far as is using it as an element for storytelling, Lovecraft’s cabal of writers; friends and students, continued to use these elements in their own stories and his writing style has definitely influenced writers ever since. We talked about the long reach of Lovecraft when we talked about the 25th anniversary of “In the Mouth of Madness” by John Carpenter. It’s always fun to have a little geek out moment.

But we can still see the impact of religious exoticism in the modern-day. And here I wish to tie-in a recent article I wrote about dybbuk boxes. A very brief recap of what a dybbuk boxes, supposedly it’s a Jewish spirit box meant to contain an evil spirit.

Now the reason I compare the dybbuk box to Lovecraft’s writing is that there was a movie released in 2012 called The Possession. The inspiration for the movie came directly from the original dybbuk box that was sold on eBay. I covered the dybbuk box in its history on the Paranormal Archaeology blog. And in my investigations of the dybbuk box, I found that it is a completely made-up object, however, there is enough independent belief in the reality of a dybbuk box that they are quite popular now. And it’s my honest belief that the reason the dybbuk box is so popular is because of its connection to the concept of Jewish mysticism.

The Jewish religion does have a branch that is concerned with mysticism, it is not a very well-known branch to the average person. Many people may not even know that there is Jewish mysticism. But like all religions, including Catholicism and many Christian denominations, there’s always an element of the mystical and/or the magical.

That being said the dybbuk box is not Jewish in any way, not only is the dybbuk box completely made up, but the concept of a dybbuk box is counter to actual Jewish mysticism. But that’s not the important detail is it? Much like Lovecraft to took a few ideas from the Muslim religion and ran with it to create his nameless city and his Necronomicon, the original creator of the dybbuk box took a few ideas of Jewish mysticism and cobbled them together to create a completely fake artifact that he sold on eBay as a haunted box. Much like Lovecraft’s creation of the Necronomicon has spawned several iterations of the book to the point where people have even tried to create genuine copies of the Necronomicon and sell them to the public, the dybbuk box is quite popular on the Internet. They can be purchased even now on sites like eBay and if you go to YouTube you can find several videos of people investigating and opening the dybbuk boxes, many of them believing they are having some kind of supernatural experience in the process.

What allows this to occur is the mysterious and unknown elements of religions that are foreign to us. For example, the idea of speaking in tongues is very strange to many who do not practice it. Yet for religions that believe that this is a tenement of their religion, it’s not strange at all. Yet how many horror movies have we watched the past where strange cults become possessed and start speaking in tongues? Why is this frightening to us? Why is it a staple of horror movies throughout the years?

Because it is a not well known, mysterious, religious practice, whose significance may not be evident to those observing from the outside. It is the same thing with Jewish mysticism, it serves a purpose within the religion, and is misunderstood by those outside of it. Catholicism has the same issues with their saints and the Vatican. How many times have we heard of a great Vatican conspiracy? Why is this, because the Vatican is secretive. It is the same thing with Lovecraft and the Muslim religion and made up pagan religions. Things that are not well understood by outsiders are easily seen as things to be suspicious of or even fearful of.

For Lovecraft, these were the perfect elements to create horror stories that would stick with his readers for generations to come. For those of us living in the modern era, where we should be more understanding of the differences of others, religious exoticism should be a warning sign to us.

When we step back from entertainment and see religious exoticism in practice in our lives we should be wary. How many times have we had arguments with people around us about sharia law or the practice of praying five times a day while facing east? How many times have we seen or heard horror stories of Muslims, or Sheiks, or even Indigenous peoples practicing their religions and being attacked for practices that seem strange to outsiders? Here in America, we tend to see everything through a Christian filter one way or the other. Whether we are believers or not. It affects everything that we see and do and affects the decisions we make about people around us. Have you ever stop to wonder why multiple spouses are frowned upon? If everyone is a consenting adult, is anyone truly being harmed? But yet we refuse to allow for legal polygamy, and we look on with suspicion to those who practice it.

This isn’t me advocating for polygamy, this is me trying to point out the religious exoticism affects us even today. And the idea that exotic elements of other religions are things to be feared are traits that we have deep inside of us. Lovecraft used them as a way of making a story, we should be examining them as warning signs of our own personal biases. The next time you have a knee-jerk reaction to the religious practice of another, you should perhaps look inside first and figure out why it bothers you. Is it because someone is doing something that seems wrong to you because it’s occurring outside of your own culture? It might be scary to find out how often that is really the truth.

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Resources:

 

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Hi! I’m an archaeologist who likes games, video games, gaming, horror, the supernatural, and debunking pseudoarchaeology. Check out my vids for more on the above topics, and toss us a coin if you like what I do.

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies

Ko-Fi – https://ko-fi.com/archyfantasies

Twitter – @ArchyFantasies

IG – @ArchyFantasies

Website – https://archyfantasies.com/

Emai – ArchyFantasies@gmail.com.