Pseudoarchaeology and Pop Culture with David Anderson – Archaeological Fantasies Podcast Episode 94

Today we’re talking with Dr. David Anderson (@DSAArchaeology ) about the intersection of Archaeology and Pop culture, and how a history of pop culture, specifically comics and adventure genre has fed the prevalence of pseudoarchaeology ideas, especially Ancient Aliens and Ancient Astronauts

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Show Notes:

David Anderson’s Blog – Archaeological Oddities 

Lost City of Z: The Mysterious Disappearance of Percy Fawcett: The explorer’s disappearance continues to fascinate.

 The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold

Richard Sharpe Shaver

The Coming Race: the classic science fiction tale of a master race (Aziloth Books) by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Fortean Times

Charles Hoy Fort

The Book of the Damned

Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race 

King Tuts Curse

Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show

Superdickery 

Moai Statues

Selective Attention Test Viedo –

But Did You See the Gorilla? The Problem With Inattentional Blindness: The most effective cloaking device is the human mind

Jack Kirby

Rip Hunter 

Hawkman


If you’d like to support the Podcast, condenser donating to us on Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies or buy us a  Ko-Fi : https://ko-fi.com/A8833HAS . Either option helps us out.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the blog at www.ArchyFantasies.com and like and share us where ever you can.
You can follow us on twitter @Archyfantsies or look us up on Facebook. You can reach us by email at ArchyFantasies@gmail.com
Theme Music was provided by ArcheoSoup Productions
This episode was produced and edited by Sara Head.
Contact us below or leave a comment.

Two Years of Archeological Fantasies!

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That’s right! This will be year three of the Archeological Fantasies Podcast! We’ve got two years behind us and we haven’t run out of material to debunk yet.  It helps that new stuff pops up almost daily anymore, even if it is all recycled.

We decided to christen the New Year by rehashing the goals of the podcast and letting ourselves react a little to upcoming 4 years.  Ken,  Jeb,  and Sara have a few moments of political ranting and explaining why it’s even more important now for a show like ours to be on the air.

If you haven’t given our first recorded show of the year a listen yet,  click on the link to do so.  Let us know what you think!

Archaeological Fantasies Podcast Halloween Line-up!

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Just in time for our big MonsterTalk Halloween Special, due out Monday on Halloween, here’s a list of our spookiest episodes to date! Go catch up on a year’s worth of archaeological notes about Ghosts, Witches, Mummies and Vampires!

WITCHES, SHAMANS, AND LOOTERS WITH STACY DUNN – EPISODE 39

DIGGING NEW ENGLAND VAMPIRES – ENCORE EPISODE 40

GHOST HUNTING – EPISODE 41

HEXHAM HEADS, LEY LINES, AND WEAR-SHEEP-MEN – EPISODE 51

UNLUCKY MUMMIES AND WONDERFUL THINGS – EPISODE 52

CTHULHU WITH JASON COLAVITO – ARCHYFANTASIES 56

MARGARET MURRAY, WITCHCRAFT AND MURDER – EPISODE 58

DNA in Archaeology with Jennifer Raff

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Episode 50 of the Archaeological Fantasies is live, and Ken and I were able to finally sit down with someone who knows quite a bit about the use of DNA and genetics in archaeology. Jennifer Raff, who’s covered all this wonderfully over at her own blog Violent Metaphors, was just the podcast guest I’ve been looking for to help us sus out all the ins and outs of genetic evidence in archaeology.

We’ve mentioned Jennifer and her co-author Deborah A. Bolnick’s work before when Ken and I talked about the Solutrean-Clovis hypothesis. Her and Dr. Bolnick’s paper really digs into the supposed genetics that are supposed to support this rather flawed hypothesis.

I’m not going to rehash all of this in this post, Jennifer has done the lion’s share on her blog and paper, and then again on the podcast. I suggest you go give it all a read and a listen. It really clarifies questions I had about ancient genetics and prehistoric DNA.


If you’d like to support this blog, consider donating on Patreon.
Comment below or send an email to ArchyFantasies@gmail.com


The Importance of Myth and Oral Traditions

Lady in the rain

Episode 30 has dropped ( a while ago now) and it’s chocked full of Ken and I ranting about how important Myth, Oral Traditions, and even local lore can be to archaeologists and archaeology as a field. 

I know that I harp a lot about the misunderstood and misused records of Native American mythology, but there’s a good reason for it. Too often the fringe likes to turn to the myths and oral traditions of a random tribe in order to try and support a story they are trying to sell. The problem they inadvertently run into is taking a myth or oral tradition out of context.

Context, as we know, is Queen, much like the GPS is God. When you chose to ignore context, you can make up anything you want and probably find something out there to support it. That doesn’t make it true or correct, and the refusal to see that is just insulting at best. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen or read some fringe theorists spouting off about how they know more about what a Native tradition “really meant” than the living decedents of that tradition. What’s more is by trying to force traditions that aren’t yours to fit your favorite story, you’re missing out on actual information that is being conveyed via these rich and varied traditions.

So give the episode a listen, or a second listen, and let us know what you think!


If you’d like to support this blog, consider donating on Patreon.
Want more on this topic? Go to: Concepts and Themes
Comment below or send an email to ArchyFantasies@gmail.com


 

The Importance of Myth and Oral Traditions

The Pyramids That Are Not, The Bosnian Pyramids.

Episode 29 of the Archaeology Fantasies Podcast is live. If you haven’t given it a listen, go do it now! I apologize ahead of time for the fact that I can’t say Sam Osmanagich’s name correctly.

hills

We’re talking about the Bosnian Pyramids.

For those who don’t know, the Bosnian Pyramids are not actual pyramids, they are a cluster of natural hills in central Bosnia and Herzegovina that started life off roughly pyramid in shape. I say they started that way because years of “excavation” on the hills has transformed them into what Sam Osmanagich, the ‘founder’ of said not-pyramids, wants them to be.

Osmanagich has decided that several of the hills in the range are actually pyramids and he’s renamed them as he sees fit. Visocica Hill, at 720 feet, is renamed the Pyramid of the Sun. Pljesevica Hill, at 350 feet, is renamed the Pyramid of the Moon. He claims there are others, a Pyramid of Love, A Pyramid of Earth, one to a Dragon, ect. I’m not entirely sure why any of them have the names that they do, but it made sense to Osmanagich, so we’ll run with it.

Osmanagich also makes the claim that there are labyrinths under the pyramids and long man-made tunnels. These tunnels supposedly connected the pyramids at one point and then filled in with sea water when the glaciers melted.

Let me state here that no professional archaeologist believes these are pyramids, calling it:

“A cruel hoax on an unsuspecting public [which] has no place in the world of genuine science (Bohannon 2006).”

That hasn’t stopped Osmanagich, who in true fringe style has tried to connect the names of actual archaeologist, geologists, and other scientists to his work. Most have either denied association with the project or been exposed as either unqualified or frauds (Rose 2006).

But what of the claims?

Aside from claiming hills are pyramids when they are clearly not, Osmanagich claims they are the oldest pyramids in the world. He says they are 12,000 years old putting their construction during a time when most of Europe was under a glacier and agriculture wasn’t really a thing yet (Woodward 2009). I’ve never really seen how he proposes prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers managed to build the largest pyramids on earth or why they would bother. He’s made a lukewarm argument that they are burial mounds, but there are no bodies associated with them.

What’s more, these incredibly advanced Hunter-Gatherers also apparently knew how to make and pour cement, and that is how they covered the sides of the pyramids (Woodward 2009). Never-mind that the geology of the hills matches that of the surrounding area, and the ‘cement’ Osmanagich is finding is actually alternating layers of conglomerate, clay and sandstone (Woodward 2009). Osmanagich’s cement idea is supported by French materials scientist, Joseph Davidovits, who also thinks the real pyramids in Egypt were made with poured concrete blocks (Woodward 2009). Because of this idea, Osmanagich instructed his workers to carve the hillside to create the impression of a stepped pyramid for the Pyramid of the Moon (Woodward 2009). So, like other fringe researchers in the past, he’s altered the area to fit his expectations, and then wants to pass it off as being authentic.

In this vein, Osmanagich has started digging in the ‘tunnels’ beneath the hills. Stating that he is going to widen these tunnels and extend them so that they will connect  witht the other pyramids (Woodward 2009),  never mind if they don’t currently. He claims that there are boulders that bear carvings that date back to 15,000 years ago, but that claim was challenged by a geologist and former employee who claimed the carvings appeared overnight, put there by another one of Osmanagich’s workers (Woodward 2009).

Yet Osmanagich is unapologetic in his blatant alteration of the area, and why shouldn’t he be?

Osmanagich says he plans to dig all the way to Visocica Hill, 1.4 miles away, adding that, with additional donations, he could reach it in as few as three years. “Ten years from now nobody will remember my critics,” he says as we start back toward the light, “and a million people will come to see what we have.” (Woodward 2009)

Osmanagich has official backing from the Bosnian Government (Woodward 2009). The Pyramid of the Sun Foundation, owned by Osmanagich, rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars in public donations and thousands more from state-owned companies (Woodward 2009). He’s got copious amounts of attention from the media and was awarded a seat on a scientific council in Russia (Woodward 2009). Creating fake archaeology and history is quite lucrative.

All that said, Osmanagich still can’t answer basic questions about the construction of the site. Things like, where did the workers come from? Where did they live while they worked? Who fed them? How did they make the cement? Where are the mixing stations, the pouring platforms, the tools? Where is the trash from all these people living one place? Where is the graveyard for the workers that died? Who organized them? What compelled them to build? And so on, and so on, and so on.

As is so often with the fringe, they see something big and shinny, and don’t think about the details. The details that real archaeologists want, the details that are real evidence. The details that every actual archaeological site possesses. These are always lacking because they are overlooked. As Ken likes to say, you can fake an artifact, but you can’t fake a whole site. Osmanagich had already run up against this with the international archaeological community, and it’s starting to catch up to him at home as well. We’ll just wait and see were all this ends up, but I’m guessing it’s not going to end well.

In the meantime go listen to episode 29 of the Archaeology Fantasies Podcast and hear what Ken and I have to say on the matter.


If you’d like to support this blog, consider donating on Patreon.
Want more on this topic? Go to: Mystery Sites That Aren’t.
Comment below or send an email to ArchyFantasies@gmail.com


Resources:

Bosnian Pyramids Website.
http://www.bosnianpyramids.org/. Accessed 2/19/16

Open Protest Letter to the Bosnian Government. written by the The European Association of Archaeologists – (EAA)
 http://www.robertschoch.net/bosnia%20eaa%20denounces%20semir%20osmanagic%20pyramid%20archaeology%20dowell%20ct.htm. Accessed 2/19/16

Woodard, Colin
The Mystery of Bosnia’s Ancient Pyramids. Smithsonian Magazine Online. December 2009. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-mystery-of-bosnias-ancient-pyramids-148990462/#6JECjwhBkxuU6aDb.99. Accessed 2/19/16

Rose, Mark
2006    Bosnian “Pyramids” Update. Archaeology Magazine Online. 14 June 2006.
http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/osmanagic/update.html. Accessed 2/19/16

John Bohannon, 2006 “Researchers Helpless as Bosnian Pyramid Bandwagon Gathers Pace”. Science. 314:1862. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/314/5807/1862.1 Accessed 2/19/16

 

The Legend of the Lighthouse – Episode 22

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Ken shares a touching story about his work. The Legend of Lighthouse shows how archaeology is used to solve histories mysteries and uses those answers to shed light on the lives of those around us.

Links


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Contact

If you’d like to support the Podcast, condenser donating to us monthly on Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies or giving just a little on Ko-Fi : https://ko-fi.com/A8833HAS . Either option helps us out.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and like and share us where ever you can.
You can follow us on twitter @Archyfantsies or look us up on Facebook.
Edited by Chris Webster
Contact us below or leave a comment.

Global Floods and Noah’s Ark – Episode 5

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Today Ken and Sara start discussing creationism. We evaluate the evidence for a global flood in both the geological and archaeological record. We compare the biblical myth with the Babylonian version, and we go looking for Noah’s Ark itself.


If you’d like to support the Podcast, condenser donating to us monthly on Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/Archyfantasies or giving just a little on Ko-Fi : https://ko-fi.com/A8833HAS . Either option helps us out.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and like and share us where ever you can.
You can follow us on twitter @Archyfantsies or look us up on Facebook.
Edited by Chirs Webster
Contact us below or leave a comment.

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