Archaeological Fantasies 2018 Year in Review.

We did a lot this year on the blog and the podcast, not to mention personally.

We moved to Philadelphia, continued in grad school, went to several conferences, had a litter of kittens...

On the ArchyFantasies side, we moved the Podcast to an independent platform, reached out to several new guests and hosts, really launched our Pateron and in general really liked the way the podcast and the blog have expanded.

It thought it might be interesting to look back at the past year and see what our most popular articles and podcast episodes were. I was expecting a fair amount of overlap, but there was a kind of divide between my podcast and my blog.

Top Ten (11) Podcast Episodes in 2018:

Top Ten Blog Posts for 2018:

I’m glad to see such a variety of topics being enjoyed by folks on the podcast. Everything this year from our first episode to the emerging study of Archaeogaming. There’s a pretty wide variety there too, one I don’t really see in the blog.

The 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts series is still going strong, and frankly, I blame Ancient Aliens. But hey, they’re driving people to my blog so…

I am glad to see criticism of Legends of the Lost is doing well too. They’re the top posts by almost double the others. That’s hearting.

Keeping it brief here, I like the way things are going here, but I can also see clear trends that people appear to want, given the medium. So saying, I’ve got several new and, hopefully, exciting new things to try with the podcast and blog, but we won’t be losing our staples either.

All that said, into the New Year we go! Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far, stick with us for more Archaeology, outreach, and plain old fun!

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The 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts: Impossible Fossils

And so we have made it to the final entry in the 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts list. We finish with the second of our two catch-all categories, the first being where we learned about OOParts. In this final entry we are looking at Impossible Fossils, which pretty much live up to their name.

We’ve been over this before in an earlier post on the Paluxy “Man Tracks”. Where a known artifact is being reinterpreted in hopes of supporting an idea that has no support for it. In the Man Tracks case, we have the fossilized imprints of dinosaur metatarsals made by bipedal dinosaurs that can look a little weird, until you understand how bipedal dinosaurs walked [Kuban 2010]. The Man Tracks are also nice cases of fraud in action since more than a few of them were actually carved to look like human feet, and then sold to the unwary [Kuban 2010]. Thankfully the man tracks have mostly been put to rest by through scientific debunking, however there appear to be plenty of Impossible Fossils waiting to take their place.

The particular fossil that the 10 most hits on is a supposed hand print. It’s described by a Creation Science website as:

“This photo shows a human handprint(sic) found in Cretaceous rock in the same layer with the Glen Rose dinosaur footprints. The fossil handprint(sic) is so specific that it displays impressions of the thumbnail, impressions of the tissue webbing between the thumb and index finger, and the impression left by penetration of the middle finger into the mud [Baugh 2006].”

A Texas-based website named “Pastor Art and Sister Sue” appear to be the first to mention the “hand print on stone”  claiming that it was discovered in 1995 formed in Cretaceous rock in the city of  Weatherford, Texas [Kuban 2010]. As with “discoveries” like this, the usual red flags spring up:

  • Red Flag #1: for starts, the article is uncited. I’ve ranted about this before, you must cite your sources!
  • Red Flag #2: There is not indication who found the fossil in the first place, or who studied it, or where, etc.
  • Red Flag #3: There is no record of if it was found in-situ, and after last post, we all know why it’s important to find and document things where they are found.

Pastor Art and Sister Sue have quite a few other impossible fossils on their site as well, things like sandal impressions along with trilobite fossils  Again, I am going to go back over this and make a series out of it.

Thus we reach the end of our journey through the 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts. I’ve had a good time with this and I actually learned a few things that surprised me. I’ve shown not only why and how most of these are frauds and not that puzzling, but I’ve explained several ways to identify other dubious claims.

I send you all out now into the wacky world of weird Archaeology to use this new-found knowledge to debunk on your own. Send me a link when you do, I’m always up for new “mysteries”.

Resources:

Baugh, Carl,

2006. Creation Evidence Museum. http://www.creationevidence.org/. Retrieved September 17 2012.

Kuban, Glen J.

2010. “The Paluxy Dinosaur/”Man Track” Controversy”(http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm), Published by Glen J. Kuban. Retrieved September 06, 2011.

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