Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Andersson on Alternative archaeology

Alternative archaeology: many pasts in our present by Pia Andersson distinguishes the two approaches that archeologists have taken to the alternative interpretations of the past provided or demanded. She contrasts the derogatory vocabulary [bogus, pseudo, ...] from the vocabulary that focuses on the different stances [cult, fantasy, popular], and gives the following themes to distinguishing the academic from the non-academic world (p.127).

William Stiebing has been influential in his attempts to single out three defining criteria: 1) an absence of scientific methodology and proof, 2) a tendency to seek simple answers to complex problems, and 3) an ambivalent and often hostile attitude toward the scientific establishment (Stiebing 1984). (p.127)
Andersson categorizes the approaches using the following image (p.128):

Andersson then points out (p.131) the classical topics of alternative archeology, ranging from Giza and Stonehenge to Chichen Itza and Carnac in France. Equally there is range of artefacts, so called "OOPAs", i.e. "out-of-place artefacts" (p.133) that hold the attention of alternative archeology, such as the Antikythera Mechanism.

Much of alternative archaeology is based on presuppositions not shared by conventional archaeologists. (p.134) 

Bibliographic Record

Andersson, P. (2012). Alternative archaeology: many pasts in our present. Numen, 59(2-3), 125-137. doi:10.1163/156852712X630743 (UB Wien link)

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