The ancient rock art on the cover decorates the walks of Indian Creek Canyon in Newspaper Rock State Park, Utah, near Canyonlands National Park. What could its symbols and horned figures represent? Are they a Native American observer's depiction of space-suited extraterrestrials who once explored the American continent? Or do the images reflect the human imagination, blending, human and animal elements into new mythical beings? Ken Feder addresses questions such as these in this entertaining and informative exploration of fascinating frauds and genuine mysteries. Through well-chosen examples, he demonstrates what is - and what is not - the scientific method; in the process, he clearly conveys why the veritable past is as exciting and intriguing as the fantasies concocted by the purveyors of pseudoscience. New to this Edition: 25% more illustrations, including side by side photographic comparisons in Chapter 6, 8, and 9; additional topics, including tabloid anthropology, the deconstructionist challenge to science, tracing the source of skeletal populations through mitochondrial DNA analysis, the so-called Mars face, the New Age use of Native American beliefsand Native Americans' reactions, the Ice Man, Chauvet Cave and our understanding of cave painting, and more.
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A comparison of the hypotheses and approaches of pseudo-archaeologists to those of archaeologists and other scientists. By describing the flaws in the purported evidence for each claim, the author exposes students to the thinking and methodology that underlie real scientific research.
Committed to the scientific investigation of human antiquity, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology uses interesting archaeological hoaxes, myths, and mysteries to show how we can use science to learn things about the past. By placing wildly inaccurate claims within the context of the scientific method, this indispensable supplementary text demonstrates how science approaches questions about human antiquity and, in doing so, shows where pseudoscience falls short.
Where did we come from? To answer this question, anthropologists reconstruct the human past and study the human present from both biological and cultural perspectives. Human Antiquity offers an absorbing, straightforward explanation of human origins and evolution by thoroughly integrating physical anthropology and archaeology. Co-authors Kenneth Feder and Michael Park combine the ideas, methods, and knowledge from both biological anthropology and archaeology into a unified effort: Feder is an archeologist who conducts surveys, excavations, and analyses to understand the native inhabitants of New England; Park is a biological anthropologist interested in the application of evolutionary theory to the biological history of our species.
This book is an offbeat field guide for sites in North America that reflect the rejection of the facts of prehistory and history. They are the physical equivalents of "fake news" about America's ancient past. Feder provides an entertaining summary forty sites along with the practical information you’ll need to visit these fun and fascinating sites.
Including case studies, this collection of engaging and stimulating essays written by a diverse group of scholars, scientists and writers examines the phenomenon of pseudoarchaeology from a variety of perspectives.
In the late nineteenth century, if ethnologists in the United States recognized African American culture, they often perceived it as something to be overcome and left behind. At the same time, they were committed to salvaging “disappearing” Native American culture by curating objects, narrating practices, and recording languages. In Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, Lee D. Baker examines theories of race and culture developed by American anthropologists during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth. He investigates the role that ethnologists played in creating a racial politics of culture in which Indians had a culture worthy of preservation and exhibition while African Americans did not. Baker argues that the concept of culture developed by ethnologists to understand American Indian languages and customs in the nineteenth century formed the basis of the anthropological concept of race eventually used to confront “the Negro problem” in the twentieth century. As he explores the implications of anthropology’s different approaches to African Americans and Native Americans, and the field’s different but overlapping theories of race and culture, Baker delves into the careers of prominent anthropologists and ethnologists, including James Mooney Jr., Frederic W. Putnam, Daniel G. Brinton, and Franz Boas. His analysis takes into account not only scientific societies, journals, museums, and universities, but also the development of sociology in the United States, African American and Native American activists and intellectuals, philanthropy, the media, and government entities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Supreme Court. In Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, Baker tells how anthropology has both responded to and helped shape ideas about race and culture in the United States, and how its ideas have been appropriated (and misappropriated) to wildly different ends.
Explore the stunning architectural, artistic, and technological achievements of America's first peoples (and the archaeological stories behind them) in this accessible guide to fifty historically- and culturally-significant sites, all open to the public and located across the United States.
This well illustrated, full-color, site-by-site survey of prehistory captures the popular interest, excitement, and visual splendor of archaeology as it provides insight into the research, interpretations, and theoretical themes in the field. The new edition maintains the authors' innovative solutions to two central problems of the course: first, the text continues to focus on about 80 sites, giving students less encyclopedic detail but essential coverage of the discoveries that have produced the major insights into prehistory; second, it continues to be organized into essays on sites and concepts, allowing professors complete flexibility in organizing their courses..