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Week of Notes ANT 347

by: Nia Gibson

Week of Notes ANT 347 ANT 349

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Week of Notes
Archaeology at the Movies
C. DeCorse
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nia Gibson on Monday April 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 349 at Syracuse University taught by C. DeCorse in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views.

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Date Created: 04/11/16
ANT 147 April 5, 2016 Were the Pyramids built by Aliens? The Hyper­Diffusion theme in science fiction and pseudoscience Diffusion: Spread of technology,culture traits, or ideas from one society to another Well demonstrated archaeologically: Stone technology Agriculture Metal Working Religion Diffusion of wheat and barley into the Indian Sub­Continent 2500­1750 B.C. 1000 B.C. 200 B.C. Diffusion: • Contact between ancient civilizations and spread of ideas well demonstrated • But not an explanation for all culture change Hyper­diffusionism: • All cultural innovation explained by diffusion • Limits human creativity and inventiveness  The Mound Builders of North America Several different culture complexes eastern United States Mississippian Culture Complex • Massive mounds • Built by Native American!! • 1st century A.D. ­1500 A.D. Native American Construction • Archaeological and Ethnographic data indicate Native American construction • No evidence of exotic Old World origins 19th Century Myth of a “vanished” race • Indians to “primitive” to have produced mounds • Lost tribes of Israel • Phoenicians • Egyptians • Refugees from Atlantis Many  Hyper­Diffusionist Theories • Still common: Old theories recycled again and again • Often very popular with non­specialists  Egyptocentric origins of Civilization Was “civilization” Just invented once? Egyptian and Mesopotamia: Early complex societies c. 5000 BP • Urbanization • Craft specialization • Writing  • Monumental architecture  The “Manchester School” • Elliot Smith, Professor of Anatomy, University of Manchester • The Ancient Egyptians, 1911 Egypt or Mesopotamia the origins of all civilization Civilization spreads across the world from these areas Manchester School Lacked any substantive data Ignored criticisms and logic Critique by Ronald P.Dixon published 1928 Hyper­Hyper Diffusionism GODS FROM OUTER SPACE? Are extraterrestrials responsible for human development? Extraterrestrials in Films 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) Monolith shapes human origins Discovery on Moon leads to Jupiter expedition  Aliens vs. Predator 2004 Series: Alien species of “hunters” visits Earth Origins of human civilization Pyramids of Cambodia, Mexico, and Egypt copied from aliens Explains the end of Teotihuacan: “destroyed so that no trace remains” Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)  Erik von Danker Hotel Manager, embezzler Chariots of the Gods (1968) Ancient monuments, artifacts, and illustrations evidence of extraterrestrials Warning Signs Bad Archaeology Not necessarily wrong or impossible, but merit careful examination before acceptance 1. Lack of Peer Review­ Claims pitched to the media and popular audiences.  2. Lack of References­ Good referencing is essential: Demonstrates work done; prelude to  research 3. Discovery being stifled by scientific community­ example: Danker academic community  cannot explain his discoveries 4. Limited or anecdotal evidence 5. Reliance on “ancient knowledge”­ claims of ancient or native traditions; no specific group or  references cited.  6. Alien technology­ extraterrestrial life may exist: But no evidence for alien role in the  construction or ancient monuments Anachronistic Analogies Extraterrestrials have a surprising amount of 20th century technology Evaluation Anthropological data Systematic observation different lines of evidence testing hypotheses Cultural, historical, and archaeological data consistent with the cultural traditions in which they  occur Pyramids in the Old and New World Construction, age, and cultural contexts quite different Stargate (1994) Starring: Kurt Russel, James Spader, Jaye Davidson Depiction of Archeological Evidence and Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptian: Egyptologist Stuart Tyson Smith Dialog in evolved Egyptian 


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