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Cover

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries

Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology

Ninth Edition

Kenneth L. Feder

Publication Date - February 2017

ISBN: 9780190629656

352 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.95

A humorous yet informative and scientific text that helps students to critically debunk archaeological myths

Description

Frauds, myths, and supposed mysteries about humanity's past are moving targets for anyone committed to the scientific investigation of human antiquity. It is important for anyone interested in the human past to know, for example, that there is no evidence for a race of giant human beings in antiquity and no broken shards of laser guns under Egyptian pyramids. Debunking such nonsense is fun and useful in its own way, but more important is the process by which we determine that such claims are bunk.

Now published by Oxford University Press, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, Ninth Edition, uses interesting--and often humorous--archaeological hoaxes, myths, and mysteries to show how we can truly know things about the past through science. It is not just a book about how we know what isn't true about the human past--it's also about how we know what is true.

New to this Edition

  • New "Real-Deal Archaeology" sections discussing "real mysteries"
  • New discussions of H. P. Lovecraft, Theosophy, Nephilim, and more
  • Revised and updated material throughout

About the Author(s)

Kenneth L. Feder is Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of several books, including The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory, Seventh Edition (OUP, 2016), and Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology, Second Edition (OUP, 2007).

Previous Publication Date(s)

April 2013
November 2010
November 2006

Reviews

"Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries is the only textbook for a course of this sort, which I think should be offered at every institution of higher education."--Curtis Runnels, Boston University

"Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries takes things that everyone is fascinated by--aliens, Atlantis, the curses of Ancient Egypt--and packages them in a way that is entertaining, but also shows how the scientific method works. It helps students to think critically about many of the so-called 'documentaries' on television."--Christa Abdul-Karim, Lewis-Clark State College

"I very much enjoy this text and the writing style; I appreciate Feder's humor and the way he explains things. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries is accessible to students because it isn't dry and stuffy. This is a great topic--students are interested--and the book is written in a way that is easy to read and enjoyable."--Kristy Miller, Estrella Mountain Community College

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Pseudoscience Cheat Sheet

    Chapter 1. Science and Pseudoscience
    Belief in the Unbelievable
    The Morning of the Magicians
    Pseudoscience and Archaeology
    Why I Wrote This Book
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercises

    Chapter 2. Epistemology: How You Know What You Know
    Knowing Things
    Collecting Information: Seeing Isn't Necessarily Believing
    Collecting Information: Relying on Others

    Science: Playing by the Rules
    There Is a Real and Knowable Universe
    The Universe Operates According to Understandable Laws
    The Laws Are Immutable
    The Laws Can Be Understood

    The Workings of Science
    The Case of Childbed Fever
    Science and Nonscience: The Essential Differences
    A Rule in Assessing Explanations
    The Art of Science
    Where Do Hypotheses Come From?
    Testing Hypotheses
    Skeptics, Not Cynics; Doubters, Not Deniers
    The Human Enterprise of Science

    Science and Archaeology
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercises

    Chapter 3. GIANTS! Anatomy of an Archaeological Hoax
    The Cardiff Giant: The Goliath of New York
    The Discovery
    The Beginning of the End
    Hull's Confession
    The End of the Giant

    Why Did They Do It?
    Real Deal Archaeology: How We Recognize Frauds When We See Them
    The Rules for a Successful Archaeological Hoax
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercises

    Chapter 4. Dawson's Dawn Man: The Hoax at Piltdown
    The Skeleton-More Precisely, the Cranium-in the Closet
    The Evolutionary Context
    The Brain-Centered Paradigm
    A Remarkable Discovery in Sussex
    Unmasking the Hoax
    Whodunnit?
    Suspect: Charles Dawson
    Were There Co-conspirators?

    The Lesson of Piltdown
    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Human Evolution
    A Rising Hominin Star
    A Neandertal in Your Family Tree

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 5. Who Discovered America?
    America's First People
    A New World-To Europeans
    Biblical Exegesis and American Indians
    American Indians: From Israelites to Atlanteans
    Tracing the Source of Native Americans
    Out of Asia
    The Beringian Highway

    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About the Earliest Human Settlement of America
    Tracing People by Their Morphology
    Tracing People by Their DNA
    Tracing People by Their Archaeology

    Frequently Asked Question
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 6. Who's Next? After the Indians, Before Columbus
    Artifact Trails: Evidence of Visitors to the New World
    The New England Model
    The Archaeology of Columbus
    The Spanish Entrada into the American Southeast
    A Chinese Discovery of the New World?
    Africans in Ancient America?
    Other Europeans in the New World Before Columbus?

    America B.C.?
    Mystery Hill: A Convergence of Evidence?
    The Archaeological Verdict
    Inscriptions

    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About The Norse Discovery of America
    A Newfound Land
    Norse Discovery of America: The Physical Evidence
    L'Anse aux Meadows
    Other Evidence of the Viking Presence?

    Frequently Asked Question
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 7. The Myth of the Moundbuilders
    The Myth of a Vanished Race
    Who Were the Moundbuilders? Identifying the Vanished Race
    The Archaeology of the Myth
    The Moundbuilder Mystery Solved
    Rationale for the Myth of a Vanished Race
    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About the Mound Building People of America
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 8. Lost: One Content-Reward
    Atlantis: Where Are You?
    Atlantis: The Source of the Legend
    The Timaeus Dialogue
    The Critias Dialogue
    The Source and Meaning of Timaeus and Critias
    Who Invented Atlantis?
    Where Did Plato Get the Details of the Story? A Minoan Source

    After Plato
    Ignatius Donnelly: The Minnesota Congressman
    The Lost Continents of Theosophy
    Atlantis: And the Beat Goes On

    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Atlantis
    Ancient Greece
    Archaeological Evidence in the Atlantic: The Bimini Wall
    The Geology of the Atlantic

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 9. Prehistoric E.T.: The Fantasy of Ancient Astronauts
    Ancient Astronauts: The Source of the Idea
    Gods in Fiery Chariots
    The Inkblot Hypothesis
    The Horny Astronaut Hypothesis
    The "Our Ancestors, the
    Dummies" Hypothesis
    Extraterrestrial Calendars?
    Extraterrestrial Aliens in the Pacific?
    H.P. Lovecraft, Ancient Aliens, and the Cthulhu Connection
    A Real Mystery

    Real Deal Archaeology: The Bias Inherent in the Ancient Astronauts Hypothesis
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 10. The Mystery of Ancient Civilizations: How Did People Get So Smart?
    Ancient Egypt
    The Civilization of the Maya
    Explaining the Maya
    About the Maya Calendar

    A Lost Civilization? But It's Not Atlantis. Well, Maybe It's Atlantis.
    Stonehenge
    Explaining Stonehenge
    An Ancient Astronomy?
    Circular Reasoning About Stonehenge
    Why Was Stonehenge Built?

    Primordial Civilization in Bosnia?
    Real Deal Archaeology: What We Know About Pyramid Building
    School of (Moving) Rock
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercises

    Chapter 11. Good Vibrations: Psychics and Archaeology
    Psychic Archaeology
    Psychic Site Location
    Psychic Cultural Reconstruction
    Psychic Archaeology: A Test
    Psychic Archaeology: The Verdict

    Dowsing for Diggers
    Real Deal Archaeology: How We Can Investigate Sites Without Digging in the Dirt
    Frequently Asked Question
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Chapter 12. Old-Time Religion, New Age Visions, and Paranormal Predictions
    Scientific Creationism and the Claim of Intelligent Design
    Creationist Strategies in Education
    Intelligent Design
    Noah's
    Ark
    Footprints in Time

    New Age Prehistory
    Crystal Skulls
    Real Deal Archaeology: What we Know About the Palatki Site in Sedona, Arizona
    A Rant
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Best of the Web
    Critical Thinking Exercise

    Epilogue: A Past We Deserve

    References
    Index