Archaelogy: Mysteries & Controversies

ANT 102-006

Instructor: 
Matthew J Davidson
Start Date: 
01/11/12
End Date: 
05/01/12
Semester: 
Spring 2012
Room: 
Lafferty Hall-Rm.213-L
Building: 
Lafferty Hall
Credits: 
3.0

Course Description

Scientific archaeology has a problem: fringe ideas about mysteries of the past attract more interest than scholarly accounts of these same mysteries. In discussing the ?mysterious? side of archaeology, this course asks why consideration of the past invites some of the most bizarre speculations about human life. Why do fringe theories about lost civilizations, intergalactic interactions, and mysterious technologies gain more popularity than mainstream theories? Why should serious archaeologists and students pay any attention to such ?wacko? ideas? To answer these questions, this course attends to two kinds of controversies: fantastic claims in the past (such as the Myth of the Moundbuilders and the Shroud of Turin) and debates in the present (such as the cultural affiliation of Kennewick Man and uses of archaeology to promote discrimination).

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