Irrationality and Popular Archaeology

  title={Irrationality and Popular Archaeology},
  author={Kenneth L. Feder},
  journal={American Antiquity},
  pages={525 - 541}
  • K. Feder
  • Published 1 July 1984
  • Sociology
  • American Antiquity
An important aspect of archaeology is communicating the significance of data and research results to a fascinated, although often uninformed public. However, on the basis of book sales, newspaper coverage, television programming, and film presentations, it would seem that the public is inordinately fascinated by the more extreme, speculative, and often pseudoscientific claims made by those purporting to use archaeological data. Through questionnaires distributed to undergraduate students and to… 

Archaeological messages and messengers

Abstract Archaeological resources include important places and objects of commemoration and remembrance. Properly investigated, they provide interpretations of pasts that are often inaccessible

Keeping Up With the Jones's: Addressing Aspects of Archaeological Representation

Archaeology is all about questions, and seeking the best answers for them; it has the potential to tell such wonderful tales. The issue of representing the past, primarily to an interested public,

The Cave Who Never Was: Outsider Archaeology and Failed Collaboration in the USA

Abstract The alleged 1982 discovery of a phantasmagorical Late-Antique necropolis in southern Illinois has largely escaped the attention of professional archaeologists, despite thousands of artefacts

Ringforts or Fairy Homes: Oral Understandings and the Practice of Archaeology in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Ireland

Ringforts, the most numerous archaeological monument in the Irish landscape, have a dual character as places of early medieval habitation and as supernatural points of access to a fairy Otherworld.

Out Of The Box: Popular Notions of Archaeology in Documentary Programmes on Australian Television

Abstract Popular representations of archaeology are investigated through a content analysis study of documentary programmes screened on Australian free-to-air television. Although public opinion

Communicating Archaeology in a Social World

The chapter analyzes, through case history, the evolution of online communication in the cultural sector, which has been increasingly developing in recent years. The numerous online platforms

A History of Archaeological Thought

List of illustrations Preface 1. The relevance of archaeological history 2. Classical archaeology and antiquarianism 3. The beginnings of scientific archaeology 4. The imperial synthesis 5.

On Folk Archaeology in Anthropological Perspective

Michlovic (CA 31:103-7) criticizes colleagues' analyses of folk (or "cult") archaeology (see Cole I980, i982; Feder ggo; Harrold and Eve i987), saying that anthropologists should take it more

Perceptions of Archaeology in Australia amongst educated young Australians

Abstarct A survey of Western Australian undergraduate students asking them about their knowledge of and interest in archaeology as well as their beliefs in other explanations for the past was

Public Opinion and Archaeological Heritage: Views from Outside the Profession

A survey of public opinion on archaeological heritage in British Columbia, Canada, focused on five main areas: knowledge of archaeology, interest and participation in archaeology, the role of



Psychic Archaeology: Theory, Method, and Mythology

AbstractIn contemporary society the growth of mystical, occult religious cults is providing the public with new interpretations about prehistory, human evolution, and ancient civilizations. One

Scientists confront creationism

The recent massive attack by fundamentalist Christians on the teaching of evolution in the schools has left scientists indignant and somewhat bewildered. Creationist arguments have seemed to them a

A bronze ram from the Sea of Athlit, Israel

A marine archaeologist has found the earliest intact battering ram recently, in the Sea of Athlit, off the coast of northern Israel. Research as to its precise origin is not conclusive, but

Exploring the Unknown: Great Mysteries Reexamined

Realms of Reason and Unreason.- I Diffusion and Superdiffusion, Prologue.- 1 From Continent to Continent: Making Ends Meet.- 2 Stones, Suppositions, and Science.- 3 Ancient Astronauts: Thesis.- 4