ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags archaeology , crypto-archaeology

Reply
Old 5th March 2003, 07:36 AM   #1
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Cult Archaeology

Archaeology fascinates me, it always has. There's something exceedingly cool about it. It's also an amateur hobby of mine, and I make a point of reading every single piece of material I can find on the subject.

For many people, the word "Archaeology" evokes images of advanced ancient civilizations and unimaginable technologies, surpassing our own - of visits from aliens in antiquity, of whole vanished continents, and of evidence that (insert preferred religion here) is the One, True Faith.

These topics are referred to as "cult" Archaeology. They include such elements as "ancient astronauts", pyramidology, ley lines, Atlantis and its derivatives Mu and Lemuria, "Agartha", statues of big heads on Easter Island, and all manner of Biblicana such as Noah's ark and the use of "slave labor" to build the monuments of Egypt. Many scholars are upset at the prevalence of such thinking in our world. On the contrary, I relish the occasion when these topics are mentioned, and I enjoy the opportunity to set my friends and peers straight. Many misunderstandings stem simply from a lack of knowledge about the culture involved.

This is your opportunity to ask me anything about your favorite cult archaeology topic. If I know the answer, I'll give it to you; if I don't know the answer, then I'll go find the answer and still give it to you. I only ask that you be specific with your questions. For example, don't ask "What about the theory that aliens visited the earth in ancient times?", because I can't write a book for you. Instead, ask something like "If Atlantis didn't exist, why did two different civilizations on opposite sides of the ocean build pyramids?" or "Why do the dimensions of the Great Pyramid contain such a wealth of mathematical and astronomical data?" This way, you'll save me typing time and research, and receive a better answer overall. Of course, if anyone else feels they can answer a question, they're completely welcome.

Questions, please!
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 07:41 AM   #2
Iconoclast
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,788
Re: Cult Archaeology

Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua Korosi
"Why do the dimensions of the Great Pyramid contain such a wealth of mathematical and astronomical data?"
This one's always fascinated me. I've seen several documentaries that go on about how certain tunnels point to certain stars and such thing, but is it all Kosher or is it simply a case of there being so many stars that these passageways have to line up with one of them?


[edited to remove one too many identical adjectives]
__________________
A gun is not a weapon Marge, it's a tool, like a butcher knife or a harpoon or... ah... ah... an alligator. You just need more education on the subject.

-- Homer Simpson
Iconoclast is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 07:44 AM   #3
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
To start things off:

Plutarck said, in another thread,

Quote:
Originally posted by Plutarck

I think far more pondersome is the ancient...Aztec, I think, drawings and stories and instructions and such of what seems to apparently be a machine with a man inside of that is controlling it.

Then again, it doesn't really seem all that "out there" that people who's key source of entertainment consisted of story telling managed to come up with the idea of machines.

Soapy Sam said that he was aware of the subject, but was under the impression that the drawing was Mayan.

My response:

Quote:
Originally posted by me

The artifact in question is the sarcophagus lid of one Lord Pacal at Pelenque. He was Mayan.



Von Daniken asserted that the inscription depicts an astronaut in a spaceship, his limbs operating various inergonomically placed controls.



Actually, it depicts the Mayan leader at the moment of his death, falling into the jaws of an underworld monster (much as the sun does each day) - which, in the Mayan fashion, implies that (like the sun) Pacal will rise again. Above him is the sky, and growing out of his chest is the World Tree, a very important part of Mayan theology. This sarcophagus was discovered in the Temple of Inscriptions, which Pacal had built during his rule at Palenque.

Typical of Von Daniken's inconsistency, you'll notice that although all other drawings and carvings Von Daniken calls astronauts are called such because of their "obvious space suits and helmets", in this picture Pacal isn't wearing anything special - in fact, he's dressed exactly the way he was really buried, lavishly decorated with jade, but elsewise bearing a lot of flesh - hardly appropriate for an astronaut. His body is also sticking out of the alleged "rocket".
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:09 AM   #4
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Re: Re: Cult Archaeology

Quote:
Originally posted by Iconoclast

This one's always fascinated me. I've seen several documentaries that go on about how certain tunnels point to certain stars and such thing, but is it all Kosher or is it simply a case of there being so many stars that these passageways have to line up with one of them?


[edited to remove one too many identical adjectives]
Naturally, the shafts in the Great Pyramid's King's and Queen's chambers are angled upwards, and so will point toward various regions of the sky. However, the cautious researcher will note that the shafts are not straight - that is, they bend within the depths of the pyramid, changing their angles to point at different regions of the sky than one standing within the chambers would assume. In addition, the sky is always moving. The tunnels, therefore, end up pointing specifically at many different stars during the course of the year. Although a few specific stars are allegedly "targeted" by the tunnels, I cannot as of yet find any reference to a specific "tunnel-targeted" star which is shown to be especially significant in ancient Egyptian record.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:10 AM   #5
Suspected Idiot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sort of off topic i guess, but I've often wondered if there has ever been evidence of a civilization / tribe that did not have a religion or worship gods? Temples and ceremonial burials seem to be a major source of information, but did some groups do away with these, or never developed them in the first place? I'm guessing not, but was there ever an ancient atheist tribe?
  Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:22 AM   #6
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Suspected Idiot
Sort of off topic i guess, but I've often wondered if there has ever been evidence of a civilization / tribe that did not have a religion or worship gods? Temples and ceremonial burials seem to be a major source of information, but did some groups do away with these, or never developed them in the first place? I'm guessing not, but was there ever an ancient atheist tribe?
Excellent question!!! Unfortunately, it will probably get the shortest answer of any question presented in this thread: I can't find a single reference to an originally atheistic civilization. The earliest atheists I could find were the ancient Greeks, among which atheist factions developed, but the idea never took hold of the people in their entirety. If you can find a reference that suggests something different...by all means, post it!
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:47 AM   #7
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Orion and the Pyramids

Actually Iconoclast, your question reminded me of something.

There is a theory, originally proposed by Robert Bauval and expounded by Graham Hancock, that the pyramids of Giza were intentionally organized to represent the belt of Orion, the easily recognizable star constellation. This was "proven" by superimposing the image of Orion's belt over an aerial photograph of Giza.





Fit the two over each other, and they are quite compatible. There is a problem, however...

You see, the aerial photgraph of Giza is upside-down - that is, North is at the bottom and South is at the top; whereas the map of Orion is correctly oriented, with North at the top. If you were to actually stand on the Giza plateau and gaze southward over the pyramids as Orion rose above them, you would see that the angle is wrong - Orion's belt, from left to right, trails at an angle toward the north (toward you), while the pyramids trail off toward the south. This is a glaring error, and should effectively end the theory - but Bauval seems personally offended whenever his theory is questioned. See Hal Bidlack's sig...
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:50 AM   #8
Denise
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,861
Tell me about Pompeii sp. Was it always known to exist? If not, when was it discovered?
Denise is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:03 AM   #9
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Denise
Tell me about Pompeii sp. Was it always known to exist? If not, when was it discovered?
For those who don't know (who doesn't?), Pompeii was an ancient Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Because of its proximity to the volcano, Pompeii was quickly and completely buried by the eruption's pyroclastic flow (note: ask Tricky the Geologist to explain more about volcanoes and pyroclastic flow).

Yes, Pompeii was well-known at the time of its destruction. Several Roman ships stationed at a city called Misenum, directly across the Bay of Naples, witnessed the eruption and raced toward Pompeii to attempt rescue; unfortunately, many of them were destroyed as well.

We have an eyewitness account of the events, in the form of two letters from a man named Pliny to Tacitus, the historian. Pliny was the nephew of the Roman fleet commander at Misenum, who died during the rescue attempt.

Letters 1 and 2.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:04 AM   #10
magimix
New Blood
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 18
One point that has always interested me about this sort of thing is what, at times, appears to be the commonly held notion that our ancestors knew more than we did. So much in our literature, or in the treatises (probably a proper plural around somewhere!) of 'woo-woo' archeologists we see the notion of lost knowledge, of forgotten technology; wonders that would make our 'mundane' mordern take on things seem childish in comparison. This frequently seems to tie in with notions of blessed and advanced cultures; that somehow over time we are, on top of forgetting this miraculous knowledge, regressing over time, until at the end we will no doubt be scrabbling about in the dirt, not unlike the apes from 2001: A Space Odyssy - evolution in reverse, if you will.

The two extremes are quite interesting. At one end you have people like von daniken, who cannot accept that pre-historic peoples weren't all forgetful savages, saved only by 'outside' influences. At the other end you have those (no names spring to mind atm alas) who see in the past a Golden Age, with astounding technology and culture (Atlantis, anyone?) and that, presumably, its all been downhill from that point onwards.
magimix is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:21 AM   #11
Supercharts
Graduate Poster
 
Supercharts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,183
I understand that ancient people ate with their hands. I understand that toilet paper is a recent invention. What's that all about then?
Supercharts is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:30 AM   #12
Denise
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,861
Wow! I had no idea that there were first hand accounts. Thanks so much, I liked reading it , although, I can't say I enjoyed the terror.
Denise is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:57 AM   #13
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by magimix

The two extremes are quite interesting. At one end you have people like von daniken, who cannot accept that pre-historic peoples weren't all forgetful savages, saved only by 'outside' influences. At the other end you have those (no names spring to mind atm alas) who see in the past a Golden Age, with astounding technology and culture (Atlantis, anyone?) and that, presumably, its all been downhill from that point onwards.
It seems to me the two schools of thought have seperate origins. As I read von Daniken's books, I get the feeling that despite his outward sense of "wonder" at ancient works, he really holds early civilization in contempt. There are hints of racism evident in his works as well - the Africans and South Americans must've had help from beyond, yet enigmas in white Europe, such as Stonehenge, draw very little attention from von Daniken. Others of his group may not be as racist or have as much contempt for ancient peoples; they are simply uneducated as far as early culture and civilization goes, and have a hard time understanding how loinclothed cavemen could manage such feats. The solution here is education - that the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians were alot more sophisticated than what they've been led to believe.

On the other hand, the "Golden Agers" school seems to have its origins in fear of technology. Belief in Atlantis As Technological Giant became prevalent in the 50's and early 60's, when nuclear paranoia was at its prime. The idea was nurtured that Atlantis developed technology of immense power and destroyed itself either with the technology, or through lack of respect for that technology. This was a drastic morphing of the Atlantis mythos - according to Plato (our only historical point of reference for Atlantis), Atlantis was destroyed by the gods for being unfaithful and thuggish. Notice how the message is warped. Plato intended the Atlantis story to serve as a parable of how pride can be disastrous when given free reign.

In the late 60s, and ever since, the New Age movement has looked to Atlantis as a source of affirmation of their beliefs. Edgar Cayce, the "sleeping prophet", described the technology of Atlantis as metaphysical, using crystals and magic. New Agers find Past Life Regression nearly always reveals a former incarnation as an Atlantean. The still-dangerous "crystal" technology has been implicated in the disappearances of ships and planes in the "Bermuda Triangle".

Over all, it becomes obvious that the New Agers - ready to reject the God of the Establishment, yet still yearning for something to fill their "spiritual" need - have twisted it into a new story of the Fall of Man, where the human pursuit of the forbidden fruit of Knowledge leads to his exhile from his Atlantean "Eden". The story of Atlantis has been hijacked and rehijacked like a thread in the R&P forum, with barely a shadow of the original form remaining. As such, I think Atlantis has more value from a psychological or sociological standpoint than an anthropological one.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 11:00 AM   #14
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Supercharts
I understand that ancient people ate with their hands. I understand that toilet paper is a recent invention. What's that all about then?
Uhh....that's not cult archaeology...you'd have to ask a professional about that one...
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 11:01 AM   #15
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Denise
Wow! I had no idea that there were first hand accounts. Thanks so much, I liked reading it , although, I can't say I enjoyed the terror.
Are you kidding? That's the best part!
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 12:55 PM   #16
Stainless_Steel_Rat
Muse
 
Stainless_Steel_Rat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 580
I read somewhere that the stoneage village of Skara Brae actually had a rudimentary indoor plumbing system setup. Have you heard of this? I'm kinda curious how rare the setup would be considered for it's time period, if it were true.


SSR
Stainless_Steel_Rat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 01:11 PM   #17
SRW
Master Poster
 
SRW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,895
Are you saying that this is not true?
----------------------------------------------
Joshua Korosi

statues of big heads on Easter Island

----------------------------------------------

I'm sure I have seen picture of this, or is it the idea that the
natives did not put them up that is in question.

Also I read a theory that the ancient people in South America
my have been able to construct rudimentary hot air balloons (no records of such). Because the weaving they did was so fine it could hold hot air.

That was put forth as a possible explanation of the geometric lines in the sands.
__________________
Monterey Skeptics
Tales from a dyslexic heathen
Rationalization may be defined as self-deception by reasoning.— Karen Horney
SRW is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 01:20 PM   #18
Ian Osborne
JREF Kid
Tagger
 
Ian Osborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,325
I've read at The Sphynx must be at least 10,000 years old because weathering on its surface indicate it existed when Egypt was much wetter. Sounds like a woo-woo to me, but can you shed any light on this?
__________________
"Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced" - Joe Klein, Time magazine

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." - Carl Sagan
Ian Osborne is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 01:25 PM   #19
Liamo
Occasional Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 118
Joshua,

Another of von Daniken's ideas: the Baghdad batteries were used to power light bulbs such as the one depicted below.

Now, I understand that the batteries are posterior to the Egyptian civilisation, and it is doubtful it is an actual light bulb which is represented.

So the question is: what is that object?

Thanks,

Liam
Liamo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 01:45 PM   #20
Akots
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 494
Quote:
Originally posted by Steveo
Are you saying that this is not true?
----------------------------------------------
Joshua Korosi

statues of big heads on Easter Island

----------------------------------------------

I'm sure I have seen picture of this, or is it the idea that the
natives did not put them up that is in question.
I'd like to know about that myself, very much. Godness knows humans have never needed godo reasons to built things in their spare time, but is there ANY signifigance to them?

And do they really shoot laser rings out of their mouths, at passing spaceships...? Surely videogames haven't lied to me...
__________________
I can't drink POSSIBLE beers! I need ACTUAL beers! Damn you, quantum mechanics!
Akots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 01:52 PM   #21
Morwen
Reality junkie
 
Morwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 780
Looks like a flower to me...
__________________
"In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move."
-- Douglas Adams

"La vida, esa chulería de la materia" -- Emile Ciorán
Morwen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:26 PM   #22
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Stainless_Steel_Rat
I read somewhere that the stoneage village of Skara Brae actually had a rudimentary indoor plumbing system setup. Have you heard of this? I'm kinda curious how rare the setup would be considered for it's time period, if it were true.


SSR
Skara Brae is a neolithic settlement set in a mound near Olkney, Scotland. It was discovered in the 1800's when a storm ripped the grass sod off the mound, exposing a few of the buildings. The settlement consisted of a series of houses, each one with several fascinating features including shelves, dedicated beds, and hearths. The houses are built of stacked flat stones, typical of neolithic structures. As far as I'm aware (and as far as I can find), the only "plumbing" to speak of were sinks or water tanks, made of stones sealed together with clay to prevent leaking. There were no "pipes" or dedicated hot/cold water conduits.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:35 PM   #23
UnrepentantSinner
A post by Alan Smithee
 
UnrepentantSinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 27,074
Quote:
Originally posted by Denise
Tell me about Pompeii sp. Was it always known to exist? If not, when was it discovered?
Good work Joshua.

Here's some more stuff including photos of the plaster casts made from the hollows created when the victims decomposed.

http://www.pompeii.co.uk/cd/frames/fcasts2.htm
http://www.pompeii.co.uk/cd/frames/fcontent.htm
__________________
I am an American citizen who is part of American society and briefly served in the American armed forces. I use American dollars and pay taxes that support the American government. And yes, despite the editorial decison to change American politics to the nonsensical "USA politics" subforum, I follow and comment on American politics.
UnrepentantSinner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:43 PM   #24
Sanamas
Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 173
Quote:
Originally posted by Liamo
Joshua,

Another of von Daniken's ideas: the Baghdad batteries were used to power light bulbs such as the one depicted below.

Now, I understand that the batteries are posterior to the Egyptian civilisation, and it is doubtful it is an actual light bulb which is represented.

So the question is: what is that object?

Thanks,

Liam
A surfboard.
Sanamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:45 PM   #25
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Steveo
Are you saying that this is not true?
----------------------------------------------
Joshua Korosi

statues of big heads on Easter Island

----------------------------------------------

I'm sure I have seen picture of this, or is it the idea that the
natives did not put them up that is in question.
An unfortunate editing error on my part. The statues are there, all right - dozens of them. von Daniken asserted that the volcanic rock they were carved from was too hard for the native tools, and too heavy to be transported by the natives from the interior quarries to the seaside locations. Nevertheless, the statues, called Moai, were carved and transported by natives. Half-carved Moai in various stages of completion still litter the quarry, and some of the statues that didn't make it to their intended locations lay here and there in the grass, abandoned. The Moai were supposed to be yet another piece of evidence for von Daniken's "ancient astronauts", but in my opinion they are the most tenuous of all his "evidence".




Quote:
Originally posted by Steveo
Also I read a theory that the ancient people in South America
my have been able to construct rudimentary hot air balloons (no records of such). Because the weaving they did was so fine it could hold hot air.

That was put forth as a possible explanation of the geometric lines in the sands.
While the fabric was indeed fine enough to be used for a hot-air balloon, the evidence that the Nazcans actually employed them is nonexistent. In addition, it wasn't really necessary to see the figures from a great height to direct their construction - while some of them are quite large, none of them is so big that it "can't be seen from the ground". The fact that so many of the lines (the feathers and legs of the animals) are so close together and often run parallel would make construction a lot simpler than is asserted.

Again with von Daniken, the Nazca lines were claimed to be "alien landing strips" - despite the fact that a regular airplane trying to land on one would destroy the soft "runways". Even if the ground could take it...can you imagine trying to plot an approach to one of these runways?

__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:46 PM   #26
UnrepentantSinner
A post by Alan Smithee
 
UnrepentantSinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 27,074
I too enjoy woo woo archaeology, must come from watching all those "In Search Of" episodes when I was younger.

One of the more interesting sites that have the creduloids confounded is Nazca. How the hell could these stupid primative people possibly have created something like that without alien technology????

With nothing more than their eyes, ropes and poles.
http://www.incalink.com/nazcalines/NAZCALINES3.htm

Silly creduloids...
__________________
I am an American citizen who is part of American society and briefly served in the American armed forces. I use American dollars and pay taxes that support the American government. And yes, despite the editorial decison to change American politics to the nonsensical "USA politics" subforum, I follow and comment on American politics.
UnrepentantSinner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:50 PM   #27
UnrepentantSinner
A post by Alan Smithee
 
UnrepentantSinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 27,074
Can anyone find the ancient Apache and Spaceship on this piece of Egyptian temple wall?



And damn you Joshua, I was composing my message on Nazca as you were posting yours.
__________________
I am an American citizen who is part of American society and briefly served in the American armed forces. I use American dollars and pay taxes that support the American government. And yes, despite the editorial decison to change American politics to the nonsensical "USA politics" subforum, I follow and comment on American politics.
UnrepentantSinner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:54 PM   #28
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This may seem like a fluff question, but... in the third Indiana Jones, movie, the beginning segment revolves around something called the "Cross of Coronado" or "Coronado's Cross"... or something. Since I'm too lazy to do a simple search, what can you tell me of this item? Did it ever exist?
  Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:54 PM   #29
The Central Scrutinizer
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 52,771
Re: Cult Archaeology

Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua Korosi
Archaeology fascinates me, it always has. There's something exceedingly cool about it. It's also an amateur hobby of mine, and I make a point of reading every single piece of material I can find on the subject.

For many people, the word "Archaeology" evokes images of advanced ancient civilizations and unimaginable technologies, surpassing our own - of visits from aliens in antiquity, of whole vanished continents, and of evidence that (insert preferred religion here) is the One, True Faith.

These topics are referred to as "cult" Archaeology. They include such elements as "ancient astronauts", pyramidology, ley lines, Atlantis and its derivatives Mu and Lemuria, "Agartha", statues of big heads on Easter Island, and all manner of Biblicana such as Noah's ark and the use of "slave labor" to build the monuments of Egypt. Many scholars are upset at the prevalence of such thinking in our world. On the contrary, I relish the occasion when these topics are mentioned, and I enjoy the opportunity to set my friends and peers straight. Many misunderstandings stem simply from a lack of knowledge about the culture involved.

This is your opportunity to ask me anything about your favorite cult archaeology topic. If I know the answer, I'll give it to you; if I don't know the answer, then I'll go find the answer and still give it to you. I only ask that you be specific with your questions. For example, don't ask "What about the theory that aliens visited the earth in ancient times?", because I can't write a book for you. Instead, ask something like "If Atlantis didn't exist, why did two different civilizations on opposite sides of the ocean build pyramids?" or "Why do the dimensions of the Great Pyramid contain such a wealth of mathematical and astronomical data?" This way, you'll save me typing time and research, and receive a better answer overall. Of course, if anyone else feels they can answer a question, they're completely welcome.

Questions, please!
Ever participated in a dig? I've been on two (As a definite amauteur).
__________________
If I see somebody with a gun on a plane? I'll kill him.

Lupus is Lupus tor central scrutineezer
The Central Scrutinizer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 08:59 PM   #30
spoonhandler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's interesting when we discount the achievements of early civilizations simply because we can't imagine carrying out a similar task ourselves today. I've seen documentaries where people have put forward various theories on how things were constructed and seen some of the most complicated, unwieldy ideas, when in truth, ancient peoples probably had the time and the inclination to haul enormous rocks around the hard way.

I am glad to hear the pyramids/Orion's belt thing doesn't add up. I've struggled with that idea for awhile, as well as seeing the point of having shafts designed to 'look' at a particular star.
  Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:00 PM   #31
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Ian Osborne
I've read at The Sphynx must be at least 10,000 years old because weathering on its surface indicate it existed when Egypt was much wetter. Sounds like a woo-woo to me, but can you shed any light on this?
This idea, while "popular" now, was originally offered more than 25 years ago, when the "erosion" was first noticed. In the early 80's, it was determined that the excessive erosion of the interior layers of the Sphinx was due to the rather large halite and gypsum content of the base limestone, combined with certain minerals in the mortar used to secure the outer layers. The mortar apparently wicked subsurface moisture in between the outer and inner layers; the halite and (to a lesser degree) gypsum slowly and slightly dissolved, loosening some of the outer layers and making the limestone look more "weathered" and older than it actually was. Bear in mind this is from memory - I can't immediately find a web reference to the specific article, but if you want to try and find it yourself, the body which published it was the "American Research Center of Egypt" or some derivation thereof.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:10 PM   #32
UnrepentantSinner
A post by Alan Smithee
 
UnrepentantSinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 27,074
The neolithic sphinx is a claim made by John Anthony West. You can get his full version in "Serpent in the Sky" or you can just peruse this link.
http://hometown.aol.com/jawsphinx/pubs.html

And West's hompage.
http://www.jawest.com/
__________________
I am an American citizen who is part of American society and briefly served in the American armed forces. I use American dollars and pay taxes that support the American government. And yes, despite the editorial decison to change American politics to the nonsensical "USA politics" subforum, I follow and comment on American politics.
UnrepentantSinner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:12 PM   #33
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Liamo
Joshua,

Another of von Daniken's ideas: the Baghdad batteries were used to power light bulbs such as the one depicted below.

Now, I understand that the batteries are posterior to the Egyptian civilisation, and it is doubtful it is an actual light bulb which is represented.

So the question is: what is that object?

Thanks,

Liam
The "official" Egytological explanation for that scene, which appears in a couple of places in the richly inscribed Temple of Hathor at Dendera, is that it's the Sun-Barge, on which the sun god Ra traversed the sky during the day. The big bulb is the sun, somewhat distorted (but the Egyptians did that alot - "cartouches" are representations of the sun, and are stretched long enough to fit whichever pharaoh's name needs to be in them).

That might sound like a cheap and somewhat unbelievable brush-off of a potentially embarassing problem - but unlike the cult Archaeologists, whose "light bulb" explanation is based on subjective interpretation, the "official" Egyptological explanation is based on reality - specifically, the actual heiroglyphic inscriptions that surround the scenes themselves.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:32 PM   #34
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by UnrepentantSinner
Can anyone find the ancient Apache and Spaceship on this piece of Egyptian temple wall?


Ha! The Black Hawk is down...no helicopter, no spaceship.

Egyptians did a lot of editing. That may seem counterintuitive, given that they carved messages in stone, but it's true. This was done by filling the old inscriptions with a very hard plaster, creating a "flat surface" again in which to carve the correction or alteration (Ramesses II had this done a lot...putting his own name on monuments that his predecessors had built).

In your picture, on the far right, you'll notice a bit of damage where the stone crumbled - moisture, most likely. The simplest explanation is, there was an "edit" done in this area, and some of the original fill plaster fell out afterwards when the damage occurred - and the old glyphs have "blurred" together with the not-so-old ones.

Sound implausible? Here, let this diagram help you out:





__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 09:52 PM   #35
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Re: Re: Cult Archaeology

Quote:
Originally posted by The Central Scrutinizer


Ever participated in a dig? I've been on two (As a definite amauteur).
Yes, I've volunteered for 3 different digs at Erie Indian sites in Lorain and Erie counties, offered by the Metroparks. Us volunteers get to do all the digging, and little of the field lab work...but that's fine by me, I'll let the people who know exactly what they're doing handle that stuff.

Best thing about Archaeology: it's an excellent excuse to play in the dirt, even when you've grown up.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:03 PM   #36
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
Quote:
Originally posted by Estimated Prophet
This may seem like a fluff question, but... in the third Indiana Jones, movie, the beginning segment revolves around something called the "Cross of Coronado" or "Coronado's Cross"... or something. Since I'm too lazy to do a simple search, what can you tell me of this item? Did it ever exist?
The artifact was invented for the movie.

There is a "Cross of Coronado", but of a different sort - it's nearly 40 feet tall and marks the Spaniard's grave.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:14 PM   #37
The Central Scrutinizer
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 52,771
Re: Re: Re: Cult Archaeology

Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua Korosi


Yes, I've volunteered for 3 different digs at Erie Indian sites in Lorain and Erie counties, offered by the Metroparks. Us volunteers get to do all the digging, and little of the field lab work...but that's fine by me, I'll let the people who know exactly what they're doing handle that stuff.

Best thing about Archaeology: it's an excellent excuse to play in the dirt, even when you've grown up.
My two were:
1) Searching for / Excavating a summer kitchen of a log home in St. Louis County, beleived to have been built in the late 1700's

2) Excavating a Sugar Plantation on the island of Nevis that is thought to have existed from the mid 1700's to the early 1900's.

Enjoyed both and plan on many more!!!!
__________________
If I see somebody with a gun on a plane? I'll kill him.

Lupus is Lupus tor central scrutineezer
The Central Scrutinizer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 10:24 PM   #38
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 20,731
All three of the sites I worked at were apparently reused hunting camps...that is, the Eries would use the sites, then tear down, and then build new camps again next year. Lots of arrowheads, postholes, fireplaces, and the like.

Excavating a building site, like the digs you worked at, would be very cool. In fact, I know a spot that would be just perfect - not very old, early 1900's anyway - but the old foundation is there, in the middle of the woods. A big site. I thought about trying to get the attention of a local college, but I've decided to wait until I have some kind of degree before trying anything.

Who knows? In a few years, depending on how things turn out, maybe you could volunteer to work for me...
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 11:10 PM   #39
The Central Scrutinizer
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 52,771
Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua Korosi
All three of the sites I worked at were apparently reused hunting camps...that is, the Eries would use the sites, then tear down, and then build new camps again next year. Lots of arrowheads, postholes, fireplaces, and the like.

Excavating a building site, like the digs you worked at, would be very cool. In fact, I know a spot that would be just perfect - not very old, early 1900's anyway - but the old foundation is there, in the middle of the woods. A big site. I thought about trying to get the attention of a local college, but I've decided to wait until I have some kind of degree before trying anything.

Who knows? In a few years, depending on how things turn out, maybe you could volunteer to work for me...
Did the Eries build mounds??? (No, they built a lake! Rimshot)

I know there are some Mississippian mounds in Ohio.
__________________
If I see somebody with a gun on a plane? I'll kill him.

Lupus is Lupus tor central scrutineezer
The Central Scrutinizer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th March 2003, 11:51 PM   #40
Charlie in Dayton
Rabid radioactive stargazer and JREF kid
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,087
Quote:
Originally posted by UnrepentantSinner
Can anyone find the ancient Apache and Spaceship on this piece of Egyptian temple wall?



And damn you Joshua, I was composing my message on Nazca as you were posting yours.
Noooo...but I have found the catfish, the cabin cruiser, and the airboat...
__________________
"If a tree is cut down in the rainforest, and is used to make paper to print a book, and the book is really bad, and there's nobody that will read it, do you still hear a sucking sound?"

Charlie in Dayton
Charlie in Dayton is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:25 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.