Re: Olmec/China/and other claims for fame

Wade Tarzia (tarzia@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU)
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 13:37:58 -0500

The Olmec thread and hyper-diffusionism, etc., has just recalled to mind a
news item of last month or earlier concerning alleged extreme antiquity for
some Australian megalithioc site (or petraglyphic site). The news item --
which, damn it all, seems to have become a victim to a ruthless
satchel-cleaning (my shoulder bag evolves into a complete office every few
weeks...) -- was an article from my local newspaper, The Hartford Courant.

The archaeologist quoted compared the site to Stonehenge, NOT, I think,
because the site looks like Stonehenge but because Stonehenge has become
sort of archaeological captial for England (as New Grange has for Ireland,
as the pyramids have for Egypt...), and so the fellow was making a
comparision of *status*. That's my guess, and it immediately caught my
admittedly biased eye as a potential for rather loose science, or rather
hasty release of information pertaining to extreme antiquity or 'wonderful'
discovery (ie, fossil viruses from Mars, cold fusion). When
archaeologists tout extreme antiquity to the media, the focus seems to tend
away from science and move a bit toward ethnic/national status.

While I emphasize that I merely became suspicious and have no evidence to
back this up, yet I am curious as to whether any of you have followed this
discovery and can support its validity or confirm my suspicions. -- wade