Re: What is Forbidden Archeology?

Benjamin Jay Britton (
19 Apr 1995 07:56:46 -0400

my opinion of the book is as follows:

it seems to be less about archaeological theories and methods
than about the culture of archaeology; i.e. it discusses and
explores the mindset of common thinking about archaeological
theory and accepted hypotheses in a very open-minded way.

that said, many of the incidents or supposed finds discussed
in the book are of a very likely unreal nature. the book deals
very little if at all with the likely veracity of any supposed
site or find, except in terms of documenting that good faith
efforts seem to have been made to present the work as a valid
find by someone or some people at some time. it does that and
it shows how often finds which do not jibe with currently
accepted theories are dismissed out of hand and the finders
ostracised and ridiculed or worse (sometimes accused of fraud
or incompetence). the book is at its best in pointing out
how blinding such a culture of hypercriticism can be for the
advancement of learning.

many of the finds descibed in the book seem incredible to me.
the book is not a first-rate place to find documentation of
sites which are valid but unaccepted - rather it is a huge
catalogue of sites that are - well, just unaccepted (some may
very well be valid, but some seem very unlikely to be).

the book feels co-authored to me:
one author seems to be the gushing believe anything, how dare
they call us fools type of person (this persona is submerged
under the other author).
the other author seems to be a level-headed, some of this stuff
may be real and it certainly isn't fair or reasonable to
dismiss it all as crackpottery kind of person.

overall, the book is more about how we should be open-minded
and respectful of other's observations than it is a compendium
of interesting sites (though it is secondarily useful as that,
if you don't mind wading through a lot of sites which are just
plain unlikely to be valid).

my two cents...