Re: Psychometry, et al

Jerry W. Forstadt (forstadt@ASU.EDU)
Tue, 6 Dec 1994 20:24:32 -0700

> However, the general response among "professional"
> archeologists prompts the question, "Are we justified in dismissing
> outright investigative procedures that seem unlikely or even absurd?"
> I remember fondly the Psychic arecheology session at AAA in Mexico
> City in the 70s. Many professionals dismissed it with a laugh, but
> how many of us examined the evidence and have done follow-up
> studies to see if there really is any empirical reality to the
> claims?
> Blood residue, dendroclimatological reconstruction, even
> AMS dating seem pretty magical at times. What does it take
> for a procedure to be accpepted as valid. Have we applied the
> same criteria to those "procedures" we dismiss as absurd?
> Just a thought...
> Mike Lewis
> University of Alaska Fairbanks

I think it is fairly ridiculous to equate blood residue analysis with
psychic techniques in archaeology. Most of us operate within a paradigm
of scientific knowledge which doesn't recognize psychic ability at all
much less its application in archaeology. This is also why we tend to
dismiss out of hand such other amateur anaylses such as
Egypt/MesoAmerica contact by spacemen.

The NPR story mentioned that "Canada's most eminent archaeologist"
(Emerson?) frequently used the analysis of the psychic. Any Canadian's
out there want to comment on this guy?

J. W. Forstadt
Department of Anthropology Arizona State University