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Cornell University    
  Jan 23, 2018
Courses of Study 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ANTHR 2140 - Fantastic Frauds and Myths in Archaeology

(crosslisted) ARKEO 2140  
(GHB) (SBA-AS)      
Spring. 3 credits.

U. Suvrathan.

Archaeology is the exploration of the human past through the study of material remains made and used by people in the past. However, this field of study has inspired endless theories of ancient aliens, lost civilizations, and dark conspiracies. This course examines these fantastic interpretations of archaeological remains, often popular subjects for television shows, magazine articles, books, and web sites. From the point of view of the archaeologist however these claims are ‘pseudoscience’. This course explores this disparity in viewpoints by critically examining specific claims. A careful examination of the evidence and internal logic of these claims will allow us to examine how archaeologists conduct scientific analyses of evidence. The topics covered will include: Who built the mounds in the eastern US? Were there explorers who traveled to the Americas before Columbus? Was Atlantis the source of civilization? Did ancient aliens build the pyramids? Were the sunken cities of India really built by the Gods?

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