Great Hoaxes and Forgeries in Archaeology: Great Hoaxes and Forgeries in Archaeology
CLINTON, MIRIAM G
"Great Hoaxes and Forgeries" examines selected archaeological hoaxes, cult theories, and fantasies. Lectures focus on how archaeology can be manipulated to authenticate such fraudulent examples as the lost continent of Atlantis, the Piltdown man, ancient giants roaming the earth, and alien encounters. Background on the cultures to which such hoaxes have been attributed is given to refute their authenticity. Less clear-cut cases, such as the gold of Troy or the snake goddesses of Minoan Crete, are carefully dissected to allow students to make their own conclusions on contested finds. Students explore why archaeology is particularly susceptible to biased interpretation designed to support nationalistic ideologies, religious causes, and even modern stereotypes. They discuss how archaeology has been used, both correctly and incorrectly, as propaganda in the modern world. Finally, the course explores careful archaeological method and how, as a social science, archaeology is capable of rejecting such interpretations about the past.