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Fringe Archaeology

(Hare-brained ideas about material remains from our past, most often assigning some special and/or supernatural significance to an object or group of objects)

This page is intended to grow into a collection of anything to do with so called 'fringe' archaeology, ie anything from the Turin Shroud to Pyramid Power, from Viking settlement of mainland America to Noah's Ark to Crop Circles, from Were the Gods Astronauts to Early Paleolithic 'flint art', from Dowsing to .... You get the picture.
I am especially interested in European fringe archaeology, so if you know of any materials of interest, even if they're just newspaper clippings, please let me know!

Health warning: visit these sites at your own risk

First of all, let's make a list of targets:

And finally, as an antidote to all this nonsense, some skeptical annotations, books and films


And here's my list so far:

Crop Circles

Here is something about Crop Circles on sci.archaeology.
Other links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.


All links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.


Pyramidology and Pyramid Power - Numerological approach to pyramids, founded circa 1860 by John Taylor and Charles Piazzi Smyth. Informative pages by Rick Branch.
The Orion Mystery
Other links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.

The Turin Shroud

These were graciously donated by Sara Champion:
Shroud of Turin Home Page
The Shroud of Turin - articles "How image enhancement may explain past events" from JPL Universe, July 5 1977, and "Detective story, part two" from NASA Activities, September 1978:7.
Other links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.

King Arthur

Again through the kind help of Sara Champion:
Avalon: Arthurian Heaven
The Cardiff Arthurian Society and its magazine, The Daily Grail


DOWSING from Nick Austin's online book, SECRETS OF THE NORMAN INVASION

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark Discovered
The Wyatt Archaeological Research Homepage
However, don't go shouting 'halleluja' yet: Sun Pictures and the Noah's Ark Hoax
Wyatt Archaeological Research Fraud Documentation - One paper entitled "A great Christian Scam" and the other "Wyatt Archaeological Research Fraud Documentation." By Gary Amirault .


The Viking Navy
The Heavener Runestone
The Runes and the Medicine Wheel
RUNES - The Viking Oracle

Ley Lines

Earth Mysteries: Ley Lines
Ley-Lines by Anders Sandberg Frater IAM, Magister Templi of Ordo Rosae Crucis


AMERICA / mysteries of its past - a new fringe theory about the early peopling of America and its cultural development according to the most recent archaeological discoveries up to the Spanish-Portuguesse conquest in the 16th Century. By Philip Flörke.
The Noise Room - Crop circles, Archaeoastronomy & Egyptology
Brogarin Megaliitit - the "Ring of Brogar" in Scotland, reputed by some to be the mythical golden temple of the Finnish semi-goddess of Lemminkainen.
Easter Island Home Page - by David Y. Brookman . Well-written overview dealing with supposed alien involvement in creating the famous statues. Look for the link at the word "extraterrestrial influence" then click on "lunatic fringe"
The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies - regularly covers 'fringe' archaeology, astronomy, ancient history, Velikovsky.
At the Edge archive of articles from this now defunct quarterly magazine which has the sub-title: 'Exploring new interpretations of past and place in archaeology, mythology and folklore.' Topics covered are varied and include: Cosmic Axis, Sacred central places, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon matters, Holy wells. Large site, both in text and imagery.
AEON: A Journal of Myth and Science. Also at AEON

Ancient Astronauts

All links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.


The Mayan Prophecies

velikovsky and catastrophism

Catastrophism: The Emerging Science of Origins


Atlantis expedition - Proposal by Institute of Metahistory for an expedition planned for the summer of 1998, with the aim of verifying the hypothesis suggesting that Plato's Atlantis was located on the Celtic Shelf, with the capital city in the region of contemporary Little Sole Bank 130 nm to the south-west of England, and submerged as a result of glacio-eustatic rising of the sea level and compensatory isostatic subsidence of that area at the end of the last glaciation, precisely at the time Plato spoke of in "Timaeus" and "Critias".
Five Views of Atlantean Ruins in the Bermuda Triangle
All other links were dead & removed here on 1/5/00.

and finally, for your own sanity:

The CSICOP/Skeptical Inquirer Web page
Skeptics Society Web
The Skeptic's Dictionary
The Skeptic magazine

Some books (can't remember where I got this list from, sorry!):

Feder, Kenneth
Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries. Mayfield Press. Now in the 2nd edition. (1996)
- 1980
Psychic Archaeology: the Anatomy of Irrationalist Prehistoric Studies. The Skeptical Inquirer 4:32-43.
Harold, F.B. and R.A. Eve, 1987
Cult Archaeology and CreationismL Understanding Past Beliefs about the Past. U. of Iowa press.
Bird, S. Elizabeth 1992
For Enquiring Minds: A cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids. U. of Tennessee Press.
Silverberg, R. 1970
The Mound Builders. Ohio University Press.
Williams, Stephen 1991
Fantastic Archaeology: the Wild Side of American Prehistory
Harrison, W. 1971
Atlantis Undiscovered - Bimini Nature 230:287-89.
Kuban, Glen 1989
Retracking those Incredible Mantracks. National Center for Science Education Reports 94(4):13-16.
Godfrey, W. 1985
Footnotes of an Anatomist. Creation/Evolution 5(1):16-36. (refutes the mantracks in Texas).
Goddard and Fitzhugh 1979
A Statement Concerning America, BC Man in the Northeast 17:166-72.
Ian Plimer (1994)
"Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism", Sydney; Random House Australia Pty Ltd. ISBN 0 09 182852 X.
    Plimer is Professor of Geology at the University of Melbourne. In part of the book, Plimer discusses a hoax letter sent by an Armenian Palestinian to one of the top dogs in the US Christian Science Foundation, in which the "discovery" of the ark in Turkey was discussed. The letter mentioned names of some of the supposed discoverers, Mr Arsholian and Mr Bul-sittian (pronounce those names carefully and you will see what I mean). Anyway, apparently the Christian Science Foundation swallowed the story, or were appallingly uncritical, or both, and after some interregnum, CBS in the US picked up on the story, did a re-creation, and put the whole sad lot to air. The instigators later came out and stated that the whole thing had been a hoax in order to embarrass the Christian Science Foundation. I guess it sure embarrassed CBS a whole lot too...
Romancito, R. 1993
American Indians and the New Age: Subtle Racism at Work. The Skeptical Inquirer 18:97-98.

Films of note:

The Case of the Ancient Astronauts. 1971 Nova, WGBH: Boston
Fell, Berry
America BC