PseudoArchaeology Research Archive

The Pseudoarchaeology Research Archive (PARA) is an online repository for scholarship relating to topics in pseudoarchaeology (including various cult, fantastic, and fringe archaeologies, as well as related topics in cultural and physical anthropology). Adopting a healthy skepticism towards pseudoarchaeological theories and thinking, we contend that an attitude of critical analysis and empirical rigor is a vital part of the scholarly enterprise.

PARA was initiated by student-scholars at McGill University in 2007, following out of discussions and research undertaken in the course ANTH480 (Pseudoarchaeology), led by Dr. Stephen Chrisomalis.

What is Pseudoarchaeology?
Bibliography of Research on Pseudoarchaeology
Editorial Information and Correspondence

Research Papers

A fundamental principle of scholarly investigation is that all ideas must be subject to thorough scrutiny and criticism. Proponents of pseudoarchaeological ideas must be willing to have their ideas subject to scholarly attention. The following research papers address evidentiary, social, intellectual, and biographical issues surrounding particular archaeological pseudosciences.

A-01. Emma Johnson, The Players, the Problems, and the Persistence of Forgeries in Biblical Archaeology
A-02. Madeline Chamberlain, Elaine Morganís Feminism: Did it Hinder the Aquatic Ape Theory?
A-03. Kristen Dobbin, Interpretations of an Interpretation: Faults in Templeís Theory Based on the Ethnographic Method
A-04. Katherine Saunders-Hastings, Lost Races, Found Histories: Politics and Power in Colonial (Pseudo)Archaeology
A-05. Randy Pinsky, The Davenport Conspiracy: Revisited and Revised
A-06. Sara Ross, Biblical Archaeology and Pseudoarchaeology: In Pursuit of Exodus
A-07. Chelsee Arbour, Megaliths, Man and the Cosmos: Implications for both Archaeology and Pseudoarchaeology
A-08. Jessica Beck, Postprocessual Archaeology and Paganism: Different Approaches to Megaliths?
A-09. Anna Titcomb, Scientific Inquiry Into Bigfoot, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sasquatch
A-10. Vanessa Ward, Nationalist Uses of the Atlantis Myth in a Nordic Framework
A-11. Amelia Boaks, Why Piltdown and not the Davenport Tablets?

Web Bibliographies

Today, most pseudoarchaeological thought is found online rather than in books, pamphlets, magazines, and other printed matter. Whether one is supportive or skeptical of particular pseudoarchaeologies, it is vital that systematic and analytical work be done on the nature and implications of such material. The following annotated bibliographies of online resources are meant to serve as useful guidelines for future research and critical analysis.

B-01. Emma Johnson, The 'Mysterious' Nazca Lines
B-02. Randy Pinsky, An Archaeological Endeavour to Locate the Mythical City of Camelot
B-03. Sara Ross, The Ica Stones and Dr. Javier Cabrera
B-04. Sara Olchowski, The Goddess Lives! Communing with the Mother Goddess on the Internet

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