Subject:      Re: Navigation -- to the New World and Back?
From:         yuku@mail.trends.ca (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/06/19
Message-ID:   <5obk1s$7ji$1@trends.ca>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,soc.history.ancient,sci.skeptic,
	      sci.archaeology.mesoamerican

Frank Joseph Yurco ([22]fjyurco@midway.uchicago.edu) wrote:

        ...

: Now, such evidence
: about Phoenicians, or Africans, or Egyptians, has not been forthcoming,
: despite strenous claims to the contrary. Many claims of Phoenician wrecks,
: amphoras, coins, tablets and other such items have been made, but when
: subjected to the scrutiny of academia,

"When subjected", Frank? What if it was not subjected? What if the
mainstream scholars prefer to avoid certain promising leads like a plague?
I'm familiar with a number of such examples.

I think you may be a little too optimistic about how willing most
establishment scholars really are to deal with controversial research that
shows some promise of threatening the ruling dogmas and faiths in
archaeology.

: they either have proved to be
: fakes, improperly dated materials, mistakenly identified modern materials,
: or outright misrepresented evidence.

So here's a quote that I posted before:

This is a fairly recent reference. I doubt very much that this information
has been "refuted".

[begin quote]

>From David H. Kelley, AN ESSAY ON PRE-COLUMBIAN CONTACTS BETWEEN THE
AMERICAS AND OTHER AREAS, in RACE, DISCOURSE, AND THE ORIGIN OF THE
AMERICAS, Smithsonian, 1995

Robert Marx has pottery that looks in photographs like Roman amphorae
encrusted with shells, allegedly from a wreck off the Brazilian coast, now
published in more detail (Marx 1992). This is checkable. If it is held
that Marx is not the person who should do it, it could be turned over to
others. Marx alleged that it is politically improper in Brazil to suggest
that Cabral had any predecessors, and certainly there do not seem to have
been any serious investigations of this claim or of a comparable claim in
Honduras except by Marx's colleagues. (p. 109)

[end quote]

: See the June issue of Current
: Anthropology for a fine review of the Afrocentric claims about the Olmec
: heads.

Yes, we have considered this material already. Bernard Ortiz, a co-author
of this article, posted parts of it here. Many problems with it exist. Of
course refuting Sertima is like shooting fish in a barrrel -- easy enough
to do. Yet it is interesting that among the respondents in CURRENT
ANTHROPOLOGY none were willing to defend the concept of transoceanic
contacts. So what was it, preaching to the converted? (I'm aware that
Sertima pulled out his response at the last minute.)

I hope if and when Bernard returns to this group, we can continue the
discussion of some of his claims.

: You might also take a look at a book by Feder, Kenneth L., titled
: Frauds, myths, and mysteries: Science and pseudoscience in archaeology
: (Mountainview, CA: Mayfield Publishers, 1990).

It is my opinion that the "professional debunkers" in this area form a
sort of a pseudo-scientific cult. While I agree that it is necessary to
expose the obvious frauds, and Daniken types of cheap thrills, lumping
together responsible scholars like George Carter among the obvious wackos
is the worst form of a low-blow. In their zeal to expose anything
unorthodox, the "debunkers" violate scholarly norms, and often commit
errors and omissions by the dozen, in other words, they are guilty of
precisely the sins that they ostensibly decry in others.

Regards,

Yuri.

Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
 ----- my webpage is for now at: [23]http://www.io.org/~yuku -----
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