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ANCH 307 (Online) Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries in Archaeology Instructors Final Essay Guidelines FORMAT: Typed, 1” margins, Times New Roman 12 pt font, double-spaced. Remove the extra spacing between paragraphs that MS Word automatically includes. Indent paragraphs 5 spaces using the tab feature. Submit ONLY in either MS Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe PDF (.pdf) format. You MUST follow this format to get full credit for the essay. . LENGTH: At least 1 ½ pages, but no more than 2 pages is necessary. (Hint: If your name and the essay title take up ½ of the page, that does NOT count toward the total length of your essay). At least 1 ½ pages is required. CONTENT: 1) Please describe how you plan to take what you have learned in this course and put it to use within your own community. 2) Make sure that you discuss in detail at least one specific topic in the course that has had a particular impact on you. 3) In addition, discuss in detail the one thing in the course that you found the most surprising. GRADING:-Your essay will be worth a total of 100 points, broken down in these categories:-Discussion of course content and community: 40 points -Discussion of specific topic that had an impact: 25 points -Discussion of most surprising aspect: 25 points-Length: 4 points Proper format: 2 points -Spelling/Grammar/Punctuation: 4 points Total: 100points Please refer to the provided grading rubric for a more detailed breakdown of what is expected in each category and the associated point ranges



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What Is Archaeology:
Frauds, Myths, and
Mysteries in
Dr. Ann M. Raab
Dr. Cynthia Jones
What We Will Be Covering:
What is Archaeology?
Big Questions for Archaeology
The Four Fields of Anthropology
What Archaeology Isn’t
A Brief History of Archaeology
archaeology is
just Like
this, right?
What Is Archaeology?
“Archaeology is the search for FACTS, not
truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Prof.
Tyree’s Philosophy course is right down the
hall…Forget any ideas about lost cities, exotic
travel and digging up the world…we do not follow
maps to buried treasure and “X” never marks the
spot…Seventy percent of all archaeology is
done in the library.”
~ Indiana Jones (fictional archaeologist)
What Is Archaeology?
The study of our human past
Combines themes of time and change
Uses material remains that have survived
Focuses on past human behavior and
change in society over time
Big Questions for Archaeology
The origin of “humanness” and cultural
Controlled use of fire
Development of hunting
Variation among hunter-gatherer groups
Origins of agriculture and domestication
Rise of complexity and civilizations
How Does Archaeology Answer
Those Questions?
Archaeology is the study of material remains from past
events. Study of these remains provides a powerful
avenue for studying the past
To know our place and to have confidence about where we are
going are essential ingredients for the success of our species
However, we cannot study the past directly – we must
use the materials which remain with us today
Linking these material remains with past behaviors is the
central methodological and procedural concern for
Anthropology’s Four Fields
In the U.S., archaeology is typically
found within a department of
There are usually four main sub-fields of
Cultural (social) anthropology
Biological (physical) anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
The Four Fields of Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology-
Study of the origins & variability
of cultural beliefs & practices of
living societies, including our own.
Anthropological LinguisticsStudy of the origins & cultural roles
of language.
Physical AnthropologyBiological Anthropology, including
human origins & evolution.
ArchaeologyStudy of the cultural origins
& variation based on material
What Is Archaeology?
Within the field of archaeology, there are
further divisions:
Prehistoric: Study of material remains from
people/cultures in existence before written history
Classical: Mostly concerned with the literate
Mediterranean civilizations of Greece and Rome
Historical: In the United States, refers primarily to
the archaeology of the civilizations of the recent
industrial era, since about 1700 or so
Regardless of the subject matter, the goals,
tools and approaches of archaeology are the
What Archaeology Isn’t
Following scientific
objectives, archaeologists
have rejected mystical, selfserving and pseudo-scientific
theories, including the occult,
romantic primitivism, otherworldly contacts and pseudohistorical events.
Mysticism and the Occult
Pseudo-history and the supernatural
Archaeology does NOT study:
– Lost continents and peoples
– Space aliens and ancient civilizations
– Ancient knowledge, power and healing
-Communicating with the dead
Archaeological Adventurism
Fun but false stereotypes
-The “Lone Wolf” archaeologist
Most modern archaeologists
work with teams of researchers.
Many work in corporate settings.
-Tomb raiders
Most countries today require permits
and research designs to look for or
excavate archaeological sites.
– Artifact collectors
Most professional archaeologists do not have
personal collections of artifacts. Private
collecting is one of the greatest threats to
archaeology in the modern world.
Archaeologists condemn “pot hunting”
(looting archaeological sites).
A Brief History of Archaeology
Archaeology vs. Antiquarianism
While the fundamental goal of archaeology today is
information, not objects, early archaeologists could
more accurately be defined as “Antiquarians”
Antiquarian: Originally, someone who studied
antiquities (that is, ancient objects) largely for the
sake of the objects themselves – not to understand
the people or culture that produced them
The Renaissance stimulated interest in ancient
Mediterranean art and culture, including Greece, Rome
and Egypt, and some excavation was done, but not much
European museum building drove the quest for collecting
Giovanni Battista Belzoni:
Genteel Antiquarian
One of the earliest antiquarians
Circus strongman with knowledge of hydraulics,
stuck in Egypt to become pillager
Used destructive methods, but took notes, made
illustrations and observations
Interest in what ancient “things” had to tell is the
beginning of the science of archaeology
Jens Jacob Asmussen
Worsaae: Professional
Native of Denmark (1821-1885), fascinated by artifacts
Received informal training from Christian Thomsen (1788-1865)
who devised the typological scheme of Stone Age, Bronze Age,
and Iron Age
Introduced inquiry into archaeology: excavating to answer questions
Demonstrated existence of middens, or trash heaps
Documented potsherds, or fragments of pottery, along with charcoal,
bones, and stone implements
Alfred Vincent Kidder
Founder of Anthropological
Using potsherds, explained how
ceramic decoration could help
determine cultural relationships
among various prehistoric
Established archaeology as
“the branch of anthropology
which deals with prehistoric
peoples”: from things to people
American Southwest Pecos
Pueblo, New Mexico
Maya ruins of Central America
Gertrude Caton-Thompson (18881985)
Advanced archaeology, intellectually
Studied settlement patterns: excavated a village site
in Egypt
Conducted interdisciplinary work: surveyed the
northern Fayum Desert in Egypt, working with a
Reconstructed the sequence of settlements
Established their relationship to ancient lake levels
Established the importance of site stratigraphy, a
site’s physical structure produced by the deposition
of geological and/or cultural sediments into layers, or
strata, to reveal age and original inhabitants
Archaeology at Mid-20th Century
Transcending mere cultural chronologies
by classifying artifacts and sorting out
patterns in space and time
Culture history, or documenting how
material culture changed over time and
space, to produce in depth
reconstructions of prehistory
Culture History
The kind of archaeology practiced in the early
to mid-twentieth century.
It “explains” differences or changes over time in
artifact frequencies by positing the diffusion of
ideas between neighboring cultures or the
migration of a people who had different mental
templates for artifact styles.
V. Gordon Childe
Wrote “The Dawn of European Civilization”
and “The Neolithic Revolution”
His work was firmly rooted in culture-history
Artifacts may define a culture, but they don’t
describe it
Saw two revolutions:
Neolithic (agricultural) revolution
Urban revolution
The great changes in the archaeological record are
evidence of changes in society
Lewis R. Binford
Recognized need to:
address cultural evolution, ecology, and social organization
make use of scientific methods and quantitative techniques
scrutinize firsthand the operation of disappearing cultural
“New Archaeology,” or emphasis on the understanding
underlying cultural processes and the use of the scientific
method; sometimes called processual archaeology
Archaeology in the 21st Century
A very multi-disciplinary endeavor
Competing theoretical paradigms, but
overall a scientifically-based discipline
The technology of archaeology is
improving significantly
Non-invasive survey
Dating methods
A Past We Deserve:
Civic Engagement and Cultural Preservation
Frauds, Myths, and
Mysteries in
Dr. Ann M. Raab
Dr. Cynthia Jones
What We Will Be Covering:
What is Cultural Heritage Preservation?
UNESCO Treaty of 1972
A Past We All Deserve
What is Civic Engagement
What Can You Do?
Some examples
Cultural Heritage Preservation
UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific,
and Cultural Organization) defines Cultural Heritage
as the following:
Cultural heritage
Tangible cultural heritage:
movable cultural heritage (paintings, sculptures, coins, manuscripts)
immovable cultural heritage (monuments, archaeological sites, and so on)
underwater cultural heritage (shipwrecks, underwater ruins and cities)
Intangible cultural heritage: oral traditions, performing arts, rituals
Natural heritage: natural sites with cultural aspects such as
cultural landscapes, physical, biological or geological formations
Heritage in the event of armed conflict
Cultural Heritage Preservation
Why Is This Important?
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, a part of the
U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs states:
“Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and
historical experiences of humanity.”
UNESCO declares:
“…deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural
heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the
nations of the world.”
AIC: The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and
Artistic Works, and its Foundation (FAIC) has as its mission: “To
elevate the vital role of cultural heritage conservation by applying its
expertise to urgent global preservation initiatives while empowering
conservation professionals, motivating collecting institutions, and
engaging the public.”
UNESCO Treaty of 1972
In 1972, UNESCO held a Convention in
Paris, and ratified the following treaty, which was
then accepted by the UN and major world
governments (You should look it over to see
what it says and what it covers):
A Past We All Deserve
Every culture, past and present, has
contributed to our overall human history
It is by preserving this heritage, and seeing it in
its true light – not just through myths and
legends – that every culture’s true contribution
can be made
Ultimately, we are each responsible for helping
to preserve our cultural heritage
We can do this by remaining engaged in our
communities, both past and present
Civic Engagement
Excerpts from Civic Responsibility and Higher
Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by
Oryx Press, 2000:
“Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the
civic life of our communities and developing the combination of
knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.
It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through
both political and non-political processes.” – Preface, page vi
“A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself
or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore
considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own;
such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions
of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments,
and to take action when appropriate.” – Introduction, page xxvi
What Can You Do?
Make a point to learn about the cultural heritage of your
Meet the community leaders
Understand its history from many different perspectives
Use good reasoning skills to get past mythology to the true
Be an active participant in preserving not only the past, but in
cataloging the present for future generations
Some Examples
Become involved in Heritage Preservation programs and
organizations, at both the national and local level, such as the
Heritage Preservation program mentioned earlier:
Seek out grants for Community & Civic Engagement, such as
those offered by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (this is just one
Document a wide variety of cultural resources. For Instance, the
National Endowment for the Humanities in currently engaged in
documenting our audiovisual cultural heritage:
“NEH and the Preservation and Access of Audiovisual Cultural
Heritage ”

It’s All Up To You!
If you don’t preserve your heritage, who will?
We all deserve the legacy of our cultural heritage
“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital
link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational,
and economic legacies – all of the things that quite
literally make us who we are.” ~ Steve Berry
Bates County, Missouri:
Confederate Gold and American Diggers
Frauds, Myths, and
Mysteries in
Dr. Ann M. Raab
Dr. Cynthia Jones
What We Will Be Covering:
Some local myths and legends
What harm is there?
American Digger / Diggers
Civil War myths and legends
The Legend of Confederate Gold
Bates County, MO: What can be learned
from real archaeology
Some Local Myths and Legends
Every place has its own myths and legends…
The bullet holes from the Union Station massacre:

The bullet holes can still be seen in the side of the Union
Station building to this day…right?
Tom Pendergast buried his enemies in concrete
around town!

Some Local Myths and Legends
Every place has its own myths and
One of the Seven Gateways to Hell is in Stull,
KS! (One of my favorites)…
Ancient lost city found beneath Missouri as part of
an archaeological cover-up! (This one’s a really good
one…but please don’t take anything on this web page
What Harm Is There?
One can argue, that in some cases,
perpetuation of some local myths and legends is
relatively harmless and helps people maintain a
sense of community, or at the very least…it’s kind
of fun…
Legends and Myths of Kansas City (KCUR
interview – please listen)
What Harm Is There?
In some cases, however, the continuation of
popular myths can create a market for related
Sometimes these artifacts exist, but more often than
not, they don’t, but that doesn’t stop people from
trying to find them
Individuals and groups can easily destroy precious
archaeological sites in a quest for “famous” items that
might make them rich, or at least give them at a good
story to tell
This practice is, unfortunately, being encouraged by
popular TV shows
American Digger / Diggers
“American Digger” is a show on Spike TV,
featuring former wrestler “Macho Man” Ric
Savage as he hunts for artifacts to sell
The National Geographic Channel had its
own show called “Diggers”
American Digger / Diggers
There are, of course, a series of Federal and State laws that make
digging on Federal, State, or Tribal land a felony.
Here is just a sample of some of the Federal laws:
But even on private property, where it is technically legal (unless
there are burials or Native American remains involved, then there
are other laws regulating that) there are major ethical questions at
play as well.
Don’t you think the National Geographic Channel should at least
know better?
Both the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) have written letters to
protest both shows.
Both of those letters were included as attachments with this
PowerPoint. Please read them!
Civil War Myths and Legends
An endless variety of myths and legends exist about the
Civil War, and in this area they focus a great deal on the
Border War and the Confederate Guerrillas
Jesse James fought in the Civil War:
Jesse James was a Confederate Guerrilla. That much is true. But almost
everyone who grew up in the area has a story about someone they knew
whose family either rode with Jesse James during the war, or aided and
abetted him in the process…the math on that doesn’t add up, though…
The Collapse of the Union Women’s Prison in Kansas City:
This certainly did happen, but myths persist about why the building
collapsed and who was responsible…
But one of the most enduring Civil War myths is that of the
Confederate Gold…
The Legend of Confederate Gold
There is a legend that the Confederate Treasury housed large
amounts of gold, and at some point during the Civil War, this gold
was either lost or confiscated and hidden, and many people still seek
it today:
Many people have taken this legend and have applied it locally, with
the idea that individuals had stashes of gold, and when they had to
evacuate during the war, they buried it on their land to retrieve later.
But does this even make sense?
Almost no one had gold coins that they were hoarding. Cash of any kind was
scarce, particularly in rural areas
If you DID have any gold coins, and you had to evacuate, wouldn’t this be the
ONE thing you’d take with you???
Oh, and none of this gold has ever been found
Bates County, MO:
What Can Be Learned From Real Archaeology
Unfortunately, many people still believe this legend, and
have gone about systematically destroying Civil War era
archaeological sites in the search for this mythical gold…
So what gets lost in the process? Don’t we already
know a lot about life during the Civil War?
Actually…no, we don’t. We know about Generals and
battles, but we don’t know much about the day to day
life of regular folks, just trying to survive.
Bates County, MO:
What Can Be Learned From Real Archaeology
In order to find out about the lives or ordinary folks, we
need to be able to find the ordinary things they were
using every day.
Things like plates, storage crocks, glassware, jewelry, toys and
marbles, medicine bottles, tools, nails, gun parts, etc.
Even the changes in the color of the soil can help us to
understand what happened. For instance, when a house burns
down, it changes the color of the soil around it so you can
reconstruct how the house collapsed as it burned.
“Flying Eagle” penny, minted in 1856
and circulated in 1857 and 1858
Copy of Colt Pattern Revolver Barrel Wedge, Civil Wa
.30 Caliber Shot
Metal Working at the Straub Site
Ax Head
Notice the change in
color of the soil
around where the
foundation burned.
Bates County, MO:
What Can Be Learned From Real Archaeology
Then we can compare what they had from year to year,
to see how well they were doing before the war, during
the war, and after the war.
Archaeology is all about patterns, even in ordinary places like
old homes and farms, using ordinary stuff.
We need to be able to establish a good timeline for what
happened when, in each layer.
But when people dig up those sites just looking for “treasure,”
those patterns get destroyed before we can ever see them, and
it’s like taking chapters out of their life story and burning them,
and we can never get that information back.
Early to Mid-19th Century Chronology of Historic Artifacts at the
Straub Site in Bates County, MO
Cut (Square) Nails
Refined Earthenwares:
(Shell Edge; Blue Willow;
Flow Blue, etc.)
Shell buttons
Cap & Ball Revolver Wedge

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