Pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology among the pros: know your warning signs
Fresh information from a Norwegian archeologist adds new dimensions to the man who brought the "Beardmore" Viking relics to Canada
"A timely contribution that provides a historical perspective on current discussions about who is and who is not American, and about whose history matters, and raises questions about political uses of the past, historical imaginings, and evidentiary constraints."
Spend any time listening to or reading the words of people in the pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology worlds, and you will encounter a standard riposte to scholarly objections to their theories and evidence. The scholarly world is a closed shop that suppresses innovative ideas of outsiders—even of its own accredited members—in order to preserve Ivory Tower privileges. My own recent work as a scholar has led me to evaluate whether they might have a point.
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s writings on Dighton Rock, and on Native Americans in general, must be placed in the context of evolving theories and practices of ethnology and the emergence of American anthropology, and especially in the context of the ferment of debate about Native American origins.
Excerpted from Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, by Douglas Hunter, published Sept. 2018 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. On the hot summer night of 16 July 1934, a Canadian National Railways (CNR) train clattering through the boreal gloom of northern Ontario was brought to a sharp halt about four miles southwest of the whistle... Continue Reading →