I’ve blogged several times about the pictures of giant human skeletons on the web that aren’t what they seem to be. They fall into two categories: hoaxes and mis-identification of the remains of either dinosaurs or (more often) mastodons or mammoths.
I recently came across this site, which conveniently displays several of the most widely circulated phony giant photos. If you go there, please click on the link mentioned in the article that is the source of most of these hoaxed photos: Worth1000.com. The site runs contests for image fakery. Here is the archaeology archive where you’ll find most of the fake giant photos out there on the web.
On the term “proboscidian” (in the context of this post, an animal with a large trunk), here is the entry from dictionary.com:
1. pertaining to or resembling a proboscis.
2. having a proboscis.
3. belonging or pertaining to the mammals of the order Proboscidea, characterized by a flexible trunk formed of the nostrils and upper lip, large tusks, a massive body, and columnar legs, comprising the elephant and the now-extinct mammoth and mastodon.
A few weeks ago astronomer Stuart Robbins interviewed me for his informative Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast. Here is Part 1 of that interview. I’ll let you all know when Part 2 appears. The topic was the bogus use of ancient texts by Zecharia Sitchin and others to support their pseudo-astronomy.
It’s that time of year again – my annual report to all the stockholders of sanity who’ve invested some time on this blog. Here’s how the effort to combat the tidal wave of twaddle about the ancient world went this year:
The PaleoBabble blog entertained (pun intended) 213,139 visitors this year. All time (a little over five years’ running) there have been 574 posts to date at a word count of 118,009.
In a related effort, particularly with respect to the ancient astronaut quackery, my Sitchin Is Wrong website served a lot of customers:
unique visitors: 140,232
number of visits: 173,345
website hits: 1,240,863
The Ancient Aliens Debunked YouTube documentary has, to date, just over 2.8 million views. I appeared in that documentary, which was created by Chris White.
More comprehensively, my homepage averaged just under a million hits a month. (I need to start doing something intentional here … and that will happen soon … to get over that hump). Here are the homepage stats:
unique visitors: 362,522
number of visits: 1,034,272
website hits: 11,578,595
Yes, you read that correctly. This is only news if (like the BBC) you’ve never heard of Jean-Pierre Houdin, or never watched the National Geographic special on this now famous French architect’s internal ramp theory about how the Great Pyramid was built, or never sat through my Egyptology class. Honestly, National Geographic wrote about this nearly seven years ago, as did Archaeologymagazine.
So no, this guy from Newport isn’t on to anything ground-breaking. He’s behind the curve. But at least his restoration work is lending (more) support to Houdin’s earlier theory.
For information on Houdin and his theory, see the links and books below.
David C. Brown / Oxbow Books is perhaps the “go to” site and catalog for finding books related to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamian, Israel, and other civilizations of the ancient Near East. They have hundreds of titles in each area — lots of stuff you won’t find anywhere else, including used books and back issues of journals in these areas.
In a word, it’s an awesome site and resource. Enjoy!
This is about Talpiot B, the tomb with the alleged “Jonah and the fish” symbol on one of the ossuaries. Most people don’t think this is a coherent identification. I don’t (“Jonah” still looks like a ball of string to me). I’ve posted before about what the image probably is (here and here). Other scholars have accused the principle folks behind it of Photoshopping evidence. At any rate, here’s a recent update of the image — the work of Dr. Wim G. Meijer, via Duke professor Mark Goodacre’s NT blog.
Astronomer Stuart Robbins has made a considerable effort in his PseudoAstronomy podcast to tell the truth about how real astronomy does not jive with the astronomical quackery of Zecharia Sitchin. I was recently interviewed by Stuart for his podcast (those episodes have not been posted yet), but as a prelude to those, I thought I’d post links to his series on Sitchin’s astronomical claims and their refutation. I’d posted some of Stuart’s work over at UFO Religions, but posting the episode series in which mine will be a part seems like a good lead-up to when my interviews go online in early January.
A non sequitur is a conclusion that does not follow from the data considered. PaleoBabble research is riddled with them. One of the more frequent flaws in thinking that produce non sequiturs is the confusion of correlation and causation: just because two things “relate” doesn’t mean one is the cause of the other, or produced the other, or even “leads to” the other.