Pyramidiocy and Common Sense (And a Little Grasp of Ancient Religion)

I was just sent the image below from a friend who asked for my opinion.

pydmap

I often get pictures like this that people think “prove” certain ideas about ancient alien influence on world civilizations. Asinine. Pardon my yawn.

Let me summarize what this proves:

All ancient cultures believed the gods lived where humans did not and could not – mountains, the depths of the sea, the waters above the sky, below the earth, etc. They also believed the gods lived in the best possible places – hence also the luxuriant garden idea, known best in arid cultures where finding an oasis was a big deal.

Taking the “gods live on mountains” idea, to localize a deity so that you can worship it and offer sacrifice, in return for blessing and barter, you’d build the deity a vacation home – in the shape of a mountain, like his or her real home. A home away from home.

Consequently, such images make me think “whoop-dee-do.” What other architectural shape would you use to build an artificial mountain / home / meeting place for a deity? It’s no surprise that the common shape occurs all over the world. It’s quite understandable.

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Discoveries of Giants and Giant Human Remains – Stretching the Truth or Just Tall Tales?

Jason Colavito has written some recent pieces on presumed discoveries of giant human specimens. Often such reports are simply not what they claim to be – evidence is misunderstood or even fabricated, or reports get garbled and transformed in transmission. Here are two illustrations courtesy of Jason’s work:

Did Diego de Ordaz Find the Body of a Giant in Mexico?

Did Alvarez de Pineda Find Giants in Texas in 1519?

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Bait and Switch Archaeo-Porn Media Gets Page Views with “Alien Skulls” Discovery

Must be a desperate time for TV news media . . . or the same old same old.

We’re treated today to reports of “alien like” skulls found in a Mexico archaeological dig. You can click on the link to discover that it’s just more elongated skulls — of the type known from this part of the globe and places like Peru — that results from head wrapping. (Contrary to ancient alien silliness, there is no genetic or other bio-medical evidence these skulls are anything but human — but such data aren’t going to matter to that crowd). I just get a kick out of how the media will use the alien thing as a means to get viewers to watch their report denying the alien thing.

And please don’t use the comments space to tell me about the research of Lloyd Pye and “starchild skull” — I’m well aware of it. And my own geneticist contact (my own “go to PhD” for all things genetic) has already read through the report Mr. Pye has on his website. (He came away pretty unimpressed). I’ve not posted his thoughts here yet. I’m waiting for the next piece of Pye in the sky on the skull for that.

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Clay Figurines of Real Dinosaurs with Humans?

I was reminded of the (in)famous Acambaro (Mexico) clay dinosaurs this weekend by a list of famous archaeological hoaxes / conundrums sent to me. In case you had not heard of these before (see pictures below), you can get a nice overview on Wikipedia. Unfortunately, these often appear on Christian websites in “support” of creationism (but others have wised up and admitted they are fakes).

How do we know that they are fakes?

You’ll notice if you read the overview that things like fresh manure and fingerprints were found in the sites from which these figures were removed, and the sheer number (over 32,000) indicates chicanery (native inhabitants were paid for each figure by the Waldemar Julsrud, the ”discoverer,” ca. 1944).

All that aside, the article and various websites note that thermoluminiscence dating techniques yielded a date of ca. 2500 BC for the figurines. The methods used proved erroneous. Here is a two page overview of the subject and problem from the University of Pennsylvania Museum publication, Expedition. That short article alludes to a study of the figures published in 1953 in the scholarly journal American Antiquity (vol. 18:4 [1953]: 388-389) by Charles C. Di Peso.  Here is that article.

Lastly, a more recent report and scientific dating analysis has been done on the figures, proving conclusively they are fakes. That article is entitled, “Thermoluminescent Dating and the Monsters of Acambaro” (American Antiquity 41:4 [Oct. 1976]: 497-500).

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