The CDLI wiki is a terrific website for Assyriology. By way of examples, you can find helpful content and reference material links, such as “Recent Publications in Assyriology“; “Bibliography of Sumerian Literature“; and “writing systems.” Check it out — it’s better than reading Sitchin!
Hat tip to Jason Colavito for the link.
I can identify with “A Skeptic’s Brief Conversation with a TV Producer” given my own 2003 experience with one of the History Channel’s production companies (it’s the reason I have twice turned down a request to be in Ancient Aliens).
These channels are not about finding the truth. They are about producing what draws an audience so they can sell advertising dollars, swag, and videos. True, you can still find good stuff on them (it’s getting harder all the time), but that’s the truth. Uninformed-but-titillating archeoporn, fear-mongering, and celebration of the non sequitur just sells.
Many readers are familiar with Coast to Coast AM, the most-listened to late night talk show in the world. I’ll be on the evening of Feb 2. I’ve been on Coast over twenty times, and it’s always fun and unpredictable. The topics tend to be fairly wide-ranging when I’m on, but no doubt things like ancient astronauts and other PaleoBabble fodder will come up for discussion. One new item I am offering listeners is English translations to the only three scholarly articles on the Anunnaki that I know of. They are all in German, and over the past two years I have had them translated into English. Hopefully Coast listeners will want to actually engage the original sources in regard to the Anunnaki, which are a favorite candidate for ancient astronaut mythology.
This post was written by guest blogger, Courtney Phillips1
How to Deal With Paleo Babble
Paleo-babble can sometimes be very frustrating; at other times, it can be ridiculous to the point of hilarity. In either case, there are people out there eating up these theories with a spoon and they simply can’t get enough of this speculative garbage. Using loose interpretations and marginal “experts,” opinions and theories are corroborated in new and unusual ways, which ultimately perpetuate these unfounded versions of history.
Certainly, historical study does require the connecting of some dots and some educated guessing. However, making giant leaps of faith and staggering claims like aliens frequented earth and helped construct pyramids, etc., is not only laughable, but irresponsible. What follows is a brief list of things you can do to deal with paleo-babble.
Change the Channel
While it’s great to know what the other side is saying, it is probably better if you don’t help support programs that propagate these kinds of theories as anything besides just that. Whether you watch it or record it, you are only feeding the monster and making it stronger.
Read on both sides of the issues and make your own decisions. When someone makes a fantastic claim, find out how they came about that information. You will soon be able to come to your own conclusions. Always evaluate source material and be willing to take any and all information that speculates about ancient history with a grain of salt.
Conduct Your Own Research
Ideas and theories come from meticulous researching of the past. If you have some time on your hands, you may want to do just that. Keep in mind that the truth and history are relative and are not nearly as objective as they seem. Human perception is what creates what we know as our own reality. If you want to formulate your own ideas, look at what the scholars have looked at. You don’t always have to agree.
As research and archaeological finds continue to make advances in the study of the ancient world, there will no doubt be developments and amendments to what we refer to as history. However, any time someone comes to the table with a radical new idea related to ancient history and discoveries it is always better to err on the side of caution. Don’t allow yourself to be duped and you won’t feel bad later on down the road.