Lost City, Found Pyramid delves into the fascinating world of sensational “pseudoarchaeology,” from perennial discoveries of lost pyramids or civilizations to contemporary ghost hunting and reality TV. It examines how nonscientific pursuit of myths and legends warps both public perceptions of archaeology and of human history itself.
A collection of twelve engaging and insightful essays, Lost City, Found Pyramid does far more than argue for the simple debunking of false archaeology. Rather, it brings into focus the value of understanding how and why pseudoarchaeology captures the public imagination. By comprehending pseudoarchaeology’s appeal as a media product, cultural practice, and communication strategy, archaeologists can enhance and enliven how they communicate about real archaeology in the classroom and in the public arena.
The first part of Lost City, Found Pyramid provides numerous case studies. Some examine the work of well-intentioned romantics who project onto actual archaeological data whimsical interpretative frameworks or quixotic “proofs” that claim to confirm legends, such as that of the Lost White City of
Honduras, or other alternative claims.Other case studies lay bare how false claims may inadvertently lead to the perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes, economic exploitation, political adventurism, or a misunderstanding of science.
Offering much of interest to scholars and students of archaeology and archaeology buffs, as well as policy-makers involved in the discovery, curation, and care of archaeological sites and relics, Lost City, Found Pyramid provides an invaluable corrective and hopeful strategy for engaging the public’s curiosity with the compelling world of archaeological discovery.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Jeb J. Card is a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Miami University in Ohio. He is the editor of The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture.
David S. Anderson is a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Roanoke College and the coeditor of Constructing Legacies of Mesoamerica: Archaeological Practices and the Politics of Heritage in and Beyond Mexico.
David S. Anderson / Terry Barnhart / Christopher Begley / April M. Beisaw / James S. Bielo / Deborah A. Bolnick / Jeb J. Card / Stacy Dunn / Kenneth L. Feder / Denis Gojak / Bradley T. Lepper / Evan A. Parker / Tera C. Pruitt
PRAISE FOR LOST CITY, FOUND PYRAMID
“This book is a genuine contribution to the field and should prove valuable to a broad cross section of both practicing archaeologists and advanced archaeology students.”
—Troy Lovata, author of Inauthentic Archaeologies: Public Uses and Abuses of the Past and coauthor of Understanding Graffiti: Multidisciplinary Studies from Prehistory to the Present
272 pp / 52 B&W illustrations / 2 maps / 4 tables
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1911-3 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-8980-2 Ebook