Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Put another lutefisk on the barby, mate" Pseudoarchaeology says Vikings came to Australia
Many people believe Vikings, Phoenicians or Aztecs visited Australia because archaeologists aren't good at marketing their version of the past, argues one professional.

Sydney-based archaeologist Denis Gojak will talk about how researchers can combat such 'pseudoarchaeology' at the Australian Archaeology Conference in Sydney next month.

"There's a real passion for stories about the past," says Gojak.

It's sort of a . . . . well, it's a nice little article. The end part makes his main point: Gojak says the success of pseudoarchaeology means archaeologists need to do a better job at satisfying the public's desire for great stories about the past.

"Archaeologists and historians can tell stories that are just as interesting and exciting," he says.

I suppose we could do an entire forum topic on that (whenever I get the stupid forum software installed; Grrrr). We always say we ought to make archaeology more interesting and accessible to the lay public, but whenever anyone does we end up griping that t got dumbed down or sensationalized. Which is true, to a certain extent. I think it can be made interesting without sacrificing accuracy. Needs good presenters though. Someone who really does seem to know what they're talking about without being all pedantic and elitist. James Burke ("Connections") was brilliant at that.