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You have data… but are they real?

Some archaeological discoveries are so odd, so unexpected that the establishment has difficulty taking them seriously. One of the best known such discoveries is the site of Glozel, in the Département de l’Allier (France), found in 1924 by the teenager Émile Fradin (born 1906). Initially hailed as an important prehistoric site, by 1927, it was declared a fraud; thermoluminescent tests on some of the artefacts performed in the 1970s then suggested that it was Iron Age or Gallo-Roman; radiocarbon dating has indicated that some of the bone objects may be medieval. Despite this, the mere mention of the site raises the spectre of l’Affaire Glozel, one of the most traumatic events in twentieth-century French archaeology. Other controversial sites include the supposed ‘pyramids’ identified in Bosnia-Herzegovina by the American Serbian Semir (Sam) Osmanagic, which are claimed to date from around 12,000 BCE.

This section tries to unravel truth from fiction in these sites that have been dogged by claim and counter-claim since their initial discoveries.