This section looks at the types of data used by Bad Archaeologists, from genuinely ancient sites and finds to frauds, hoaxes and misidentifications.
The ‘evidence’ used by Bad Archaeologists
It might be assumed that if one wishes to challenge mainstream accounts of the past, one would use the same sorts of evidence as mainstream scholars. This is rarely the case. By and large, Bad Archaeologists do not cite excavation reports, catalogues of artefact types, studies of monument classes or the sites and monuments records of places. Perhaps they find the amount of detail overwhelming. Perhaps they do not understand the technical jargon used by their authors. Perhaps they believe that the answers to the questions they pose are not to be found in these minutiae because their questions are too big.
Perhaps. But there is a suspicion that they simply cannot be bothered to read this mass of literature, written by experts for experts. To read it would require gaining that level of expertise, which is one of the characteristics of mainstream archaeologists that Bad Archaeologists find so regrettable: they are hidebound, working with scraps of pottery, fitting their petty details into an overall structure that can (just about) accommodate them. No, gaining that sort of expertise is not for them. Instead, they prefer to cut what they see as the Gordian knot of scholarship and bypass all those tedious years of study to go straight for the fundamentals. In their view, if the basic premises of archaeology are wrong, then everything built upon those premises is wrong. Whether or not they actually understand those premises is another matter.