Literal truth or religious allegories?

Many Bad Archaeologists believe that religious writings are actually technical or scientific treatises that have been misunderstood; or they are the infallible word of the god of choice; or they are collections of half-remembered history. Take your pick, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket by choosing just one option if you want to be a really Bad Archaeologist.

Religious texts

Open any Bad Archaeology book or website and you are almost certain to be confronted with pieces of ancient literature, especially those of Judaism, Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Islam. We also see the use of texts less familiar to western readers, such as the Mahabharata, more often than not in nineteenth-century translations.

The Bible

The Torah (the first five books of the Jewish and Christian Bible) is an especially fruitful ground for Bad Archaeologists, whether they want to use it to construct an alternative chronology for the universe of less than ten thousand years or want to use it as a source of information to prop up their hypotheses.

Pseudepigrapha and ‘lost gospels’

In many ways, these are preferred by Bad Archaeologists because they have the added cachet of being little known and it is possible to suggest that they have been suppressed by The Establishment because they contain dangerous information.

Other religious books

The books of religions other than those familiar in the west – whether of living religions or those long dead – are a further source of inspiration.