The cover of the English edition of "Chariots of the Gods?"

The cover of the English edition of Chariots of the Gods?, perhaps the best known work of Bad Archaeology

If it’s that Bad, why not simply ignore it? Our position is that we should not ignore Bad Archaeology because so many people believe at least some of its claims (look at how often ley lines are mentioned in the media as if they’re an established fact and a real part of our heritage).

Why pay it any attention?

It is necessary to spend time examining the claims of fringe writers because their work is very popular and, as a result, influential on many people. Books claiming that space aliens built ziggurats in Mesopotamia, that the Sphinx was carved by refugees from Atlantis or that the hills are alive with mysterious ‘Earth Energies’ sell many times more than conventional accounts of the past. These sorts of beliefs have entered the popular consciousness and deserve to be addressed. Some of them may contain valuable ideas about the past that archaeologists can learn from; others are plainly nonsense and can be refuted by anyone with an open, critical and enquiring mind.

The success of fringe writers can be judged by their impact on popular culture, particularly fiction, including television and film. Books such as The Da Vinci Code, films such as Stargate and television series such as The X Files draw on the fringe for inspiration and serve to disseminate these ideas even more widely. There is a pressing need for orthodox archaeologists to present a coherent, persuasive and readable challenge to this developing popular consensus about what the past of humanity was like.