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Forbidden Archaeology : masterpiece of science

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Author Topic: Forbidden Archaeology : masterpiece of science  (Read 3018 times)
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2007, 12:29:32 am »

There is a condensed version of "Forbidden Archeology". It is called "The Hidden History of the Human Race". This was condensed by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson themselves to make their work more accessible (and affordable) to the average reader. I got mine back in 1999 for about $16. It has basically the same format as the original big book, but cuts out alot of the repeated types of material. I love "Forbidden Archeology", if only for the fact that it can make you think about possibilities other than the accepted norm.

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Mark of Australia
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2007, 03:39:59 am »

Hi Jake ,

 Yeah ,the condensed version is better than nothing.But if you are inspired enough about human antiquity the full version will just convince you even more that something is drastically wrong with the current view.

Here's an article about Piltdown Man ,which was covered in Forbidden Archaeology. And the way this article suggests smugly that we have actually learnt from Piltdown had me scoffing.

Piltdown's lessons for modern science 
By Professor Chris Stringer
Natural History Museum 

A new book reveals how recent research has uncovered a goldmine of information about the history of human habitation in Britain. 
The Piltdown skull fooled scientists for more than 40 years

Here, Homo britannicus author Chris Stringer describes how efforts to search for evidence of early Britons were hampered by wrong turns and false leads, including the granddaddy of all scientific forgeries.

 In the early years of the 20th Century, British archaeologists were becoming increasingly desperate for a human fossil to show that our island had deep prehistoric roots.

Our greatest rival, Germany, had the Heidelberg jaw and the original Neanderthal bones. France had Neanderthal fossils and early modern humans at Cro-Magnon to complement their beautiful cave art. Even the Dutch had Java Man, which they had brought back from the Dutch East Indies.

Stone handaxes had been found in Britain, so it was clear that early people had lived here. Some scientists also believed in more primitive stone tools called eoliths, though we now know these were often no more than naturally broken rocks. The absence of a single significant human fossil from Britain was conspicuous.

The time was right for the appearance of Piltdown Man: the earliest Englishman with the earliest cricket bat.

Not cricket

Charles Dawson, a British solicitor and amateur fossil hunter, claimed that some time before 1910, a workman had handed him a thick, dark-stained piece of human skull that had been found in gravels at the village of Piltdown in Sussex.
The "cricket bat" would have threatened Dawson's plans
By 1912, Dawson had found more of the skull, and had contacted his friend Arthur Smith Woodward, the keeper of geology at the British Museum (now the Natural History Museum, where I work).

Together, they excavated the Piltdown site, where they discovered more skull fragments, fossil animal bones, stone tools and a remarkable lower jaw.

Additional finds, including a bizarre elephant bone implement shaped like a cricket bat, helped swing the opinions of British sceptics in favour of the discovery. But Piltdown's days were numbered. Discoveries of possible human ancestors in Africa and Asia in the 1920s and 1930s pushed Piltdown into an increasingly peripheral position.

  Part of the cleverness of the hoax was the way in which it suited preconceived ideas about what early humans should look like
Finally, in 1953, stringent scientific tests were applied, exposing the lower jaw as a forgery. Later analyses would show the whole assemblage of bones and fossils at Piltdown had been planted.

The human skull was that of a modern person, the jaw from an orang-utan. Both had been artificially stained to match the gravels.

Charles Dawson remains the prime suspect. He was the first person to seriously search for and report fossils at the site and was present when all the major finds were made.

He is now linked with several suspected forgeries, most of which were "missing links" between previously known stages in either evolution or technology.

Sent off course

Dawson was daring to a point, but he took things one step at a time. For example, he waited until experts predicted what size Piltdown Man's canine would be and, lo and behold, the next year a canine turned up of just the right size.
The time was right for an early Englishman to emerge
However, I don't think Dawson would have done something as grotesque and outrageous as the "cricket bat", as it would have threatened the entire story he was trying to construct. Martin Hinton, a volunteer in Smith Woodward's department at the British Museum and later the Keeper of Zoology, had the means and motive to create this object.

In the 1970s, a canvas trunk bearing the initials MH was found in loft space above the old Keeper of Zoology's office. Inside were mammal teeth and bones carved in the style of the Piltdown material.

We also know from letters that Hinton was aware the Piltdown finds were suspect. I think he made and planted this absurd object to warn the forgers that the game was up - only to find it hailed as one of the earliest known bone implements.

1912 - Discoveries publicised
1914 - 'Cricket bat' surfaces
1915 - Charles Dawson dies
1949 - Piltdown ages queried
1953 - Fossil fakes unmasked
Piltdown was particularly damaging for us in Britain, because British scientists clung to it for far longer than they should have done. It clouded their judgment and affected their interpretations of genuine fossils.

For example, when australopithecine fossils started to turn up in South Africa during the 1920s, prominent British-based anatomists like Sir Arthur Keith and Grafton Elliot Smith wouldn't take them seriously because they believed in Piltdown Man.

Lessons learnt

Part of the cleverness of the hoax was the way in which it suited preconceived ideas about what early humans should look like.

Keith and Grafton Elliot Smith thought a large brain was such an important part of humans today that it must have a long and deep evolutionary history. Piltdown had a high, domed skull with a large brain, confirming their belief in the antiquity of these features in the human lineage.

Stone tools from Pakefield in Suffolk are 700,000 years old
In other countries, Piltdown was viewed with more caution if not downright suspicion. The scientist Franz Weidenreich, who fled Nazi Germany to work in the US during the 1930s, had seen what a potential human ancestor could look like after working on the Peking Man fossils from China. Of course, they looked nothing like Piltdown Man.

He said of Piltdown: "The sooner the chimaera 'Eoanthropus' is erased from the list of human fossils, the better for science."

Weidenreich didn't have an explanation for it and he couldn't say outright that it was a fake; but he knew there was something seriously wrong with it.

  In other countries, Piltdown was viewed with more caution if not downright suspicion
Hopefully, the Piltdown saga has taught those of us who study the evolution of humans some important lessons that we should apply today.

Firstly, we mustn't let preconceived ideas run away with us. Secondly, specimens have to pass certain basic tests.

Science thrives on scepticism, which is why the extraordinary discovery of the "Hobbit" fossils in Indonesia has prompted a lively scientific debate over its status.

Science is also self-correcting. In Britain, during the first half of the 20th Century, people simply shut their minds to other evidence and continued to believe in Piltdown because it fitted their beliefs and was the only significant human fossil we had.

Further work

We now have genuine human fossils to speak of from Britain, including a shinbone and teeth from Boxgrove dating to about 500,000 years ago and part of the skull of an early Neanderthal that was unearthed at Swanscombe in Kent.

The discovery of the "Hobbit" fossils has prompted a lively debate
The first phase of our Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project has pushed back the evidence of humans in Britain by 200,000 years.

We have also shown that humans tried to settle in Britain at least eight times, but on seven of those occasions they subsequently perished as Britain was hit by successive ice advances.

In the second phase of AHOB, due to last until 2010, we plan to uncover further details about these ancient colonisations.

Piltdown Man is now on show once again, at an exhibition in Bonn, Germany, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the original Neanderthal fossil.

It still gets a lot of attention, because it is, as much as anything, a whodunit story.

Once proudly held up as the earliest known Englishman, Piltdown is now displayed as a lesson from the past, of a prehistory of Britain and a stage of human evolution that never was.

Homo britannicus is published by Penguin Books. Chris Stringer is Research Leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum in London. He is also director of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 03:41:54 am by Mark Ponta » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2007, 10:45:19 am »

Jake I like your observation concerning "the accepted norm."   In the world of archeology and many others people have all sorts of time and reputations invested in their particular points of view and theories.  Anything that rocks their boat is an attack upon their livelyhood so opposing ideas are shouted down as it were.

Things we take now as simple and basic were once fought over in the acedemic circles.  Just the furor over the Lucy's discovery in the 1970s illustrates it.  Now we accept that the australapithicines are valid members in the hominid to human evolution.  But it took the dethroning of a few old ideas with absolute proof of something different. We've uncovered a pitiful few fossils reflecting out human ancestry really relative to all things. 

As with most scientific breakthroughs and discoveries it takes a new approach and out-of-the-norm thinking to make significant strides.  When we begin believing that most is impossible we lose the whole spirit of human and proto-human existance.  There are people who don't want to accept anything new in any field of science or non-science.

Remember in 1900 the head of the pantent office thought it should be closed since everything worthwhile that could ever be invented had been.  It's a great illustration of close-mindedness.
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il mio va Piano, sono Asino ?

« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2007, 02:16:23 pm »

Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson quickly became a best selling underground classic,

but more importantly that the methods that the scientists have been using to piece together their view of antiquity has been hypocritical ,rife with double standards and plain unscientific.
 People who have not read the book will naturally find this hard to believe .Surely professional scientists can't be incompetent, can they ?    (naturally hard to believe?, yeah because our culture instills in us that scientists are smart ..err ..*scough*)

   When I  read in that book how the circus of academic opinion 'brutally' goes about forming the dogma, I marvelled at how the standards managed to get so low and how the fundamentals of scientific method could be mauled in such a blatant way. Despite this,Cremo and Thompson managed to restrain themselves and remain polite ;maybe a little too polite?.No ,they were perfect ,the way Cremo and Thompson maintained there composure to produce a masterpiece of dispassionate scholarship . They beat the incompetent bastards at their own etiquette.!    ( I dont have to be polite here do I ??  Tongue)

  The view I was leaning toward before I read Forbidden Archaeology was confirmed much more forcefully than I had hoped for upon starting out,  and I liken the intellectual journey on which it guided me, to a trailblazing adventure that is still pioneering ever expanding vistas of possibility concerning our own antiquity.It's such a contrast to the straight-jacket of 'their' orthodoxy.

  It is ESSENTIAL reading ..  get the abridged version if you must, but JUST GET IT !   lol

Sorry MARK ,

I have not read it yet but does it mention the Out-of Africa Evolution of Man and the"Black EVE"or is that old hat allready ?? 

"PILTDOWN Man" sort of discovery covering  it with Mud, is just what I said about GEORGEOS"Hoax about Cape Spartel as "Atlantis" in 2003.

 Life is Sad :"BlueHue"
« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 02:19:59 pm by BlueHue » Report Spam   Logged

( Blue's)THEORY, locating"original" Atlantis( in Aden-Yemen.)
1: ATLANTIS =Fake=Latin name, original Greek: ATHE(=a Region in Aden)
2: Atlantic-OCEAN=Greek: RIVER-of-Atlas+also" Known "World-OCEAN(=Red-Sea)
3: Greek-obsolete-Numeral 'X' caused Plato's Atlantisdate:9000=900
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