ANT 202 Cult Archaeology (3 credits)

Why does archaeology inspire endless theories about ancient aliens, lost civilizations, apocalyptic predictions, and mysterious technologies? This course seeks to answer this question and introduce students to the realities of archaeology by exploring the weird world of "cult archaeology," also known as pseudoarchaeology. We will investigate the origins of so-called alternative archaeological theories; look at the types of "evidence" used to create them; and examine the reasons and rationales that lead people to invent, disseminate, and believe them. From the lost city of Atlantis and ancient alien astronauts to Bigfoot and pre-Columbian voyagers to the Americas, we will explore the many different forms of pseudoarchaeology and their impact on modern societies.