So I discovered this wonderful and hilarious podcast a few weeks ago to listen to when I was driving 2 hours each way through the backass roads of Texas to get to the dig site. It’s called the Archaeological Fantasies Podcast hosted by Sarah Head with Dr. Kenneth Feder basically debunking all of the pseudoarchaeological crap out there.
I love it.
There’s nothing better than driving to a site at the buttcrack of dawn with a cup of Buccee’s coffee and listening to two people and a guest rip holes through fake archaeology. It’s really a great way to start your day in the field. I highly recommend it.
Here’s the deal…I’m just an undergrad (not for long, though!) and I can’t tell you how many times when I’m talking to strangers about what I’m studying, they start going off on some weird random mystical artifact or archaeological conspiracy they saw on a TV show. It’s annoying as frak because I usually have no idea what the heck they’re talking about. I don’t have cable and I don’t get the History Channel or whatever channel shows that crap. I don’t watch the shows because I just don’t care to.
Last year some guy at a teacher’s workshop started blabbing at me about some artifact in New Mexico (I don’t even remember what it was) and then got pissed off when I didn’t know:
- WTF he was talking about.
- Clearly couldn’t keep the look of “oh god, not another crackpot” off my face when he mentioned aliens. I mean, I get it. New Mexico. Roswell or something, right.
He mentioned a cover-up by the Feds and at that point I was about to burst into laughter and I moved to a different table. I just couldn’t. As soon as you mention aliens, I’m out. Bigfoot, out (sorry, dad). People other than the Native Americans who built the mounds, out. Giants, OUT. Young Earthers, out (and for the record, I am a devout Christian). Romans in Texas, GET OUT.
And I’m only an undergrad. I get the distinct impression that this crap gets worse the higher I move up in my academic career. This podcast has made that abundantly clear to me.
Yay? Well, there’s weirdos everywhere. It seems like they’ve just gotten worse in the last several years since there’s been a pushback against solid science in general. I guess it just comes with the job?
So I don’t really listen to podcasts in general. There’s nothing wrong with them. It’s just that I rarely have time to sit down and listen. I’m not really able to listen to them while doing activities that take a high amount of concentration, like writing a paper (that reminds me…I really need to stop procrastinating and get crackin’ on that Navajo burial practices paper for Dr. Anderson that I keep putting off). They’re great for long drives, obviously. Now that the site is shut down because Phase 3 ended and I’m not doing any driving because of the stupid pandemic, no more podcast.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve started listening to it in spurts while doing the dishes, folding the laundry, and while out and about doing socially distanced errands.
I’d heard of Dr. Feder before. His book Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology has been recommended to me many times and has been on my to-read list for ages. It’s on the 10th edition now and I can only find older editions at Halfprice Books. It’s on my Christmas wish list, so hopefully Santa will hurry down the chimney and leave it for me under the tree this year.
I’ll admit that I’m only on Episode 9 of over a hundred, but I have subscribed and I intend to listen to the rest as much as possible.
Uh…ok, not much has happened here, but everything is now officially in! The professor I asked to write a recommendation did it for me (thank you, Dr. Alveshere!).
So now we wait.
Might be until spring.
I have come to the sad realization that I may not be able to go to TAS field school next year if I can’t go back to work soon. I’m still on FMLA and will probably still be out for a while. I AM doing better, but just not to the point where I can handle work yet.
That means 2 summers that I will have missed field school. Of course, I don’t even know if TAS is even doing field school yet. I guess it all depends on how distribution goes with the vaccine.
However…I am considering applying for a summer internship with the Texas Historical Commission in the Lost Cemeteries project. If you know me you know I can’t sit still for 5 minutes and I have to do something until my grad school classes start in September. Cemeteries and burial practices are areas that I am very interested in working. I think it would be close to what I’m thinking for a PhD dissertation (something I’m considering) and would be a great experience.
That’s me, always scheming and dreaming.