SnakBookshelf of the Damned

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maj 15, 2009, 6:00pm

Any suggested reading? I like anomalies based on actual discoveries. I have serious problems with theories based on what isn't or what should be. (Dark Matter has lots of theories, yet they can't study it. Dark Matter is simply nothing with gravity and blamed for all sorts of things that can't be studied.) Not much for alien theories, but I prefer them to the chupacabra being the origin of vampires (sorry, fiction novel.)

jun 1, 2009, 2:08am

Unfortunately, too much of the popular crypto-archeology stuff is based on Von Daniken's shaggy god nonsense, and it's contaminated the whole genre. (Then you go too far the other way, and get things like "Mysterious treasure of the ancient world!" and I'm like "yeah, I knew there was gold in King Tut's tomb, kthanx, that's not really a mystery anymore.")

I dream of getting my hands on the the complete set of the Catalog of Anomalies, especially the archeology ones (my university's library had a few of the meteorology ones, but that was it, and they're so hard to find - and expensive!)

In the meantime, here's some I've been impressed with that are on my currently-reading pile:

Voyages of the Pyramid Builders is a pyramidology book that also takes in a bunch of the evidence for an ancient world-wide civilization (a la Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, also interesting), without (so far) bringing in the aliens, or going totally nutty.

Mysteries of the Hopewell - I picked this up at Mound City; it's about the Moundbuilders, and it's a bit dry in places, but really worth it, not afraid to theorize but never going too far in advance of the data.

The Rediscovery of Lost America - Picked this one up at America's Stonehenge; it's another go at the ancient-worldwide-civilization thing, this time focused on New World evidence. Apparently very hard to find these days, though.

Living the Sky is a good archeoastronomy book, though it's also N. America focused, and In Search of Ancient Astronomies is better if you're lucky enough to find a copy.

In the '70-crank-paperbacks category, L. Sprague de Camp - best known for SF novels - wrote a series of cryptoarcheology paperbacks; I have the one published as Citadels of Mystery, and they still get recommended as some of the best of the "lost civilizations" genre, though they tend to err on the side of conservative science, as these things go.

Also, don't discount Thor Heyerdahl! He may sound like a respectable archeologist these days, but he was really into weird stuff and working beyond the edge. I loved The Maldive Mystery, and any of the rest of his that have actual archeology (as opposed to just sailing around) are cool, plus they aren't all Europe/America based.

I could keep going, but it bleeds over to crypto-anthropology (Read Elaine Morgan! and stuff that's not so much crypto-- as just mainstream archeologists being stubborn idiots James Adovasio!) And then there's all the woo-woo Goddess Worship stuff that still occasionally manages to make a point...

Any specific field you're interested in? I hope more people pop up with recs - I'd love to grow my library in this direction, especially stuff from less-studied geographic regions like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.